Luis Suarez produced another virtuoso display as Liverpool cruised to victory over Wigan and recorded an overdue second home league win of the season.
The Uruguayan scored twice as Liverpool turned on the style during a rampant second-half performance to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches.
"Liverpool back on track at Anfield. Three second-half goals defeating Roberto Martinez's men, with Jose Enrique rounding things off with his first Premier League goal. But Luis Suarez was yet again Liverpool's inspiration. After a stodgy opening 45 minutes, Brendan Rodgers was happy to see his side recover their poise and fluidity and pick up three welcome points to push them towards the top half of the table."
Jose Enrique added a third but this was Suarez's day. After moving to the top of the Premier League scoring charts with his ninth and 10th goals of the season, he left the field to a standing ovation five minutes from time.
Wigan offered little after a promising opening 45 minutes and suffered a further setback when it emerged Ben Watson had broken his leg after an innocuous first-half challenge with Raheem Sterling.
The 17-year-old England winger was a key factor in Liverpool's resurgence, as was an energetic performance from substitute Jordan Henderson.
The performances of those players allowed Reds boss Brendan Rodgers to deny that Suarez is carrying his side this season but having accounted for 10 of Liverpool's 17 league goals this campaign, he appears to be thriving on the responsibility.
The striker, though, could face scrutiny for the wrong reasons after Wigan manager Roberto Martinez accused him of stamping on Latics midfielder David Jones.
Convincing home wins have been collectors' items for Liverpool in 2012, with league games at Anfield becoming a test of patience for the fans.
For 45 minutes it seemed this game would go the same way. Chances came and went, while the groans and jeers of frustration built in the stands along with a familiar sense of unease.
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner, making a rare appearance in the Anfield directors' box, may well have had a sense of deja vu as he watched Rodgers' side zip the ball around without ever really troubling the visitors.
After 36 minutes, Rodgers had seen enough and replaced Suso with Henderson in order to push Steven Gerrard into a more advanced role.
The possession football played by both sides was full of pretty patterns but devoid of penetration. Liverpool went into the break having only tested Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi twice, through Suso's rasping left-foot shot and a Daniel Agger header.
Suarez's scoring streak
Suarez is the first Liverpool player to score in four consecutive Premier League matches since Dirk Kuyt in April/May 2011.
But, having done so well, Wigan fell apart in 20 second-half minutes.
If the individual brilliance of Suarez and Sterling had been absent before the break it was certainly in evidence within two minutes of the restart.
A poorly placed pass by Jean Beausejour set Sterling racing onto the loose ball. The England winger skipped beyond Maynor Figueroa and paused before picking out Suarez with a composed and clever cut-back that the Uruguayan sent high into the net.
It was a goal that simultaneously relieved the growing tension and energised this struggling Liverpool side. The red shirts were pouring forward now, chasing lost causes and snapping into every tackle.
Enrique, pushed into a more advanced role down the left, was at the forefront of the resurgence and it was the Spaniard who created a second goal 11 minutes after the first with a precise through ball for Suarez.
The striker bent his run between the Wigan defenders and nipped in before Al-Habsi to poke the ball past him into the net.
Chasing a hat-trick, the Uruguayan was involved in everything now and twice more went close before playing his part in Liverpool's third goal. He exchanged passes with 17-year-old Sterling, whose shot was parried by Al-Habsi allowing Enrique to poke in.
Gary Caldwell was booked as Wigan expressed their fury at the way the goal came about having seen a throw-in that should have gone their way awarded to Liverpool.
Martinez would later claim that Suarez was the main difference between the sides, but in the end Liverpool won at a canter.
