- Liverpool vs Wigan

Saturday 17 November 2012 | Anfield | Referee: Kevin Friend | Attendance 44,913

  • Luis Suarez (47, 58)
  • José Enrique (65)
3 - 0

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Match report

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Striker Luis Suarez proved just how valuable he is to Liverpool with two goals and an assist to help secure only a second home win of the season.

The Uruguay international struck twice in nine second-half minutes and also played a part in the third which saw Jose Enrique score his first goal for the club.

Yet Suarez was strangely subdued in a first half which had very few talking points. With goalkeeper Jose Reina making his first appearance since 7 October, Rodgers reverted to a back four having opted for three centre-backs at Chelsea last weekend.

Somewhat surprisingly he selected Enrique on the left of midfield but before the half was out he had tinkered with his tactical line-up having seen his side fail to get a grip on the game.

The hosts began well with Suarez's cross turned behind by Ben Watson and Daniel Agger's header from the corner tipped just wide by the outstretched hand of Ali Al Habsi.

After Reina shrugged off some of the rustiness with a routine save from Arouna Kone's long-range effort both Agger and Suso headed over.

It was virtually the young Spaniard's last involvement as just past the half-hour he was replaced by Jordan Henderson with Gerrard moving forward to play in the hole by Suarez in an attempt to get more support for the Uruguay international.

By then Wigan had lost Watson to a broken leg after he was caught by Raheem Sterling, with Ivan Ramis's subsequent free-kick deflected behind off the wall.
Whatever was said by Rodgers to his team – and Suarez in particular – at half-time had the desired effect as Liverpool came out a side with much greater purpose.

It took them just over two minutes to prove it with a swift drive forward for the opening goal.

Andre Wisdom's pass into space gave Sterling, who had also had an uncharacteristically quiet 45 minutes, the chance to nip in front of Maynor Figueroa and run at the Wigan defence. When he crossed for Suarez the Uruguayan's first-time shot beat Al Habsi.

If the goal energised the home side it ignited Suarez, who was rampant after that. Enrique drove infield from the left and poked in a through-ball which still required plenty from Suarez but in his current form there was only going to be one outcome and he easily beat the goalkeeper.

Suarez again had major part to play in the third goal, sliding a pass through the inside-right channel to Sterling whose shot was parried by Al Habsi into the path of Enrique who could not miss from a few yards out.

The Spaniard, benefiting from his advanced position, celebrated only his second goal in five years in English football, his first coming for Newcastle against Nottingham Forest in March 2010.

Confidence was now surging through a Liverpool side who had previously only won three league matches at Anfield all year.

Suarez eventually departed to a well-deserved standing ovation late on as Rodgers protected his investment on the back of seven-match unbeaten run.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: "Luis [Suarez] is a very big part of the team. His first goal was a wonderful finish with a great weight of pass from young Raheem [Sterling]. He finished it great and for the second one there was a lovely pass from [Jose Luis] Enrique and a nice little off-the-shoulder run and finish. He is a master marksman, absolutely outstanding, and we are thrilled to have him.

"Of course we want other support around that but you can see he thrives on it. If you look at his goal return this season already he is enjoying playing in the system and enjoying the freedom of being that loose striker. This group are improving all the time and Luis is the pinnacle up there getting the goals."

"If you look at [Tottenham's] Gareth Bale, he played at left-back and then moved forward and showed his strengths. Jose [Luis Enrique] is someone I think can do that role with his power and pace. I said to him yesterday, him and Raheem can get goals if they get [positionally] inside the frame of the goal. If you watch the replay he makes up a lot of ground to get in there and anticipate the rebound."

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez: "It is a broken leg and we are going to miss him [Ben Watson]. He has a fracture and we are going to assess him now because maybe he will require surgery. We will see what the extent of the breakage is and what treatment he needs. We are really disappointed because he was at a good level.

"It is very serious. We need to see what the specialist says because if we need surgery it could be really difficult. We will keep our fingers crossed we can treat the breakage in a more conservative way. If he needs surgery he will probably be out for four months and that will be a major blow for us.

"The injury affected us too much because I thought we started quite sharp and controlled the game in the first half. I thought we were the team who looked like being a real threat and I thought we stopped Liverpool completely.  Unfortunately, in the second half we suffered too much from the international fixtures.

"The first goal we gave it away - it was one of those days as nothing went our way."

Fan Rating

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Line-up All Fans BFR
25. José Reina - -
47. Andre Wisdom - -
2. Glen Johnson - -
37. Martin Skrtel - -
5. Daniel Agger - -
31. Raheem Sterling - -
8. Steven Gerrard - -
24. Joe Allen - -
30. Suso - -
3. José Enrique - -
7. Luis Suárez - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
4. Nuri Sahin - -
23. Jamie Carragher - -
1. Bradley Jones - -
16. Sebastián Coates - -
14. Jordan Henderson - -
10. Joe Cole - -
33. Jonjo Shelvey - -
Line-up All Fans BFR
26. Ali Al-Habsi - -
21. Iván Ramis - -
31. Maynor Figueroa - -
5. Gary Caldwell - -
17. Emmerson Boyce - -
22. Jean Beausejour - -
4. James McCarthy - -
8. Ben Watson - -
2. Arouna Koné - -
9. Franco Di Santo - -
10. Shaun Maloney - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
32. Ryo Miyaichi - -
15. Callum McManaman - -
12. Michael Pollitt - -
23. Ronnie Stam - -
14. Jordi Gómez - -
6. David Jones - -
19. Mauro Boselli - -

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