Wigan vs Liverpool Player Ratings

It was a one sided affair at the DW Stadium as Liverpool eased past a mediocre Wigan side, emerging 4-0 victors with Philippe Coutinho stealing the limelight for all the right reasons.

The deflected free-kick...

It was an agonizing start for both sides as they did not have their passing boots on. An early goal from Stewart Downing gave the visiting crowd something to cheer about after he was at the end of a pin point cross from the new boy Philippe Coutinho, who had a splendid game. Sixteen minutes later, it was the Brazilian once again who fed Luis Suarez who calmly slotted the ball past a helpless Ali Al Habsi. It was all over for Wigan in the 34th minute when Suarez's free-kick took a slight deflection off Shaun Maloney's head and ended up in the back of the net.

Despite having a few golden opportunities of their own just before the break, Pepe Reina was ever present to ensure Wigan's goal tally remained at zero. The home side had no answers to the continual waves of Liverpool attack and Suarez eventually got his hat-trick in the 49th minute.

Wigan 

Ali Al Habsi - 3 
Wigan's defence were in shambles, and it didn't help that their keeper was slow to react to the balls coming into his penalty area. He was quite opposite to the man in the opposite goal, who put up a fine performance.

Gary Caldwell (52' off) - 4
He had to shoulder the responsibility for the first two goals conceded as he was too slack on the marking. He picked up a knock shortly after the restart and had to leave the pitch - or perhaps he was too traumatized by the Liverpool attack and had to excuse himself?

Maynor Figueroa - 6
Figueroa was probably the only defender who was up to mark for Wigan as he was up against the quiet Downing but could not cope when Johnson joined in the attack. 

Paul Scharner - 4 
A decent holding midfielder but when deployed in the central of defence it was as though he was non existent. He should have more urgency in clearing his lines and in ensuring Suarez was starved of the ball - both of which he failed miserably. 

James McCarthy - 5 
He had no chance against the rampant Liverpool midfielders and could not venture forward as much as he should have to aid his lone striker. 

James McArthur - 3
His distinct white mask and that little argument with his team mate Boyce were the highlights of his game. Apart from that, he could not pull the strings from midfield in yet another disappointing home game for Wigan.

Emmerson Boyce - 6
His sweet strike could have pulled a goal back after Wigan went two goals down but Reina managed to palm the ball to safety.

Jean Beausejour (61' off) - 6
The Chilean was the willing runner and created a few decent opportunities in the first half with pinpoint crosses. He had a brilliant free-kick saved by the Liverpool shot stopper seconds before the referee signalled for half time but faded away after the restart.

Franco Di Santo (52' off) - 6
Di Santo would probably be the man to unsettle the visiting team but he failed to bury his chances. There was no way past the on form Pepe Reina and could not even grab a consolation goal.

Shaun Maloney - 4 
He couldn't create anything from midfield and unfortunately had the last touch for Liverpool's third goal. He should have been the one replaced instead of Di Santo. 

Arouna Kone - 6
Kone screened Carragher off the ball successfully at the start but slowly dwindled away in the match as the quality of the balls targeted at him were utterly disappointing.

Substitutions

Antolin Alcaraz (52' on) - 5.5
Alcaraz came on and stuck to his task diligently, but it was all a matter of damage control as his side was already 4-0 down when he entered the field. 

Roger Espinoza (52' on) - 5 
Espinoza was eager to chase down the loose balls but could not provide that much needed spark to work Carragher and Agger. 

Callum McManaman (61' on) - 5.5
There was plenty of desire and energetic runs down the right from the youngster, but nothing much to show for as they could not even get a consolation goal. 


Liverpool 

Pepe Reina - 9 
There were a few moments of eccentricity from the Spaniard but his numerous reflex saves frustrated Wigan and completely deserved his clean sheet. Three thumbs up for the Spaniard.

Glen Johnson - 7
It was as though Liverpool had an extra man on the right as his marauding runs forward caused the already leaky Wigan defence problems but was never caught out of position himself.

Jose Enrique - 6
Unlike Johnson, the usually-adventurous full back kept his game simple and did not venture too far forward. He was guilty of losing his focus on a few occasions but there weren't anything too costly. 

Daniel Agger - 6
Agger stood around and watch all the action happening in front of him as the Wigan players barely had the luxury of bringing the ball so high up the pitch.

Jamie Carragher - 6.5
What he lacks in pace, he makes up with experience and read the game brilliantly. Kone barely had a sniff of the ball in the second half thanks to him.

Steven Gerrard - 7
The ever present Stevie G did not have to break a sweat. His cross field passes looked effortless in what seems to be an exhibition match for Liverpool.

Lucas - 7
The no nonsense tackles from the Brazilian killed off any form of service for Kone and linked up well with his attack minded players. In a side where everybody plays fancy football, players like Lucas tasked to do the dirty job don't usually get the credit they deserve.

Joe Allen - 6.5
Despite taking a while to get into the game, it was yet another typical Joe Allen performance. He almost never surrendered possession and passes from midfield always found his intended target.

Stewart Downing - 6.5
With only two minutes on the clock, Downing was the only man in the Wigan penalty box but was well placed to head the ball into an "empty" net as Al Habsi was left stranded when he should have made the ball his. 

Philippe Coutinho (70' off) - 8.5
Two top class assists in his second appearance in Liverpool colours. Showed great vision and creativity to involve his team mates in open play and had the tenacity to chase the ball down when his side did not have possession. He is definitely one to watch in the future.

Luis Suarez - 9.5
Suarez's work rate is remarkable and he is every defender's nightmare to play against - always lurking and ready to pounce if there was a defensive error. His clinical finishing, which is evident in all three of his goals is clearly an asset for Liverpool and he's up there in contention for the Premier League's Golden Boot.

Substitutions

Jordan Henderson (70' on) - 6.5
A much improved Henderson this season came on to freshen things up in the already dominated midfield area. He would probably have to get used to life on the bench if Coutinho can keep up such a spectacular display.



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