- 25 Reina
- 02 Johnson
- 03 Jose Enrique
- 05 Agger (Carragher - 82' )
- 37 Skrtel
- 47 Wisdom
- 08 Gerrard
- 24 Allen
- 31 Sterling
- 07 Suarez (Shelvey - 87' )
- 30 Suso (Henderson - 36' )
- 01 Jones
- 16 Coates
- 23 Carragher
- 04 Sahin
- 10 Cole
- 14 Henderson
- 33 Shelvey
- 26 Al Habsi
- 05 Caldwell Booked (Gomez - 69' )
- 17 Boyce
- 21 Ramis
- 31 Figueroa Booked
- 04 McCarthy
- 08 Watson (Jones - 32' )
- 10 Maloney
- 22 Beausejour
- 02 Kone
- 09 Di Santo Booked (Miyaichi - 69' )
- 12 Pollitt
- 23 Stam
- 06 Jones
- 14 Gomez
- 15 McManaman
- 19 Boselli
- 32 Miyaichi
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +2:45
A cross is delivered by Sanchez Jose Enrique, clearance made by Maynor Figueroa.90:00 +2:35
Sanchez Jose Enrique produces a cross, save by Ali Al Habsi.90:00 +2:07
Jean Beausejour crosses the ball.90:00 +0:01
Jonjo Shelvey takes a shot. Comfortable save by Ali Al Habsi.88:30
Corner taken short by Jean Beausejour. David Jones takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.86:28 Substitution
Substitution Luis Suarez goes off and Jonjo Shelvey comes on.85:29
Jordi Gomez produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target.84:29
Shot from long distance by James McCarthy misses to the right of the goal.81:05 Substitution
Substitution Jamie Carragher comes on in place of Daniel Agger.81:05
Luis Suarez has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.79:22
The offside flag is raised against Ryo Miyaichi. Direct free kick taken by Glen Johnson.78:58
Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Maynor Figueroa gets a block in.78:39
Short corner worked by Raheem Sterling.78:29
Andre Wisdom produces a cross, Maynor Figueroa makes a clearance.78:13
A cross is delivered by Raheem Sterling, clearance by James McCarthy.77:21
A cross is delivered by Jean Beausejour, Sanchez Jose Enrique makes a clearance.76:12
Glen Johnson has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.74:58
The official flags Arouna Kone offside. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.74:03
Short corner taken by Jordi Gomez. Jordi Gomez crosses the ball, save made by Jose Reina.
The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Maynor Figueroa.70:23
Jordi Gomez produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.68:34 Substitution
Substitution Ryo Miyaichi on for Franco Di Santo.68:34 Substitution
Substitution Jordi Gomez replaces Gary Caldwell.68:10
The ball is crossed by Sanchez Jose Enrique, save made by Ali Al Habsi.67:54
Arouna Kone challenges Daniel Agger unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Glen Johnson.67:31
Shot from deep inside the area by Jordan Henderson clears the crossbar.65:55 Booking
Booking Gary Caldwell is shown a yellow card.65:09 Booking
Booking The referee shows Franco Di Santo a yellow card for dissent.64:57
Raheem Sterling provided the assist for the goal.64:57 Goal scored
Goal! - Sanchez Jose Enrique - Liverpool 3 - 0 Wigan Sanchez Jose Enrique grabs a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Liverpool 3-0 Wigan.64:47
Raheem Sterling has an effort at goal. Save by Ali Al Habsi.62:15
Luis Suarez takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Caldwell. Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line, Shaun Maloney makes a clearance.61:03
Shot by Luis Suarez.58:57
Glen Johnson fouled by Arouna Kone, the ref awards a free kick. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.57:43
Assist by Sanchez Jose Enrique.57:43 Goal scored
Goal! - Luis Suarez - Liverpool 2 - 0 Wigan A goal is scored by Luis Suarez from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 2-0 Wigan.56:16
Corner taken by David Jones from the right by-line, save by Jose Reina. The ball is sent over by Jean Beausejour, Martin Skrtel makes a clearance.55:30
Shot from outside the box by Jordan Henderson misses to the left of the goal.55:21
The ball is crossed by Raheem Sterling, Gary Caldwell makes a clearance.54:41
Shot from 25 yards from Franco Di Santo. Comfortable save by Jose Reina.53:54
A cross is delivered by Glen Johnson, Gary Caldwell manages to make a clearance.51:12
Unfair challenge on Luis Suarez by Ivan Ramis results in a free kick. Joe Allen restarts play with the free kick.48:28
David Jones concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Allen. Direct free kick taken by Joe Allen.47:49
Unfair challenge on James McCarthy by Steven Gerrard results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Maynor Figueroa.46:43
Assist on the goal came from Raheem Sterling.46:43 Goal scored
