Bellamy Double Ensures First Away Win
Wigan 0 - 4 LIVERPOOL
LIV - Bellamy (9min, 26min), Kuyt (40min), McCulloch (og 45min);
Liverpool finally got their first win away from home this season and did it in some style. Craig Bellamy, who was in some trouble recently, showed why Liverpool paid big bucks for him with a double, which is welcomed in the eyes of the fans, who were getting a little impatient with his no-show and poor form.
The score didn't flatter Liverpool much as they were in total control from start to end. But one will have to feel for Wigan, as they had chance after chance to score the consolation, but the finishing were poor. Reina had to pull off a couple of vital saves to keep the Red's second clean sheet away from home.
With the return of Alonso, Jamie Carragher was pushed back to play in the central defence along with Dan Agger and Sami Hyypia. The 5-3-2 tactic is now clearly favoured by Rafa Benitez, with Gerrard, Alonso and Garcia in the middle of the park.
Wigan, who were in top form at the moment, were taken aback by the pace at which Liverpool attacked, with Bellamy up top and Kuyt supporting. Bellamy pounced on terrible defensive header and went on to fire in the first.
Then Gerrard's excellent vision sets up Bellamy for the second as he finishes brilliantly again past former Reds keeper, Chris Kirkland.
With the momentum going, Liverpool went on in search of the third. With Wigan looking dangerous, Liverpool had to finish the game off fast and Dirk Kuyt provided just that with a calm and composed finish.
The third goal's build up was just brilliant. It started from Reina's throw to Gerrard who then passed it to Luis Garcia. His long ball then found marauding Gerrard, who chested the ball down, laid off to Bellamy, who unselfishly squared the ball for Kuyt to finish with the goal at his mercy.
Floodgates opened and Liverpool were unstoppable. The fourth goal took a slice of luck as Gerrard's cross went in off McCulloch's knees. He must be feeling really bad at the moment because previously, he failed to grab a golden chance presented to him after Reina was forced into a brilliant save from Paul Scharner's header.
Second half, Liverpool slowed down the pace of the game and Wigan never gave up. There were a few close shave with Wigan nearly getting the consolation on a few occasions but Lady Luck wasn't smiling at them for today and Liverpool finally broke the away day hoodoo.
Just like how Peter Crouch broke his scoring hoodoo last season against Wigan, Liverpool finally got the long awaited away win and begin to move up the table. A sensational performance from the Reds.
Drogballs' Thoughts: Finally, after some terrible luck over the past few months, we finally got what we deserved and it's true that all things balance up at the end of the day. We played well, controlled the game, were never in danger of losing the game. What pleases me was the drive of the players especially Gerrard, who had a tremendous game in the middle of the pitch, doing what he does best, playmaking.
He was the maker of almost all the goals. Pure vision and inspiration from the skipper. But not only he performed, the rest of the team did well also. Craig Bellamy finally justifying the price tag with a double. Good finish, great runs and would be gutted not to scored a hat trick.
Dirk Kuyt as usual, worked his arse off. He deserved that goal as well. That goal was well worked and seamless, just a pass and move goal initiated by none other than Steven Gerrard.
So finally, an away win for us. I'm well pleased with the efforts of the players and nice to see Paletta and Guthrie getting some experience on the field. I hope the team can finally overcome the fear of playing away from home and build up the confidnce.
A morale boosting win and a very important one indeed. At least we're moving in the right direction.
Reina - 8 - Vital saves. A very confident goalkeeper now. And another clean sheet for him.
Finnan - 7 - Defended well. Provided width.
Carragher - 8 - Some vital blocks and interceptions.
Hyypia - 7 - Handled Heskey well.
Agger - 7 - Did alright.
Riise - 8 - Put in a lot of dangerous crosses and made some good runs.
Alonso - 7 - Back form injury. Some good passes.
Gerrard - 9 - Set up Bellamy for his goals. Excellent vision and energy from the skipper.
Luis Garcia - 7 - Did alright.
Bellamy - 9 (MOM) - A double from the Welsh. Good finishing, composed and calm.
Kuyt - 8 - Worked hard up front and on the left wing. Scored a good goal.