I thought QPR hurt, and it did. There is a definite difference though between the QPR game and this one. In the QPR game, we deserved to be 6-0 up. The play was fantastic, the players were putting on a spectacle to behold. Today, the players put on a debacle to behold. This was a lethargic, pathetic, ridiculous display. No one seemed to want it and Wigan were more than happy to take it. Even the Kop was infected. You could hear a pin drop at Anfield nearly the entire match.
Now granted the injury bug has finally bit Liverpool, but that can't be an excuse. United have put together a title bid with a solid starting XI in the physio's room. So where did it all go wrong? What happened? Honestly, I have no idea. There were chances that we passed away instead of taking. I don't know when Liverpool became a team that passes so much, but doesn't shoot, but overall the effort was lazy.
QPR hurt because it was the emotional roller coaster ride that is football, and in the end, it felt unjust. This hurts because the players simply didn't care. That is all we ask for. Even though the goals have not been flying in all season, the effort has been there and the chances have been created...until now. I'm done.
As for Kenny's excuse of fatigue, cry me a river. You had a chance to let a youngster or two get a run out to rest some players in games against relegation threatened sides. You didn't Kenny, you failed to manage the players properly during this tough month. It happens, but own up to it.
On another not, I normally love Lee Mason as a referee, but some of the decisions during the game were poor or inconsistent. He and his crew had a bad day. I don't blame anything that happened on him, but he wasn't his usual self.
On to the ratings:
Reina - 6 - Stranded again on both goals by his defense. One a PK, the other a fortunate deflection.
Enrique - 6 - He didn't get forward as well as usual, but he did defend well. Nothing back there was his fault this time.
Carragher - 5 - Could have done better with the clearance on the play that led to the penalty. Also was responsible for the deflection that took the ball to a waiting Caldwell.
Skrtel - 6 - Well other than nearly kicking Moses' head off, he was ok. He seems to need Agger. They are apparently Liverpool's Ace and Gary.
Flanagan - 7 - I was impressed. He ran his socks off and had a couple of crunching tackles. He also bombed down the flanks in an attempt to light some offensive spark. He showed that he was more than worthy of a call up to give some of the players a rest quite a while ago.
Downing - 5 - I'm not quite sure why he was subbed. His passing was a bit poor, but of the regular starting midfielders, he seemed the only one ready to provide anything and put in a true shift. He has started to drift into the center of the park in the last two games like Maxi. I don't know if Kenny has told him to, or he is doing it on his own. Also, he had a couple of decent crosses, but no one was there...story of the season.
Henderson - 3 - Absolutely awful. He has completely regressed. He was responsible for the first goal because it was his poor clearance that went back into the box. He just had no idea what he was doing out there. To think we could have had Juan Mata for the price we paid for him makes me ill.
Gerrard - 6 - Nice passing on the goal with Suarez. Did his best, but it is a team sport and one man can't carry 10 others.
Spearing - 7 - Another one of the few who earned their paycheck. He was all over the place again harassing and tackling. It seemed like his passing was a bit better as well this game. I would like to see him take his space every once in a while and push forward.
Kuyt - 5 - Not good. He looked lost and off the pace. He didn't get forward like I would have expected either. He would have been better served starting alongside Suarez up top.
Suarez - 7 - He also earned his keep. I have no idea where he has the energy. Oh yeah, it was his 9 match ban. Anyways, his goal was well taken and he had that beauty of a shot from outside the box in the first half. I think he needs to take more long range efforts. Almost put the Reds ahead before it was ruled out, I think the yellow was a bit harsh though.
Carroll - 5 - Same old story. One nice flick to Suarez, other than that he wasn't great. We also know why he doesn't play defense. He horribly over-committed on Wigan's second goal. All he really needed to do was stand between his man and the goal to buy a few seconds for help to arrive. I would much rather have Peter Crouch back. Carroll's vision is very poor and he doesn't anticipate the game at all. He is a bruiser, and will never fit in here. It sucks, but I think it is very apparent at this stage. Even Kenny knows, with all the games being played in rapid succession Carroll still can't get a start.
Shelvey - 4 - He came on, gave the ball away a couple times and fouled in stupid situations. Poor.
Sterling - 7 - He didn't have much time, but look at the energy he brought to the game. It was what Liverpool needed after Wigan's second, not 5 minutes from full time. He should be playing. Period. Now that the season is gone, let's see what he and Eccleston and co can offer.