Goal! - Luis Suarez - Liverpool 1 - 0 Wigan Luis Suarez finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-0 Wigan.46:00
Ivan Ramis gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Gerrard. Direct free kick taken by Glen Johnson.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:00 +4:25 Half time
Half Time It is the end of the first-half.45:00 +3:58
Raheem Sterling gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jean Beausejour. Maynor Figueroa takes the direct free kick.45:00 +3:11
Free kick awarded for a foul by Andre Wisdom on Franco Di Santo. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.45:00 +2:58
Daniel Agger takes a shot. Gary Caldwell gets a block in.45:00 +2:07
Corner taken by Luis Suarez from the right by-line to the near post, David Jones makes a clearance.45:00 +1:47
Steven Gerrard decides to take a short corner.45:00 +1:37
Sanchez Jose Enrique produces a cross, clearance made by Gary Caldwell.45:00 +0:17
Shaun Maloney concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Allen. Martin Skrtel takes the direct free kick.43:19
The ball is sent over by Luis Suarez, save by Ali Al Habsi.39:16
Steven Gerrard produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.38:10
Andre Wisdom takes the free kick.38:10 Booking
Booking Maynor Figueroa is cautioned.38:04
Maynor Figueroa challenges Raheem Sterling unfairly and gives away a free kick.37:01
Jean Beausejour concedes a free kick for a foul on Raheem Sterling. Joe Allen takes the direct free kick.34:24 Substitution
Substitution Jordan Henderson replaces Jesus Fernandez Saez.34:24
Foul by James McCarthy on Luis Suarez, free kick awarded. Luis Suarez has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.32:19
Daniel Agger challenges Franco Di Santo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Maynor Figueroa from the free kick.30:43 Substitution
Substitution David Jones replaces Ben Watson.30:43
Centre by Glen Johnson, Header from deep inside the area by Jesus Fernandez Saez goes harmlessly over the crossbar.24:48
Ben Watson fouled by Raheem Sterling, the ref awards a free kick. Ivan Ramis produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, blocked by Steven Gerrard. Corner taken by Shaun Maloney from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Martin Skrtel.24:20
Corner from the left by-line taken by Jean Beausejour, clearance by Martin Skrtel.23:47
Steven Gerrard challenges Jean Beausejour unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Ben Watson from left wing, clearance made by Daniel Agger.22:35
Shot by Jesus Fernandez Saez. Ali Al Habsi gets a block in. Jesus Fernandez Saez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James McCarthy. Free kick taken by Maynor Figueroa.21:39
Drilled right-footed shot by Glen Johnson. Ben Watson gets a block in. Corner taken by Steven Gerrard played to the near post, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Daniel Agger goes harmlessly over the crossbar.20:37
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Jesus Fernandez Saez played to the near post, James McCarthy manages to make a clearance.19:15
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jesus Fernandez Saez by Maynor Figueroa. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Gerrard from right wing, James McCarthy manages to make a clearance.18:46
Raheem Sterling produces a cross, clearance made by Ivan Ramis.18:22
Shot from 30 yards by Arouna Kone. Jose Reina makes a save.17:41
Outswinging corner taken by Jesus Fernandez Saez, Ivan Ramis makes a clearance.17:00
Steven Gerrard produces a cross, clearance made by Gary Caldwell.13:55
Shot by Ben Watson from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.11:18
Luis Suarez takes a shot. Gary Caldwell gets a block in. Joe Allen challenges Shaun Maloney unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.9:34
Corner taken left-footed by Jesus Fernandez Saez to the near post, James McCarthy makes a clearance.8:58
Steven Gerrard takes the inswinging corner, Franco Di Santo manages to make a clearance.7:27
Maynor Figueroa fouled by Luis Suarez, the ref awards a free kick. Gary Caldwell takes the direct free kick.6:30
Jesus Fernandez Saez takes a shot from 18 yards. Blocked by Gary Caldwell.5:17
Arouna Kone challenges Daniel Agger unfairly and gives away a free kick. Glen Johnson takes the free kick.4:37
Sanchez Jose Enrique has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.2:06
Raheem Sterling takes a short corner.0:00
The match gets underway.
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