Dutchman Dirk Kuyt gave Liverpool a comfortable win and confirmed Champions League football at Anfield next season just days before their crucial semi final in this year’s competition.
Kuyt opened the scoring against relegation threatened Wigan on 29 minutes, heading in Jermaine Pennant’s cross from the left as keeper John Filan came to claim the cross.
Kuyt’s second was a clever turn and finish after good work by Riise and Bellamy down the left.
Two home games in a week, two 2-0 wins with Stevie Gerrard and Kuyt grabbing the brace in each sets Rafa Benitez’s side up perfectly for Chelsea on Wednesday.
Full Match Report by Chris Wellman, TIA
LIVERPOOL confirmed Champions League football for another year, when they cruised to victory over a lacklustre Wigan on Saturday.
The ease in which the three points were obtained, was as much down to the defensively minded attitude of our visitors who rarely offered more than token attacking intent as it was to Liverpool’s utter stranglehold on the game.
Still, the reds had to put on a professional display, and they duly delivered with a brace from Kuyt giving Liverpool a deserved win in their attempt to cement that third place in the Premiership.
It has been a long held belief, that Liverpool’s inability on occasions to break down so called lesser team’s defences when visiting Anfield, has impacted on our attempts to scale the Premiership Heights.
This could have been one of those such occasions, as the game had the feel of ‘end of season’ to it, with Wigan’s philosphy one of containment.
Happily, the reds exerted their dominance from the off and any thoughts that this could be one of those days, was quickly dispelled with a clinical and thorough display against a truly abject Wigan, who toiled in the spring sunshine.
Indeed the reds could afford the luxury of giving their talismanic leader Gerrard, a twenty minute run out as well as Agger and Bellamy, such was the one sided nature of this contest.
For a team fighting for their Premiership Survival, the visitors attitude was somewhat perplexing, and led you to believe, this was a ‘damage limitation’ exercise from Paul Jewell’s men.
From the off, they offered scant resistance, and the proceedings took on an air of a ‘training ground exercise’ as Liverpool were able to pass and move with freedom.
The only slight disappointments to arise from the day was, that we weren’t given more of a challenge in readiness for our epic encounter on wednesday. On the flip side though, we were able to ease our influential players through unscathed.
Also, it would have been nice to have added to our two goals and really put Wigan to the sword. However the combination of a lack of intensity in the match and Wigan defending in numbers somewhat prevented any additions to the scoreline, though you always felt that if we wanted to go up a gear, we would have won by a greater margin.
All things considered, each individual contributed in someway to this win, Kuyt looked lively and Bellamy’s eagerness to run the channels and link play was an enjoyable sight. The defence as per usual had that familiar solidity to it, that we have grown accustomed to.
One thing is for certain, we will have a far more willing opponent to contend with.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher (Agger 73), Hyypia, Riise, Pennant, Alonso, Zenden (Gerrard 70), Gonzalez, Kuyt, Crouch (Bellamy 63)
Subs Not Used: Dudek, Mascherano
Booked: Carragher, Alonso
Goals: Kuyt 30, 68
Wigan: Filan, Boyce, Jackson, De Zeeuw, Baines, Scharner, Taylor (Camara 46), Skoko, Landzaat (Aghahowa 70), Kilbane, Heskey (Folan 64)
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Granqvist
Booked: Scharner, De Zeeuw
Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire)