Reds wounded by Wigan
Published 24/03/2012 | 17:22
Wigan's survival hopes received an unexpected boost as they recorded a 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory at Liverpool.
Wigan had not threatened Jose Reina's goal until just before the half hour when Reds defender Martin Skrtel, in trying to clear Jamie Carragher's aimless header, caught Victor Moses in the face.
Referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot and after a couple of minutes' delay for Moses to receive treatment Shaun Maloney tucked away the penalty.
Luis Suarez finally forced Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi into a save five minutes before half-time with a 25-yard curling effort.
Steven Gerrard and Suarez - Liverpool's two most reliable attacking forces - combined for the equaliser just two minutes after the restart.
Suarez moved the ball out to his captain on the right of the penalty area and continued his run to convert the return past Al Habsi.
Suarez should have doubled his tally in the 53rd minute but inexplicably punched the ball over the line from Skrtel's downward header when it when he was so close to the goal he could have let it hit him and it would probably have gone in.
The Reds paid in the 63rd minute when James McCarthy's shot from Andy Carroll's defensive header deflected off Jamie Carragher to Gary Caldwell, who showed composure not usually befitting a centre-back to sidestep Carroll and fire past Reina.
With seven minutes remaining 17-year-old reserve team prodigy Raheem Sterling, signed from QPR for £600,000 just over two years ago, was given his chance.
The youngster had one good run along the edge of the 18-yard box which almost set up a shooting opportunity but it was asking a lot for the teenager to have an impact on a game in which a number of his vastly more experienced team-mates failed to impose themselves.