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22:14 16th December 2009


N'Zogbia late goal gives hope but two-goal Liverpool hold on for win

Liverpool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
NGog 10', Torres 87'

Latics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
N'Zogbia 90'

Charles N'Zogbia set-up a grandstand finish at Anfield grabbing a late late goal to put pressure on the home side who ran out eventual winners thanks to goals from David Ngog and Fernando Torres.

Roberto Martinez's men gradually grew into the game and showed some excellent phases of flowing, positive football creating chances and asking plenty of questions of their opposition.

Jason Scotland again came close to his first Wigan Athletic goal, pouncing on a mistake from Pepe Reina from seven-yards, but vollying against the bar. It's the second time the wood-work has denied the Trinidad international, previously hitting the post against Sunderland.

But at that point the damage had already been done, Ngog beating Chris Kirkland to the ball after ten minutes to head home after a bright start from the home side that Latics did well to sustain initially. Titus Bramble was a solid performer again at the heart of defence doing well to provide cover for Maynor Figueroa and generally making the right decisions under pressure.

But when Fernando Torres entered the scene just after the hour-mark, the crowd lifted, a buzz sparked around the ground and it seemed almost inevitable that the Spaniard would add to the score-line.

He did so three minutes before the death, pouncing on Emmerson Boyce's back-ward header rounding Kirkland and forcing Bramble into an error to tap home and seal the game.

Martinez will be encouraged by his side's performance, they imposed themselves well during spells and created chances that, on another day, may well have led to goals.

Bolton on Monday now, and if Latics show the same confidence and take the same calculated risks it will make for an interesting encounter.

Liverpool: Reina, Agger, Gerard, Aurellio (Lucas 60), Benayoun (Aquilani81), Kuyt, Mascherano, Insua, Carragher, Ngog (Torres 64), Skrtel
Subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Darby, Dossena.

Bookings: Mascherano

Latics: Kirkland, Thomas, Scharner, N'Zogbia, Gomez (Koumas 82), Boyce, Bramble, Rodallega, Melchiot (c), Diame (Scotland 57), Figueroa.
Subs: Kingson, Cho, Sinclair, de Ridder, Amaya.

Bookings: Thomas

Referee: Phil Dowd
Assistants: R. Lewis, D. Coote
4th Official: S. Attwell.

Attendance: 41,116
    Data provided by Press Association