Goal was 'a bonus'
By Ian Parkes - Daily Post Correspondent
Liverpool's match-winner at Wigan on Saturday, Sami
Hyypia, described his goal as "a bonus" as Liverpool ended
their away-day misery after two Barclays Premiership defeats
on the road in the past week, to Chelsea and Charlton.
Hyypia's volley on the half-hour mark was enough to give
Liverpool victort at the JJB Stadium on Saturday.
And Hyypia admitted it had been far from the complete
performance by Liverpool, saying: "We can obviously do
But he was delighted to get the win and on a personal note
to hit the only goal of the game.
"I go up to setpieces and I've waited to score a goal," he
"Of course my job is to keep clean sheets rather than score
goals, but goals are a bonus. And today it was with my left
foot as well."
Asked whether the goal should have stood, given Paul
Scharner fell under his challenge, Hyypia replied: "I think
somebody pushed me in the back and I may have pushed him a
little bit and he fell."
Hyypia's defensive team-mate Jamie Carragher claimed the
poor pitch made it hard for Liverpool to play constructive
"It's the same for them," he said.
"It's a battle. You've just got to hit the channels and get
the second ball.
"We had to get back on track and to get a win against Wigan
is a great result."
By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports
Robbie Fowler is happy with his progress after making his
first start for Liverpool since his return to the club.
The former Leeds and Manchester City man impressed during
his side's 1-0 win at Wigan on Saturday.
Fowler was delighted to get his first start at The JJB
Stadium and he is hoping to be the answer to Liverpool's
goalscoring problems in attack.
"It's been a long time since I started, but I felt I didn't
play too badly," said Fowler.
"Although I did tire, I was happy with what I put into the
"I've done my fair share of training, probably no more than
the rest of the lads in terms of quantity, but I have been
putting that extra in in terms of quality.
"I've felt sharp, although with me virtually not playing
since May, it was fairly obvious I was going to tire.
"But it was just great to be back, although I'm desperate to
get that first goal, and I'm confident in what I can do.
"If I'm not scoring and the team is winning, I'm very happy
with that, but as a forward you always want to score goals,
and I'm no different.
"The important thing was the win and the clean sheet because
we have been on a bit of a bad run.
"There had been a bit of a blip, and that's not down to
anyone in particular.
"Maybe the lads are tired with the run they've had, but the
three points are a boost.
"Thankfully that blip is behind us, and we have to look
has Jewell fuming
BBC Sport Online
Wigan boss Paul Jewell was left fuming by Henri Camara's
no-show that meant his side did not have a recognised
striker as they lost 1-0 to Liverpool.
Camara was scheduled to return to Wigan from Egypt on Friday
following African Cup of Nations duty with Senegal.
Jewell has no idea where Camara has been since Senegal's
third place play-off loss to Nigeria on Thursday.
The Latics boss said: "He was booked on a flight yesterday,
but I don't know what the situation is."
Jewell went on: "I am here to talk about people who gave
their all for Wigan Athletic and that's what those lads in
the dressing room did.
"We are not going to feel sorry for ourselves.
"We only had 15 players, and if Henri had turned up we would
had have 16, which led to us placing a kid from the youth
team on the bench.
"I am very disappointed with Henri, but again I only want to
talk about the people who are here and nobody else. You can
take from that what you want."
Rafa pleased with "important" win
By Mark Platt - LFC Official Website
Rafael Benitez spoke of his pleasure at seeing Liverpool
register their first Premiership win since mid-January but
admitted the performance against Wigan could have been
Sami Hyypia's first goal of the season on the half hour mark
was enough to secure all three points for the Reds in a
scrappy game at the JJB Stadium and end their mini-slump.
Benitez said: "Yes, this was an important win for us because
recent results have not been good. It's also important in
terms of our confidence and I think the players have today
got their just desserts because they have worked very hard
"It was a difficult game against a good team who played high
tempo football. The pitch did not help and some of our
players tired towards the end because of this. Sometimes it
was a problem keeping the ball and passing it but it was the
same for both sides.
"We were trying to play well and I think we were organised
throughout. At the start of the second half Wigan pressed
but we controlled most of the match. We showed character,
our movement was good but at times our final pass let us
Asked if he was surprised to see Hyypia's name on the
scoresheet, the Liverpool boss added: "No, it was not a
surprise because Sami has been known to score goals before.
I think the type of goal he scored was more of a surprise
because he normally scores with his head.
