After The Match 


Liverpool-Wigan 3-0 (2-0)       03.12.05                              PL
Goals: Crouch (19 & 42), Garcia (70)
Team: Reina, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Warnock, Garcia,
Gerrard (c), Alonso, Kewell, Crouch, Morientes
Subs: Riise (Kewell 62), Hamann (Alonso 67), Cisse (Crouch 74)
Not used: Carson, Josemi
Yellow: Hyypia (84)              Chimbonda (73), Henchoz (82)
Red: None
Referee: U Rennie
Attendance: 44,098
Shots on target: 12-6
Shots off target: 4-4
Fouls conceded: 16-15
Corners: 11-6
Yellow: 1-2
HEADLINES "Everyone is delighted for Peter..."
    Rafael Benitez

0412: Rafa pleased with Crouch goals
0312: Crouch: It's great to have finally scored
0312: Crouch strike sinks Latics



At last - Crouch celebrates his goal.

Rafa pleased with Crouch goals

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Rafael Benitez says he is pleased for Peter Crouch after the England international scored his first goals for Liverpool yesterday.

Benitez said he was delighted Crouch finally broke his duck yesterday and added that the first goal should definitely be credited to Crouch rather than as an own goal.

Benitez said: "I'm pleased for Peter to get his two goals and he deserved them. The first goal is his. I was at a manager's meeting in Geneva recently with FIFA and we agreed that when a striker has a shot and it's deflected then it's the strikers goal.

"Everyone is delighted for Peter and the supporters showed him what they think of him. I hope he can now score more goals but as I said the most important thing is the team wins.

"We played very well against Wigan and we had three or four other clear opportunities to score. It's a pity we didn't score more and when you create the amount of chances we are then you need to score."

Crouch: It's great to have finally scored

By Mark Platt - LFC Official Website

Peter Crouch has spoken of his joy at finally breaking his barren run in front of goal for Liverpool and revealed that confidence in the camp is sky-high following a sixth successive Premiership win.

Crouch (pictured) netted twice in the first half as the Reds defeated Wigan 3-0 at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. He was understandably delighted afterwards and adamant that no-one will take his first strike away from him.

He said: "I had a big slice of luck with the first one obviously. It was on target but went a bit higher than I planned. If it goes to the dubious goals committee I'll be telling them that it's definitely mine.

"I am a buoyant person by nature but if I'm honest this goal drought as been getting me down at times. I've been getting a bit of stick lately but it's great to get the goals today and hopefully I can go on from here and score more.

"It was a good team performance and great to get the three points today. We are up to second now and playing well. The defence has kept another clean sheet and that makes our life easier up front. All of this give us confidence and bodes well for the future."

Crouch strike sinks Latics

By Stephen Bateman - Sky Sports

Peter Crouch ended his 24-hour long goal drought in style as Liverpool beat Wigan on Saturday.

The England striker netted his first goal since May 7 as The Reds recorded their sixth win on the bounce, while Wigan look to have finally been shaken from their dream Premiership start after registering their third consecutive defeat.

Luis Garcia sealed the three points for Liverpool, scoring his first top-flight goal at Anfield this season to make the final score 3-0.

Wigan started the game brightly, forcing two corners within the opening three minutes of the contest, although Liverpool always looked in control, with Steven Gerrard immediately stamping his authority on midfield.

The opening exchanges were keenly fought with neither side being prepared to give any quarter as they battled it out in their first ever league meeting.

After 11 minutes, the clock went full circle on Crouch as the seconds ticked away to herald the equivalent of a full day's play without finding the back of the net. Moments later, the goal-shy forward set about settling the score with his critics by way of the only currency that strikers recognise.

The rangy target man appeared to have finally opened his Liverpool account in controversial style with a deflected goal on 18 minutes when he broke from midfield before sending in a speculative effort from the edge of the area.

The ball took a wicked deflection off Latics skipper Arjan De Zeeuw, leaving Mike Pollitt stranded in no-man's land as he desperately back-peddled but ultimately succeeded only in palming the ball into his own net.

Ten minutes later a Gerrard cross bypassed everyone in the penalty area, forcing Pollitt to go down and make a smart save at the feet of Crouch. At the other end, De Zeeuw was unlucky to see his header graze the top of the crossbar after meeting a Jimmy Bullard corner.

Gerrard then gave full notice of his threat as an attacking force, taking two defenders out of play with his first touch before sending in a right-footed shot from the right-hand edge of the area.

Again, Pollitt did well to deny the Liverpool midfielder, although it seemed inevitable that more goals would follow.

After Sami Hyypia had headed narrowly wide, Fernando Morientes and Crouch got in the way of each other as they contested a corner, leaving the ball to fall to Harry Kewell - making just his second start of the Premiership campaign - at the back post.

The Australian will have been deeply disappointed with his finish, however, as he guided his shot tamely into the side-netting.

With debate still ranging about whether or not Crouch would be credited with the game's opening goal, an audible gasp echoed around Anfield when he sprang the Wigan offside trap four minutes later.

The former Spurs man kept his cool admirably as Pollitt rushed out to close the angle, calmly lifting the ball over him and into an empty net, much to the delight of an ecstatic Kop.

Wigan began the second half in a similarly upbeat style to the first, with Graham Kavanagh rocketing a shot inches over the Liverpool crossbar after Jason Roberts had done well to win a corner from Hyypia and Jamie Carragher.

In spite of the two-goal deficit, Wigan remained unbowed as they desperately sought a way back into the contest. With an hour gone, Bullard steered a shot just wide of the left-hand upright after more good work from Roberts in the Liverpool area.

But as Wigan pressed forward, Luis Garcia put the result beyond any shadow of a doubt. Morientes peeled away from his marker to power a header goalwards, allowing his compatriot the opportunity to nip in front of Pollitt and chest the ball beyond him.

Minutes later, Pollitt produced one of the saves of the season to deny Gerrard. The Liverpool skipper thundered in a close-range free kick, forcing Pollitt to leap full-length to his left, just managing to push the ball wide with the very tips of his fingers.

The former Rotherham shot-stopper was called into action again in the 82nd minute, denying Morientes with an outstanding double save.

Djibril Cisse, on as a second-half substitute, broke the offside trap before squaring to the unmarked Spaniard on the edge of the area. Morientes had clearly failed to count on Pollitt, however, as he nonchalantly looked to steer the ball past him.

After the big Wigan keeper had got his body in front of the initial shot, he then pounced on the rebound as the Liverpool forward tried to make amends for his earlier miss.

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Thor Zakariassen