Ngog (right) is congratulated by Kuyt after his goal against Wigan
By Mandeep Sanghera
Liverpool relieved the pressure on manager Rafael Benitez with a morale-boosting victory over Wigan.
David Ngog's glanced header put the Reds ahead, although Liverpool missed several chances to add to their lead.
Jason Scotland volleyed against the crossbar for Wigan as he almost punished Liverpool's profligacy.
Fernando Torres tapped in at the second attempt to seal the win before Charles N'Zogbia scored an injury-time consolation strike for the visitors.
The victory was only Liverpool's fourth in the last 16 games and whether this will be a false dawn like the other wins remains to be seen.
But they moved up to sixth in the league courtesy of a much-needed three points and also marked a special occasion for the club with a determined performance.
Torres injury must be managed - Benitez
Liverpool were celebrating the 50th anniversary since former manager Bill Shankly took over at the club and earned legendary status during nearly 15 years in charge.
Shankly took the club from the old second division - the current Championship - and won three league titles, two FA Cups and a Uefa Cup as he kick-started a golden era in the club's history which saw the Reds go on to dominate in English football and in Europe.
Those memories are in stark contrast to the present team's struggles this season, although the Reds quickly took control against Wigan.
Liverpool were rewarded with a goal after nine minutes when Ngog glanced in a header from Fabio Aurelio's angled cross after ex-Reds keeper Chris Kirkland failed to punch the ball away.
But the Reds are fragile at the back and would have conceded an immediate equaliser had Paul Scharner been more precise with a free header which he could only steer straight at keeper Pepe Reina.
Benitez had insisted beforehand his players were better than their Champions League exit and lowly league position suggested and they were trying to back up his words with actions.
Ngog pulled a ball back for fellow striker Dirk Kuyt and he struck a true close-range shot which Kirkland did well to fend away for a corner.
Then with Wigan clinging on at times, French forward Ngog pounced and angled a drive wide of the far post, yet Liverpool could not get a second goal to give them some breathing space.
Kuyt had a shot blocked following a goalmouth scramble before he got on the end of another Ngog cross only to see his volley brilliantly tipped over by Kirkland.
Liverpool let a lead slip in their 2-1 defeat by Arsenal on Sunday and, even though they showed little sign of capitulating in similar fashion, the home contingent were becoming anxious as the Reds tried to add to their slender lead.
Agger missed a header from a Steven Gerrard corner to add to their supporters worries and those concerns almost turned to despair when Scotland somehow missed a glorious chance.
Wigan deserved something at Anfield - Martinez
Reina failed to punch away a free-kick as he went up with Scharner and Hugo Rodallega, and when the ball fell for Scotland, he could only volley against the crossbar from eight yards.
Wigan kept Liverpool on their guard moments later as Rodallega had a free header blocked but Torres finally relieved the pressure when he scored on his 100th appearance for Liverpool.
He burst clear on the Wigan goal, rounded keeper Kirkland and, despite his initial shot being blocked by Titus Bramble, the Spanish striker picked up the loose ball and tapped in for his 61st goal for the Merseysiders.
N'Zogbia cut across the Liverpool box and fired in a low strike with two minutes to go but the home side held on.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez: "We needed to win - that was the most important thing. After the last defeat (to Arsenal) we needed to get three points.
"We had some chances and could have scored the second goal earlier and changed everything.
"In the end, we couldn't and conceded a goal in the last minutes. We were then a little bit nervous but we won."
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez: "The key moment is when Jason Scotland hit the crossbar.
"If that had gone in it would have been a different game as you could sense the anxiety around the ground.
"We gave them a little bit too much respect in spells and the concentration was not what it should be."
90:00+4:19 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
90:00+3:28 Jason Koumas challenges Javier Mascherano unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Martin Skrtel.
90:00+1:05 Hugo Rodallega provided the assist for the goal.
90:00+1:05 GOAL - Charles N'Zogbia:Liverpool 2 - 1 Wigan Charles N'Zogbia fires in a goal from just inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 2-1 Wigan.
