Thursday 26 April 2018

Hodgson bemoans 'sloppy' reds

Wigan 1
Liverpool 1

Fernado Torres scored in last night's game against Wigan. Photo: Getty Images
Fernado Torres scored in last night's game against Wigan. Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson did not know whether to blame fatigue or complacency for his side's lacklustre display in last night's 1-1 draw with Wigan at the DW Stadium.

Despite having the advantage of an early goal from the in-form Fernando Torres, who hit his third in four days after scoring two against Chelsea on Sunday, the team began to crumble midway through the first half.

Wigan seized the initiative and spent the rest of the game pressing the visitors, leading to Hugo Rodallega's 52nd-minute equaliser.

Steven Gerrard hit the underside of the crossbar late on but the Latics were the ones who probably deserved the three points if there was going to be a winner.

Hodgson felt the Chelsea game had taken a lot out of his players - he named the same XI - but also thought they may have tried to take it easy.

"I thought there was an awful lot of sloppy passes and play that I don't expect from the quality of players we have," he said.

"If I'm kind I'll put it down to fatigue, if I'm not I'll put it down to a bit of lack of concentration which may have been as a result of the first 15 minutes being relatively comfortable for us.

"From the start of the second half we did everything we could to invite them back into the game and they were not slow to take advantage of it.

"Fortunately with the introduction of Christian Poulsen we were able to get more stability in the centre of midfield and push Steven Gerrard further forward.

"If we had scored that goal late on (when Gerrard's shot bounced down off the crossbar) it would have been very tough on Wigan."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was pleased with his side's performance once they got going.

"The first 15 minutes we were not in the game at all and we got heavily punished as you would expect against world-class players," he said.

"You have to give credit to Liverpool but it was self-inflicted. It was a clinical pass from Gerrard (to Torres) but you won't see him have three seconds on the ball in many games this season.

"But after that I was extremely pleased with the way we controlled the game, imposed ourselves and created chances.

"We got back into it with a very good goal from open play. I feel we were the better side and that pleases me a lot."

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