Luis Suarez continued with his blistering form this season, notching up three goals against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium to set up a commanding 4-0 win for the Reds on Saturday evening.
Stewart Downing got the visiting team off to a perfect start, heading the ball home in the second minute, before the Uruguayan international unleashed one of his best performances of the campaign securing an impressive hat-trick.
The Latics threatened to take the lead in the opening minute after an Emmerson Boyce cross found Arouna Kone totally unmarked inside the box. The striker though failed to control the ball.
Only seconds later, Liverpool newcomer Philippe Coutinho delivered a probing ball into the box which was met by the head of Stewart Downing to give the visitors the lead.
Soon, the hosts were staring at a two-goal deficit as Suarez put his signature on the game. The Liverpool ace was sent through on goal via an excellent through ball from Coutinho. And for a man who has single-handedly tormented defences this season, it was an easy opportunity to put away as he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper to double his side’s advantage.
Wigan almost pulled one back but were denied by a resolute Pepe Reina who palmed away a powerful volley from Boyce.
Things were soon to go from bad to worse for the home team as a moment of good fortune for Suarez allowed the Reds to claim the third goal.
The striker slipped in his follow-through from a 25-yard free-kick but his shot took a wicked deflection of Maloney, which was enough to beat Ali Al-Habsi at the right post.
Reina, desperate to keep back to back clean sheets, then denied Franco Di Santo from close range, as he showed strong reflexes to keep out an eight-yard header from the striker.
With the game virtually out of the Latics reach in the second period, Suarez’s 49th minute strike, which came after the 25-year old was sent one-on-one on goal by Glen Johnson, proved nothing more than icing on the cake for Brendan Rodgers’ men who safely saw out the remaining minutes to seal an emphatic 4-0 victory.
Suarez’s treble allowed him to overtake Robin van Persie to become the highest goal-scorer currently in the league. The Uruguayan now has 21 in the eagle this season. It also enabled him to become the first Liverpool player since Fernando Torres to score more than 20 league goals in a single season.
The win helped Liverpool climb one place up to seventh in the table. They now have 42 points from 28 matches, and remain in contention for Europa League places.
On the other hand, Wigan have got a relegation battle on their hands, as their tally of 24 points means they currently find themselves clear of the drop zone only on a better goal difference.
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