Liverpool are celebrating their first away win of the season in the Premiership after goals from Craig Bellamy (2), Dirk Kuyt and an own goal from Lee McCulloch gave them an emphatic 4-0 over Wigan Athletic at the JJB Stadium.

It’s the Reds’ biggest win of the season so far and one they thoroughly deserved after they put Paul Jewell’s side to the sword with all four goals in the opening 45 minutes. They were boosted by the return of Xabi Alonso and Craig Bellamy for this game and they got off to a great start when Bellamy gave them the lead in the 9th minute. It came when Riise’s long pass glanced off the head of Boyce; and Bellamy won his tussle with Jackson before closing in on Kirkland and finishing superbly from 12 yards. It carried on getting better for the Reds because Bellamy grabbed his second goal of the game and made it 2-0 in the 26th minute. Again Wigan couldn’t deal with the pace of the Welsh striker and again he finished brilliantly when this time Gerrard’s pass had put him one on one with Chris Kirkland. Rafa Benitez has always stressed the importance of scoring the first goal, especially away from home, so he must have been delighted to see his side go on and score the game’s first four goals to lead at 4-0 at half time. They made it 3-0 through Dirk Kuyt in the 40th minute when Bellamy turned provider to cross and give the Dutchman an easy chance at the far post. And it was 4-0 in the 44th minute when Lee McCulloch deflected the ball into his own net from Steven Gerrard’s cross. Liverpool didn’t have it all their own way in the first half though and it had taken two fine saves from Pepe Reina from first Scharner and then Heskey to keep Wigan out when the game was 2-0 and still in the balance. It would have been greedy after such a good first half to expect the goals to continue after the break, but Liverpool continued to control things and they were always a threat. And when Wigan did break through, they found their scoring touch missing when McCulloch, Cotterill and Wright missed easy chances. Steve Finnan almost made it 5-0 in 68th minute when his fierce right foot shot flashed just wide of a post, but the strong following of Reds behind that goal were already more than happy with what they’d seen. The Reds return to the scene of one of their most memorable venues on Tuesday night, Istanbul’s Ataturk Stadium, and they’ll be taking with them fond memories of Wigan’s JJB Stadium after this win.

Liverpool: Reina, Riise, Hyypia, Agger, Finnan, Garcia, Carragher, Alonso, Gerrard (captain), Bellamy, Kuyt. Subs – Dudek, Pennant, Guthrie, Paletta, Fowler

Wigan Athletic: Kirkland, Baines (captain), Boyce, Jackson, Hall, Skoko, Scharner, Kilbane, McCulloch, Heskey, Camara. Subs – Cotterill, Pollitt, Landzaat, Wright, Johansson

Referee: Mike Riley
Conditions: Cold
Attendance: 22,089

From the official site article

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