Suarez (47), (58), Enrique (65)
Wigan Athletic 0
It’s that man again! Another day, another game and another headline created by Luis Suarez.
Two more goals that, take him to the top of the Premiership scorer’s chart, and another controversial incident so, a run of the mill game for our man! However, least we forget, perhaps this was the first sign of us finally finding our feet? It was only our second home win of the season however, at the risk of over egging the situation, the unbeaten league run is now at seven games. It is of course far too early to say we are slowly beginning to find that magic formula that every Reds’ fan wants to see us running on however we need to start from somewhere, even if the journey is slow one?
It would be far too easy to dwell (again) on Suarez’s performance particularly given this week’s speculation, will it go away after this performance, I doubt it. However, perhaps more pleasing was the response of the side in second half. The first forty five minutes saw more of the same stuff we’ve seen for a long time, plenty of passing with no end product. However, for once, our patience paid off and after the break we finally achieved what has been lacking for so long – we made it count and took our chances
BR made two changes from the Chelsea game, Martin Skytel, replaced Jamie Carragher and Jose Reina ousted Brad Jones between the sticks. Wigan opened confidently with Watson going close and, as ever we just seemed content to pat it about a bit without really troubling Al Habsi in the Wigan goal. It was as if we were conditioned to playing a certain way and didn’t have the nous, imagination or pragmatism to snap out of it, almost as if we were hypnotised.
Thankfully we were able to make more of a go of it in the second half. Sterling beat Figueroa to the ball and cut it back to Suarez who, having dropped off his marker, rammed it into the roof of the net. Before we could start the usual worry about a Wigan response Enrique produced a terrific, through the eye of a needle, ball to Suarez who ran on and coolly and firmly flicked it past Al Habsi with the outside of his right foot. Suarez had his chance for a hat trick after good fluid move, involving Gerrard and Sterling, saw him fire into the side netting. In the end Suarez had to be content with just playing part in our third which saw Sterling exchanging passes with him to cross from the right and set up Enrique for the easiest of chances. It seems like an opportune moment to mention Jose Enrique who, after a barren spell towards the end of last season and the beginning of this one, appears to have finally found his mojo once more!
So what of Luis Suarez’s stamp on Wigan’s David Jones? Roberto Martinez said.
“He was very fortunate because there was a stamp on David Jones that the referee didn’t see.. that wasn’t the sign of a top player. He was fortunate today. He was lucky.”
Firstly it wasn’t a stamp. A badly timed tackle? Yes. Clumsy? Yes. A red card? Probably, but not a stamp. He was lucky but, and although this is no reason to justify the incident, how many decisions have gone against Suarez this season? This isn’t the first complaint that has been levelled at him, David Moyes and Tony Pulis have referred to his conduct on the pitch on bad challenges and conning the referee respectively. However, both, and I also add Wigan’s Martinez to this, seem to be very reticent when referring to other players. Is Suarez the only player to commit such “offences” and why did Martinez choose to dwell on Suarez’s challenge on Jones who carried on playing and not Reheem Sterling’s on Watson which saw the Wigan player carried off with a broken leg? Perhaps it is because Suarez naturally attracts attention and deflects it from the fact that your side has lost, I can’t think of any other populist reason for these managers deciding to single out the easy, “whipping boy”, target that is Luis Suarez whilst ignoring other players who commit similar misdemeanours …… can you?
That said Suarez should have been booked for the challenge, even given a red which clearly would have been disastrous for us given our current striking situation. Moreover it focuses referee’s attention on another facet of Suarez’s game, remember a similar challenge on Everton’s Distin a few weeks ago. Someone in black with a “trigger happy” card and a hunger for publicity will seize on this so Suarez needs to watch himself and not give them the opportunity to do so. Sadly I’d be amazed if he doesn’t see red between now an the end of the season. Let’s hope it’s after January?
However for now, and thankfully at 3-0 up, BR was able to protect his “asset” and sub him. The reception he received as he ran off was well deserved not just for this game, but for the season so far.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger (Carragher – 82′ ), Skrtel, Wisdom, Gerrard, Allen, Sterling, Suarez (Shelvey – 87′ ), Suso (Henderson – 36′ ), Substitutes: Jones, Coates, Carragher, Sahin, Cole, Henderson, Shelvey
Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Caldwell Booked (Gomez – 69′ ), Boyce, Ramis, Figueroa Booked, McCarthy, Watson (Jones – 32′ ), Maloney, Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo Booked (Miyaichi – 69′ ), Substitutes: Pollitt, Stam, Jones, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Miyaichi