89:49 Corner taken right-footed by Leiva Lucas to the near post, Martin Skrtel takes a shot. Maynor Figueroa gets a block in.
86:55 Foul by Titus Bramble on Fernando Torres, free kick awarded. Strike on goal comes in from Steven Gerrard from the free kick.
86:30 Alberto Aquilani takes a shot. Save made by Chris Kirkland.
86:23 Fernando Torres produces a cross, clearance by Emmerson Boyce.
85:23 Unfair challenge on Hendry Thomas by Alberto Aquilani results in a free kick. Hendry Thomas restarts play with the free kick.
84:45 Javier Mascherano takes the free kick.
84:45 Booking Hendry Thomas receives a yellow card.
84:31 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hendry Thomas on Alberto Aquilani.
83:06 A cross is delivered by Jason Koumas.
81:25 Free kick crossed right-footed by Jason Koumas.
81:25 Substitution Jordi Gomez goes off and Jason Koumas comes on.
81:25 Martin Skrtel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jordi Gomez.
80:28 Corner taken right-footed by Leiva Lucas from the left by-line, Paul Scharner makes a clearance.
80:28 Substitution Alberto Aquilani is brought on as a substitute for Yossi Benayoun.
80:11 Dirk Kuyt produces a cross, clearance by Mario Melchiot.
78:28 GOAL - Fernando Torres:Liverpool 2 - 0 Wigan Fernando Torres scores a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Liverpool 2-0 Wigan.
77:35 Shot from outside the box by Charles N'Zogbia misses to the left of the goal.
77:12 The ball is delivered by Mario Melchiot, Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Steven Gerrard gets a block in.
76:34 Jordi Gomez takes the free kick.
76:34 Booking The referee books Javier Mascherano for unsporting behaviour.
75:43 Unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia by Javier Mascherano results in a free kick.
75:30 Fernando Torres sends in a cross, clearance by Titus Bramble.
75:24 The ball is swung over by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Emmerson Boyce.
74:51 Leiva Lucas takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Paul Scharner.
74:42 The ball is delivered by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Chris Kirkland.
73:16 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia by Yossi Benayoun. Charles N'Zogbia sends in a cross, Jason
Scotland takes a shot.
72:21 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jordi Gomez by Dirk Kuyt. Free kick taken by Titus Bramble.
72:06 The ball is crossed by Emiliano Insua, Emmerson Boyce manages to make a clearance.
70:53 Unfair challenge on Daniel Agger by Paul Scharner results in a free kick. Javier Mascherano restarts play with the free kick.
70:07 Charles N'Zogbia challenges Javier Mascherano unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Jose Reina.
67:10 A cross is delivered by Mario Melchiot, save by Jose Reina.
67:04 Maynor Figueroa produces a cross.
65:55 Unfair challenge on Chris Kirkland by Dirk Kuyt results in a free kick. Chris Kirkland restarts play with the free kick.
65:26 Inswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line, save by Chris Kirkland.
64:48 Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Titus Bramble.
64:11 Steven Gerrard takes a outswinging corner.
63:23 Substitution Fernando Torres comes on in place of David Ngog.
62:44 Jason Scotland has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
61:50 David Ngog is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Chris Kirkland.
61:05 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jordi Gomez on Leiva Lucas. Indirect free kick taken by Daniel Agger.
59:53 Substitution Leiva Lucas on for Fabio Aurelio.
59:36 Steven Gerrard sends in a cross.
57:39 Substitution Mohamed Diame leaves the field to be replaced by Jason Scotland.
56:59 Free kick awarded for a foul by Emiliano Insua on Jordi Gomez. Jordi Gomez restarts play with the free kick.
56:36 The ball is delivered by Dirk Kuyt, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
52:29 Effort on goal by Javier Mascherano from long distance goes over the crossbar.
52:10 Fabio Aurelio delivers the ball, clearance made by Maynor Figueroa.
50:51 Corner from the right by-line taken by Fabio Aurelio, clearance by Paul Scharner.
