Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick as Liverpool thrashed Wigan and boosted their hopes of European qualification.

Brazil's Philippe Coutinho was integral to the first two goals, crossing for Stewart Downing to head in from close range before playing in Suarez, who slotted past keeper Ali Al Habsi.

The Uruguay forward made it 3-0 before the break with a deflected free-kick before he poked in his third.

Rodgers praises 'sensational' Reds

Emmerson Boyce and Franco Di Santo were denied by great saves from Pepe Reina.

Liverpool's Spanish keeper, renowned as a superb shot-stopper, excelled himself with a glorious clawed save to prevent Boyce's spectacular effort from finding the top corner before tipping over Di Santo's point-blank header.

Had either of those first-half efforts gone in, the Latics might have had hopes of fighting their way back into the match, but this was Liverpool's day as manager Brendan Rodgers saw his side follow up their 5-0 win over Swansea with an equally dominant victory at the DW Stadium.

Super Suarez

Luis Suarez has now scored more Premier League hat-tricks away from home than Alan Shearer (2). Only Owen (5) & Rooney (4) have more

The result leaves the Reds only five points behind fifth-placed Arsenal. The Gunners play their game in hand at Spurs on Sunday.

For their part, the hosts missed a chance to move clear of 18th-placed Aston Villa. Instead they remain a single point above the Midlands side, who are at home to Manchester City on Monday.

Downing began the rout with only his second league goal for Liverpool when he leapt to nod in from close range after a brilliant jinking run by Coutinho.

The South American pair of Coutinho and Suarez quickly established a good understanding and duly combined for the second goal.

Poor defending to blame - Martinez

The Brazilian caused panic among the home defence before stabbing a pass through to Suarez, who took the sting off the ball and slotted expertly past goalkeeper Al Habsi.

Seconds after the restart, more cracks began to show in the Wigan defence as team-mates Boyce and James McArthur squared up to each other after Suarez had been played in on goal following a poor backpass.

And the Latics day went from bad to worse when Suarez added a third when his free-kick came off the head of Shaun Maloney and crept inside the far post.

The Latics conceded the fourth shortly after the restart when England full-back Glen Johnson produced one of his trademark surges down the right and played in Suarez, who poked his shot through the legs of Al Habsi.

Any realistic hopes of revival had passed, but Wigan still created chances with Reina yet again coming to Liverpool's rescue - pushing away Paul Scharner's header and preventing Arouna Kone from getting a touch on a cross that flew across his goal.

Wigan woes

Wigan have conceded in all of their 14 home games in the Premier League this season

Liverpool's pressure eased in the last half-hour, and they created just one more opportunity when substitute Henderson had his header cleared off the line by James McCarthy.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers:

"This was a place that's been very difficult to win at - it's been a number of years.

"Roberto [Martinez] has done an outstanding job and everyone understands it's a very tricky place to come.

"Our defensive organisation was very good and we're very pleased to score goals. [Suarez] is a real pleasure to work with. Every week I stand talking superlatives, but his biggest attribute is humility. He never looks for a lazy day and is the first out on the training pitch every day, which is why he's so special to his team-mates.

"[Coutinho] is young but has played over 100 games and a lot of them have been at the top level. He owns the ball, he was born with the ball at his feet."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (4)

Wigan Athletic

  • 26 Al Habsi
  • 05 Caldwell Booked (Espinoza - 51' )
  • 17 Boyce
  • 31 Figueroa
  • 04 McCarthy
  • 10 Maloney
  • 16 McArthur Booked
  • 22 Beausejour (McManaman - 61' )
  • 33 Scharner
  • 02 Kone
  • 09 Di Santo (Alcaraz - 52' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Blazquez
  • 03 Alcaraz
  • 23 Stam
  • 14 Gomez
  • 18 Espinoza
  • 11 Henriquez
  • 15 McManaman

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina
  • 02 Johnson
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 05 Agger
  • 23 Carragher
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 10 Coutinho (Henderson - 70' )
  • 19 Downing
  • 21 Lucas Booked
  • 24 Allen Booked
  • 07 Suarez

Substitutes

  • 42 Gulacsi
  • 16 Coates
  • 47 Wisdom
  • 14 Henderson
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 11 Assaidi
  • 30 Suso
Ref: Atkinson
Att: 20,804

Match Stats

Shots

15 8

On target

11 7

Corners

4 3

Fouls

11 15

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:15 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +1:39

James McCarthy produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.

90:00 +1:30

Shaun Maloney produces a cross, clearance made by Jamie Carragher.

89:06

Corner taken by Callum McManaman from the right by-line, clearance made by Steven Gerrard.

87:17

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Blocked by Maynor Figueroa.

86:44

Joe Allen fouled by Paul Scharner, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.

86:03

The ball is swung over by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

84:06

Roger Espinoza challenges Joe Allen unfairly and gives away a free kick. Glen Johnson takes the free kick.

82:59

Arouna Kone gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Allen. Jose Reina takes the free kick.

82:16

The ball is delivered by Luis Suarez, clearance made by Paul Scharner.

79:20

Effort on goal by Steven Gerrard from just inside the area clears the crossbar.

77:55

Shaun Maloney takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.

77:45

The ball is sent over by Callum McManaman.

75:42

Arouna Kone takes a shot. Daniel Agger gets a block in.

75:23

A cross is delivered by Shaun Maloney.

73:22

Foul by Antolin Alcaraz on Stewart Downing, free kick awarded. Steven Gerrard takes the free kick.

71:46

Effort on goal by Maynor Figueroa from long range goes over the crossbar.