"It is good to see defenders getting forward. It gives us
more possibilities in attack. If the strikers can't score
then it's important that we can rely on other areas of the
team to provide goals."
Robbie Fowler started his first game in Liverpool colours
following his recent return to the club and Benitez
concluded his post-match press conference by revealing he
was impressed with Fowler's contribution.
"He (Fowler) did well and his understanding with Morientes
Hyypia ends Reds' away woes
By Tom Adams - Sky Sports
Liverpool ended their away-day woes with a 1-0 win over
Wigan, as Sami Hyypia brought a halt to a run of three
consecutive league defeats on the road.
However, it was a far from dominant display from the
European champions as their frontline failed again on what
was Robbie Fowler's first start for the club since his shock
It was left to Finnish defender Hyypia to seal the three
points with a first half finish, but Rafa Benitez's men had
to survive a determined second half display from The Latics
as they held on for the win that takes them to within three
points of Manchester United.
With the relative striking crises of the two sides it was
almost inevitable that the first half at The JJB Stadium
would be a largely joyless affair, a situation not helped by
the shocking state of the pitch, and it took a defender's
intervention to assist Liverpool's misfiring stars even on
the occasion of Fowler's full debut.
The Latics were also forced into employing a makeshift
strikeforce of Andreas Johansson and Paul Scharner with
Henri Camara and Jason Roberts unavailable, and their play
in the final third lacked cohesion as they frequently lost
possession in the early stages.
With Peter Crouch absent, Fowler took centre stage for The
Reds, and captain Steven Gerrard, passed fit for the tie,
frequently looked to find his Scouse colleague as he first
appealed for a handball when Stephane Henchoz blocked a
cross before getting too much on another pass for the
Harry Kewell also fed Fowler for a low header that Mike
Pollitt grasped at his near post, and the mission to get the
returning hero on the scoresheet looked to have got to
Gerrard as the normally potent Reds skipper opted to flick a
return ball to the striker rather than chance his own luck
on 22 minutes, and after creating the opening Fowler could
not complete it as Pollitt gathered gratefully.
Fittingly, given their recent goal-shy nature, it was a
defensive link-up that provided Liverpool with the opener on
the half hour mark, as Wigan failed to clear from a Gerrard
set-piece after former Liverpool man Henchoz saw yellow for
a dangerous challenge on Fernando Morientes.
As the ball rebounded outside the Wigan box Jamie Carragher
hooked a speculative pass over his head, and Hyypia found
himself perfectly situated to finish first time with an
angled shot that Pollitt got a slight hand to.
The Wigan shot-stopper could perhaps have done better, but
he continued to add to his growing reputation with seconds
ticking away in the first half when he showed impressive
reactions to palm away a close range effort from Morientes
after the Spaniard met a well-placed cross from the
The home side's best effort came when Reto Ziegler tried his
luck from range with a wayward effort, as The Latics
struggled to live up to their billing of surprise European
contenders against the European champions.
However, it was a markedly different matter after the break
as Wigan started the opening few minutes with more attacking
energy and verve than they showed in the previous 45.
Scharner had a header tipped over acrobatically by Jerzy
Dudek before the referee's assistant raised his flag, but
the Pole again had to look lively when turning over
Johansson's legitimate effort after an incisive cross from
The former Everton man, enjoying a rare run-out, nearly
turned provider in unlikely fashion as his cross was turned
towards his own net by Hyypia - although Dudek was down
smartly to save at his near post.
However, the visitors, rocked by Wigan's renewed aggression,
threatened again when a surging run from Gerrard saw the
Reds captain jump over two passes from Fowler and Morientes
- however when he did pick the ball up with a sight of goal
his drive was too close to Pollitt.
The right flank continued to prove productive for The Latics
as two Ziegler corners resulted in Arjan De Zeeuw heading at
goal - and the stopper should have scored with his second
after arriving unmarked in the box.
Yet more pressure from the home side forced Benitez's hand,
and Fowler's day was cut short when he and Morientes made
way for Jan Kromkamp and Djibril Cisse.
As The Reds continued to struggle in the final third they
again turned to Hyypia for inspiration as the towering
Finnish stopper rose to meet a corner on 79 minutes,
although his effort lacked power and Xabi Alonso was also
unable to stretch a leg to turn it past Pollitt.
Cisse also tested the Latics keeper in the closing stages as
The Reds managed to stifle the Wigan resistance and record a
much-needed away win.