Correction - 50:33 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Chris Kirkland makes a save.
50:33 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Save made by Chris Kirkland.
50:00 Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.
49:04 Fabio Aurelio takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Emmerson Boyce makes a clearance.
48:54 The ball is sent over by Fabio Aurelio, clearance made by Maynor Figueroa.
45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
45:00+4:10 The half-time whistle blows.
45:00+3:31 Mario Melchiot sends in a cross.
45:00+3:05 Foul by David Ngog on Jordi Gomez, free kick awarded. Jordi Gomez takes the free kick.
44:58 Free kick awarded for a foul by Javier Mascherano on Mohamed Diame. Free kick crossed right-footed by Hugo Rodallega from
left wing, clearance by Dirk Kuyt.
43:39 Effort on goal by David Ngog from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
42:41 Centre by Fabio Aurelio.
41:51 Steven Gerrard takes the inswinging corner, Chris Kirkland makes a save.
Correction - 41:34 The ball is delivered by Emiliano Insua, Jordi Gomez makes a clearance.
41:34 Emiliano Insua sends in a cross, Emmerson Boyce makes a clearance.
34:04 Unfair challenge on Maynor Figueroa by Javier Mascherano results in a free kick. Charles N'Zogbia takes the free kick.
32:49 The ball is swung over by David Ngog, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
32:21 Steven Gerrard delivers the ball, blocked by Titus Bramble.
30:40 Centre by Jamie Carragher, clearance made by Titus Bramble.
27:01 Jordi Gomez takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.
26:27 Foul by Emmerson Boyce on Dirk Kuyt, free kick awarded. Fabio Aurelio restarts play with the free kick.
23:03 Steven Gerrard sends in a cross, save made by Chris Kirkland.
22:54 Emiliano Insua crosses the ball.
22:39 The ball is delivered by Fabio Aurelio, clearance made by Titus Bramble.
22:01 Inswinging corner taken by Fabio Aurelio from the right by-line.
21:53 Centre by Dirk Kuyt, Titus Bramble gets a block in.
20:55 Unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by Steven Gerrard results in a free kick. Maynor Figueroa crosses the ball from the free
kick left-footed from left channel, Steven Gerrard manages to make a clearance.
18:38 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by Steven Gerrard. Charles N'Zogbia crosses the ball from the free
kick left-footed from right wing, clearance made by Emiliano Insua.
17:37 Unfair challenge on Martin Skrtel by Hugo Rodallega results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Martin Skrtel.
16:10 Corner taken by Fabio Aurelio played to the near post, clearance made by Mohamed Diame.
15:57 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland.
14:27 Maynor Figueroa delivers the ball.
13:54 Charles N'Zogbia sends in a cross.
10:21 Paul Scharner takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.
9:59 Unfair challenge on Javier Mascherano by Hendry Thomas results in a free kick. Jamie Carragher restarts play with the free
9:04 Fabio Aurelio delivers the ball,
8:54 Assist by Fabio Aurelio.
8:54 GOAL - David Ngog:Liverpool 1 - 0 Wigan David Ngog scores a headed goal from close in. Liverpool 1-0 Wigan.
8:35 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Fabio Aurelio played to the near post, Emmerson Boyce makes a clearance.
8:18 The ball is delivered by Yossi Benayoun, clearance by Titus Bramble.
7:42 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Blocked by Maynor Figueroa.
7:18 Short corner taken by Fabio Aurelio from the right by-line.
7:12 Jamie Carragher sends in a cross, clearance made by Maynor Figueroa.
6:31 Steven Gerrard fouled by Paul Scharner, the ref awards a free kick. Martin Skrtel restarts play with the free kick.
5:57 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot from 35 yards and missed to the right of the goal.
5:41 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugo Rodallega on Daniel Agger. Free kick taken by Emiliano Insua.
5:28 Centre by Dirk Kuyt, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
3:26 Daniel Agger produces a left-footed shot from long range which goes wide right of the target.
0:00 The match begins.
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