69:42 Substitution

Substitution Jordan Henderson is brought on as a substitute for Phillippe Coutinho.

66:25

The ball is swung over by Maynor Figueroa, Shaun Maloney takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.

65:16

Shaun Maloney fouled by Leiva Lucas, the ref awards a free kick. Shaun Maloney delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, clearance made by Jamie Carragher.

64:12

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Allen by Shaun Maloney. Leiva Lucas takes the free kick.

62:08

Corner taken short by Arouna Kone.

60:37

Emmerson Boyce restarts play with the free kick.

60:37 Substitution

Substitution Callum McManaman replaces Jean Beausejour.

60:37

Shaun Maloney fouled by Steven Gerrard, the ref awards a free kick.

59:46

The ball is sent over by Steven Gerrard, Paul Scharner manages to make a clearance.

58:20

Indirect free kick taken by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

58:20 Booking

Booking The referee cautions James McArthur for unsporting behaviour.

58:08

Free kick awarded for a foul by James McArthur on Phillippe Coutinho.

55:11

Arouna Kone concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Allen. Sanchez Jose Enrique takes the free kick.

54:30

Jean Beausejour crosses the ball, Daniel Agger manages to make a clearance.

53:23

Joe Allen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jean Beausejour. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Maynor Figueroa.

50:56 Substitution

Substitution Antolin Alcaraz replaces Franco Di Santo.

50:56 Substitution

Substitution Gary Caldwell goes off and Roger Espinoza comes on.

48:13

The assist for the goal came from Glen Johnson.

48:13 Goal scored

Goal! - Luis Suarez - Wigan 0 - 4 Liverpool Luis Suarez finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Wigan 0-4 Liverpool.

47:00

A cross is delivered by James McCarthy, Jose Reina makes a comfortable save.

46:21

Joe Allen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +3:13 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

45:00 +2:04

Strike comes in from Jean Beausejour from the free kick, Jose Reina makes a save.

45:00 +2:04 Booking

Booking Leiva Lucas is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

45:00 +1:51

Unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney by Leiva Lucas results in a free kick.

45:00 +0:46

Luis Suarez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Franco Di Santo. Free kick taken by Paul Scharner.

44:38

Luis Suarez is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Gary Caldwell takes the indirect free kick.

43:18

James McArthur takes the free kick.

43:18 Booking

Booking Joe Allen goes into the book.

43:05

Shaun Maloney fouled by Joe Allen, the ref awards a free kick.

39:15

The assistant referee signals for offside against Luis Suarez. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.

38:34

Phillippe Coutinho concedes a free kick for a foul on Arouna Kone. James McArthur takes the free kick.

38:01

Luis Suarez takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.

36:42

Maynor Figueroa has an effort at goal from long range that goes wide left of the upright.

36:02

Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina. Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Jean Beausejour, Leiva Lucas manages to make a clearance.

34:09

Leiva Lucas takes the indirect free kick.

34:09 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Gary Caldwell for unsporting behaviour.

34:03

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Phillippe Coutinho by Gary Caldwell.

33:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Luis Suarez - Wigan 0 - 3 Liverpool Luis Suarez hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from long distance to the bottom right corner of the goal. Wigan 0-3 Liverpool.

31:51

Gary Caldwell challenges Luis Suarez unfairly and gives away a free kick.

31:25

Unfair challenge on Leiva Lucas by Franco Di Santo results in a free kick. Steven Gerrard takes the indirect free kick.

30:43

The referee blows for offside against Luis Suarez. James McCarthy takes the indirect free kick.

29:42

Unfair challenge on Franco Di Santo by Leiva Lucas results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Scharner.

29:10

Jose Reina fouled by Franco Di Santo, the ref awards a free kick. Jose Reina takes the free kick.

27:33

James McCarthy produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.

28:25

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Jean Beausejour from the left by-line, Gary Caldwell takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.

27:30

Arouna Kone takes a shot. Daniel Agger gets a block in.

27:16

The ball is delivered by Emmerson Boyce.

24:45

Unfair challenge on Arouna Kone by Jamie Carragher results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Scharner.

21:36

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line, clearance made by Paul Scharner.

20:29

Steven Gerrard decides to take the corner short.

20:05

Effort on goal by Emmerson Boyce from 6 yards. Save by Jose Reina.

19:10

Leiva Lucas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney. Jean Beausejour delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, Daniel Agger makes a clearance.

17:06

The assist for the goal came from Phillippe Coutinho.

17:06 Goal scored

Goal! - Luis Suarez - Wigan 0 - 2 Liverpool Luis Suarez grabs a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wigan 0-2 Liverpool.

15:17

Foul by Leiva Lucas on Franco Di Santo, free kick awarded. Gary Caldwell takes the indirect free kick.

15:00

Stewart Downing takes a shot. James McCarthy gets a block in.

12:10

Glen Johnson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jean Beausejour. Jean Beausejour takes the free kick.

11:37

Jean Beausejour fouled by Stewart Downing, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Maynor Figueroa.

10:35

Emmerson Boyce takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.

8:24

The assistant referee flags for offside against Joe Allen. Ali Al Habsi restarts play with the free kick.

4:42

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney by Leiva Lucas. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.

1:41

Phillippe Coutinho provided the assist for the goal.

1:41 Goal scored

Goal! - Stewart Downing - Wigan 0 - 1 Liverpool Stewart Downing scores a headed goal from close range. Wigan 0-1 Liverpool.

0:35

Emmerson Boyce delivers the ball, Arouna Kone has an effort at goal. Save by Jose Reina.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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