June 20, 2024

Scotland finally breaks his league duck

Will Jason Scotland ever score?
Will Jason Scotland ever score?

This isn’t going to be a full-blown match report (let’s face it, how often do I actually post one of those?) because the hustle and bustle of midweek life combined with the rapidly dwindling count of shopping days until Christmas has somewhat curtailed my usual period of post-match reflection. Nevertheless, lunch hour is here to rescue us all!

Prior to yesterday’s game, our friends from down Mersey way were digging themselves a big hole, and all talk was (and still is) of Benitez – should he stay or should he go? I haven’t an inkling either way: since I ain’t a Liverpool supporter I don’t feel at all qualified to give an opinion on the matter. Besides, plenty of other people have been doing that for me.

Whatever, going into last night’s game Liverpool would have accepted nothing more than three points. Yup, had they drawn they probably would have thrown their point back in the FA’s face and said ‘chew on that, sucker’. But the points were far from secure: recent results haven’t exactly been to fans’ liking, and you could see why in periods yesterday.

At times, the lack of that finishing touch was like watching Wigan, who didn’t have too bad a night themselves. Former Liverpool man Chris Kirkland turned out another sweet and sour performance, costing Latics the first goal and looking a little bit rickety in the first half, but redeeming himself with a couple of wonderful saves to keep his side in the game. So I suppose we can let him off – after all, he must still be dazed from the event which must not be named ever again.

Sorry to bring up that game once again, but it seems we’re destined never to forget it. Even when I’m old and wrinkly (in a couple of months’ time, if Latics’ season continues in the same vein) I fear I still won’t have heard the last of it.

And yes, one or two remnants of that game still reflected in Wigan’s performance. A period of Liverpool dominance led to their first goal, a deserved lead from the head of N’gog. He was relatively ineffective from that point onwards, but I guess he’d done the job he’d been put there to do. But Latics were undeterred, and continued to push forward – Paul Scharner headed a glorious opportunity into the waiting arms of Reina int’ Liverpool net. One or two more promising moves followed along with a couple of fortuitous reffing decisions, and Latics could well have taken a shock 1-1 scoreline into the half time break.

This back-and-forth play continued for much of the second period until about the seventieth minute, when Jason Scotland missed a gilt-edged opportunity to bag his first of the season. The question on everybody’s lips is simply ‘what has this guy done to cheese God off so badly?’ A goal there and then would have set up a cracking finish to the game, but as it transpired, Liverpool were soon two ahead thanks to a slightly sloppy piece of defending. Nothing new there then.

It was all but game over. Zoggers capped a lukewarm evening (well, he was marked by two men all night) with a pleasant goal from the edge of the penalty area, but that was in stoppage time and with only a couple of minutes to play there really was not enough time to complete the comeback. Typical stuff – Wigan always get a second wind in the last few minutes and it has led to the odd goal or two in recent times. Once again, though, it was nearly but not quite.

Latics always seem to grab an insignificant goal or two in a losing effort. This is more like the kind of thing I was expecting when Bob Martinez took over – more often than not we can score against anyone, it’s just a matter of keeping a clean sheet or at least getting one more than the other team. Things are at least going in the right direction – in fact I’m finding it hard to be negative about last night’s result.

In truth, I never expected anything from the match and the upcoming home games against Bolton and Blackburn are the important ones. Win those, and we can go into the match against Man United with some confidence. We’ll probably still lose, but it’s nice to know that you have that cushion from the bottom three anyway.

I urge you to get down there this Monday night and Boxing Day, and don’t forget to bring your silly costume!

3 thoughts on “Liverpool 2-1 Wigan: Thoughts

  1. As an LFC supporter, I thought Wigan were very poor last night (in fact as poor as any team visiting Anfield in the previous 3 seasons). Also worth noting LFC were not much better.

    Kirkland was the star man on the night, with 2 breathtaking saves. It is difficult for me to blame him for the opener when the other 10 latics all went into hibernation. Howerver, the 3 points is the important factor and we managed to seal those without too much resistance.

    Good luck to Wigan in your next games and hopefully we will see Bolton & Blackburn relegated !!!!

  2. Liverpool fan here.

    Good report and nice to see one set of fans who don’t feel the need to declare they knew all along Rafa was over-rated, even when he won the Champions League and ran Utd all the way to the end last season.

    In truth, I thouht Wigan were impressive last night. Their midfielders were very committed and I saw a little spark in Thomas that I think might go a long way.

    Liverpool should’ve mad the game safe long before the Torres strike but Kirkand made some excellent saves. He’s a top keeper when fit.

    Hope your boys have a good season. Wigan ways seem to play decent football and Martinez has stuck up for Rafa in the past.

  3. Deano: Wigan’s defending was cack at many points last night, thought we were a tad lucky to be in it for so long. Surprised Torres didn’t start (all the better for us, I guess) and I’d suggest it would have all been over by the end of the 1st half had he been on from the beginning.

    Reckon Pool deserved their win, but Latics put up a lot better performance than we have at Anfield in seasons past and could have snatched a point. That’s football for ya.

    Anon: As for Rafa, if he isn’t doing the business on a consistent basis then I guess it’s time to move on. I admire what he’s done for the club. I know he has a lot of fans for what he’s done… but as I’ve said I really shouldn’t comment 😉

    Thanks for the support, and if Liverpool can get out of this sticky patch I think they’ll be in a Champs League spot for next season… not before a lot of drama though!

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