A very poor Wigan performance nearly got us all three points as we restricted Liverpool to passing around their midfield and defence. Torres had only one effort to tell off, heading against the post in the first 15 minutes, and but for Gerard and Babel there would have been very few highlights for the reds.
To be fair the visitors did dominate the game for the first 20 minutes or so, but with the exception of Torres’ header, didn’t really threaten in the final third. Babel and Gerard were making all the spaces and passing well, but there was no end product.
Latics midfield and defence were exceptional, they let them pass the ball around in their own half but as soon as it came over the half way line Cattermole and Brown snuffed everything out. We created a couple of chances in the first 20 minutes or so ourselves, but new boy Mido and strike partner Zaki just couldn’t find their shooting boots.
Latics finally got a foothold in the game and started to show signed that they could get something out of the game, de Ridder fed a great ball through to Mido but Riena did enough to put the Egyptian off and his shot went wide.
Mido was very busy but just couldn’t seem to get on the same wavelength as Zaki and as such, most of the attack broke down well before they could reel a shot off. Scharner should have been given a penalty after he was felled in the area by Steven Gerard, but Phil Dowd managed to think that it wasn’t a spot kick.
Ironically, it was just as we were getting some joy that Liverpool broke and Benayoun rounded Pollitt in the Latics goal. We all thought that he had been pushed out far enough but the Israel International squeezed the ball into the net from the acutest of angles. That was the final action of the half,
Liverpool carried on in the same vain in the second half, creating very little, but passing it around really nicely. Latics had moved up a gear but everything they tried seemed to get stamped out by some last ditch defending and a lot of bad luck.
Although we couldn’t seem to get any fluidity to our play, the reds were no better and as the half sore on, we were always the more likely to score. Mido, Zaki, de Ridder and Cattermole were tearing holes in the Liverpool back line and it was Lucas that was making the mistakes.
It was Lucas that eventually gave us our chance of a goal by hacking down substitute Jason Koumas needlessly in the box. Phil Dowd this time pointed to the spot and Mido was the first one over to get the ball, he calmly and coolly slotted it past Reina and we got our deserved equaliser.
The last nine minutes were all about us chasing the winner and as Mascherano brings down Mido, another new boy Hugo Rodallega stepped up to try and get his debut goal. The Colombian International struck an excellent free kick that rattled the crossbar and was cleared by Carragher.
The match finished 1-1 and but for that crossbar we could have won the match. It wasn’t our best performance by a long way but we battled and at least got a point.
Report by Jason Taylor