Wigan boost survival hopes as Liverpool falter
Wigan Athletic pulled four points clear of the relegation zone on Monday, as they beat Liverpool 1-0 to record their first league win since January, dpa reported.
Hugo Rodallega got the only goal of the game, as Liverpool remain sixth, a point behind Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth Champions League qualification slot.
It was a bad night for Rafa Benitez's side, which struggled to come to terms with a heavy pitch.
Fernando Torres volleyed against the post after eight minutes after Javier Macherano had headed a half-cleared corner back into the box.
It was Wigan, though, who looked the more threatening, with Charles N'Zogbia in excellent form on the flank.
Sure enough, it was the home side who went ahead in the 35th minute.
Dirk Kuyt lost possession to Emerson Boyce, who crossed for Rodallega to prod in his eighth league goal of the season.
Torres then headed a Maxi Rodriguez cross just over, but if Liverpool thought that was a sign they could mount a charge before half-time, a poor back-pass from Jamie Carragher that almost let in Marcelo Moreno disabused them.
The same pair almost combined to create a bizarre second for Wigan, Carragher clearing into Moreno, and the ball looping over Jose Reina, only to be cleared off the line by Sotiros Kyrgiakos.
Glen Johnson made his return to action after three months out with a knee injury, replacing the injured Lucas after 55 minutes.
His arrival seemed to encourage Steven Gerrard forward, and with Torres less isolated, he posed more of a threat.
Even then, though, Wigan were dangerous on the break, and Paul Scharner twice went close to settling the game in the space of a minute.
Torres volleyed wide late on, and as frustrations mounted both he and Gerrard were booked.