Torres again showed how lethal he is in front of goal with his effort at Wigan
By Mandeep Sanghera
Liverpool were handed a reality check as they escaped with a draw against a determined Wigan.
Fernando Torres latched on to a precise Steven Gerrard pass and clinically drove in a shot to put the Reds ahead.
But Wigan grew stronger as the game progressed and Hugo Rodallega lashed in an effort from 10 yards to level.
Liverpool looked fragile but almost stole the points when Maxi Rodriguez found Gerrard, whose first-time shot came back off the crossbar.
Mohamed Diame also had a late chance for Wigan when his low strike was smartly saved by Pepe Reina as he missed the opportunity to complete the home side's fightback with a winner.
A draw was a fair result - Hodgson
The Latics ended the game the stronger against a Liverpool side who had gone from a team showing authority at the start to one which was left hanging on for a point.
The Reds' efforts in beating Chelsea on Sunday appeared to have taken an energy-sapping affect and the draw ended Liverpool's run of three consecutive league wins, while showing the delicate nature of their recovery as well as a lack of depth to their squad.
The Anfield club's manager Roy Hodgson had picked the same starting XI which beat Chelsea and his side began in the assured manner the confidence of their recent revival had given them.
Lucas Leiva had a 20-yard strike tipped over by Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi before the Gerrard-Torres combination again proved lethal for the visitors.
Gerrard was allowed time and space with the ball in midfield and he used it to telling effect as he slid a ball through to Torres, who took a lovely first touch and held off Gary Caldwell before catching Al-Habsi off guard by taking his shot early to find the bottom corner.
Liverpool were thriving as Wigan stood too far off them and a well-worked move ended with Gerrard, who had instigated the attack, lofting a left-foot shot over after Torres and Kuyt had helped create the opening.
However, the combination of the Reds tiring and Wigan stepping up their efforts caused the Merseysiders several moments of anxiety.
Latics midfielder Hendry Thomas was biting into tackles and winger Charles N'Zogbia had the Reds defence on the back foot as he took any chance he could to run at them.
And Liverpool were almost masters of their own downfall when N'Zogbia turned the ball in after Lucas had given it away only for his effort to be ruled out for offside for a pass to Rodallega in the build-up play.
Wigan were exerting an increasing pressure and they were rewarded as Liverpool buckled and were made to pay the price for their carelessness shortly into the second half.
Martinez thrilled with Latics display
N'Zogbia found Ronnie Stam and he whipped in a low cross which Reina could only palm to Rodallega, who lashed in a left-foot shot.
The Colombian striker almost added another after centre-back Martin Skrtel failed to intercept a through ball, but Rodallega's first touch let him down and Jamie Carragher cleared for Liverpool.
It was backs-to-the wall stuff for Liverpool as they held Wigan at bay, although the visitors almost snatched a goal when Rodriguez released Gerrard, whose shot came crashing off the crossbar.
It was an enthralling finale to the game and Reina helped his side earn a point as he kept out efforts from Diame and N'Zogbia but Wigan's stirring efforts should give them a belief to move away from the bottom three.
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