Liverpool lose to Wigan in what was definitely a decider!

8 03 2010

In a match where Liverpool were bolstered by the presence of their full squad, they did little to dent Wigan Atletic’s poise. The ball remained concentrated in Liverpool’s half for large portions of the first half, much to the Liverpool fan’s disgust and to the delight of Wigan’s supporters. This plus three yellow cards by the reds didn’t do much to placate the worries that have only mounted over the last 28 matches.

It wasn’t so much Wigan’s perspicacity in front of goal but the lack thereof on the part of Liverpool that eventually translated into a goal for Wigan on 35 minutes as the ball was needlessly given away for the umpteenth time in less than 15 minutes. Now, Liverpool had quite a mountain to climb further underscoring Liverpool’s lack of sting this season.

The second half started no differently as Wigan kept neutralizing any threat that Liverpool’s strike duo of Gerrard and Torres could do. Torres did have a genuine chance after Maxi Rodriguez cut into the Wigan box to provide a decent cross. Wigan’s 4-2-3-1 formation was proving to be too thick of a wall to break down. With a 1-0 lead, Wigan were very happy to sit back and get Liverpool on the break. Liverpool were as mushy as Oatmeal after 5 minutes in my microwave (very mush and soft i.e.!).

The defensive minded Lucas Leiva was replaced by a more offensive minded Glen Johnson, the latter making his return from injury in less than ideal circumstances. At this stage, Liverpool looked increasingly unlikely of being able to mount a significant challenge to win the game. We all know that a draw would be curtains for Liverpool’s Champions League hopes for next season as their close and superior competitors, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Tottenham have a game or so in hand over the reds.

On the hour, Kyriagkos had to rescue Liverpool from a clearance gone wrong by Carragher. The corner that resulted could have well been an own goal.

The listless display that Liverpool were putting up had to change if Liverpool were to get 3 points from this game but they were giving the ball away, quite easily, allowing Wigan to attempt impressive counter-attacks. Torres had settled into a wide wing position being fed by a Glen Johnson who was clearly lacking match fitness. The ball changed halves very often to Liverpool’s severe disappointment. But they only had themselves to blame as they played like they had just stirred from a siesta and couldn’t quite shake that sleepy feeling off!

Wigan were the perfect damper as they thwarted Liveprool attacks that were more ripples in a pond than waves in the ocean. Even the spate of corners that Liverpool got in the space of 10 minutes, did little to abate the gloom.  Aquilani came on for another rare appearance, with about 20 minutes to go. Benayoun was the man replaced.

With 15 minutes to go, Liverpool almost conceded a second goal as a result of some lax defending. Liverpool’s funeral dirge like style and would bring the pessimist out of the most optimistic supporters. A second chance went begging as Fernando Torres messed a kick, albeit the more difficult kick of the bicycle type!

Soon Fernando Torres and Gerrard got their own yellow cards which mirrored the kind of match Liverpool was having at this juncture. 5 yellow cards to Liverpool was a result of the mounting frustration. Ryan Babel came on for Dirk Kuyt to try and make a difference and rescue Liverpool from possibly the last match that they would play this season, before it could be ascertained with complete certainty of their Champions League chances for next season.

The five minutes of stoppage time that were allotted did little to help Liverpool’s cause. The curtain of gloom that has been continuously descending on Liverpool’s season finally completed it’s descent. It is probably safe to say that Liverpool’s champions league hopes for next season are all but down the drain.

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