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Wigan 0-4 Liverpool
17.29 – Hello, and welcome to this evening’s liveblog. Here are the teams:
Wigan: Al Habsi, Kone, McCarthy, Caldwell (Capt), Di Santo, Maloney, McArthur, Boyce, Beausejour, Figueroa, Scharner.
Subs: Robles, Alcaraz, Henriquez, Gomez, McManaman, Espinoza, Stam.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Enrique, Agger, Carragher, Lucas, Allen, Gerrard, Downing, Coutinho, Suarez.
Subs: Gulacsi, Wisdom, Shelvey, Assaidi, Henderson, Coates, Suso.
17.33 – We’re underway…
17.36 – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!
17.38 – Coutinho makes an immediate impact. He beats Boyce all too easily and crosses to Downing, who heads home for a rare goal (2 mins).
Dreadful defending from Wigan, and Boyce in particular, but Liverpool won’t care.
17.45 – Liverpool have won nine, drawn two and lost one of their matches against teams in the bottom half of the league.
That record is on course to continue right now.
17.49 – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!
17.54 – Beautiful through ball from Coutinho to find Suarez.
The striker fools the keeper with a dummy, before slotting home easily (18 mins).
Is it game over already?
17.57 – Boyce almost responded immediately for Wigan, forcing Reina into a good stop from his menacing shot.
Himself and James McArthur are also involved in a shoving match. For a second, I thought it was going to turn into this:
YouTube credit: sub7AV
18.02 – Liverpool’s characteristic passing game gets them in trouble.
Joe Allen’s attempted passback goes straight out for a corner.
However, Caldwell’s header from the ensuing corner is straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.
18.05 – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!
18.07 – A Luis Suarez free-kick deflects off the head of Shaun Maloney and goes into the net (32 mins).
It’s a little cruel on Wigan, but Liverpool have undoubtedly been the superior side.
18.10 – Fantastic save from Reina, after it appears Figueroa can’t miss from a header from a Beausejour cross.
Wigan have had a few very good chances in this game.
18.20 – HALF-TIME: WIGAN 0-3 LIVERPOOL
18.35 – The second half has begun…
18.38 – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!
18.43 – Luis Suarez runs through on goal with surprising ease after good work from Glenn Johnson (49 mins).
He subsequently slots it through the goalkeeper’s legs for his third.
Suarez is the second player to score a hat-trick in this fixture. The first? None other than ‘Stan the man’ Staunton (h/t Jon Champion).
18.47 – So that’s killed off even the slightest bit of hope of Wigan getting something from this game.
The only real question remaining is how much they’ll win by.
18.57 – Wigan have at least been showing a bit of spirit in recent minutes.
Maloney’s header has just been parried away by Reina.
19.01 – The game’s tempo has reduced considerably since the first half.
With the game effectively over, it has the feel of a meaningless pre-season friendly.
Meanwhile, the impressive Coutinho has been replaced by Jordan Henderson.
The Brazilian looks like an astute purchase on today’s evidence.
19.05 – Here’s how Suarez completed his hat-trick:
YouTube credit: DreamHighlightsHD
19.09 – Maloney’s shot is palmed narrowly wide after a great run from substitute Callum McManaman.
Just over 10 minutes of misery left for Wigan to endure.
19.13 – It’s been another very good day at the office for this man:
(Clint Hughes/PA Wire/Press Association Images)
19.19 – It’s not often during a game that the away supporters comfortably sing louder than the home ones, but that has been the case today.
And as I type, James McCarthy’s goal-line clearance denies Liverpool a fifth, after Henderson’s header from a corner.
19.23 – FULL-TIME: WIGAN 0-4 LIVERPOOL
19.29 – So all in all, it was a thoroughly deserved victory for Liverpool.
Wigan’s performance was littered with defensive errors, and they never really played with the conviction of a side that believed they could win the game.
They came up against a side in top form though.
A Luis Suarez hat-trick took him to the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts, while Coutinh0 also looked hugely impressive.
The Brazilian set up the first two goals and on today’s evidence, seems to possess the midfield flair that Liverpool are sometimes accused of lacking.
19.30 – Right, that’s your lot from me.
Thanks for reading and commenting, and enjoy the rest of your weekends.