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Whittaker: Deserved win at Man City

Stoke 19 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar 24, 2012

Martinez proud of victory

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez hailed an "historic day" as his side recorded their first win at Anfield with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool to boost their survival hopes.

• Liverpool 1-2 Wigan Athletic

Shaun Maloney put the struggling Latics ahead with a 30th-minute penalty after Martin Skrtel kicked Victor Moses in the face and even when Luis Suarez equalised two minutes after half-time the visitors bounced back with Gary Caldwell's winner just after the hour.

The win, which extended Wigan's current run to just one defeat in seven matches, ensured they closed the gap between them and safety from three points to just one.

"It is an historic day for us, Wigan beating Liverpool at Anfield," Martinez said. "That is why we are involved in football to defy the odds and history. I would like to present this moment to our fans as they have not had much to celebrate this season."

The result could have been different had Suarez's effort just a few minutes after his first goal not been ruled out for handball.

Martinez and Reds boss Kenny Dalglish disagreed with their interpretation of referee Lee Mason's decision.

"I have seen the replay and it is clearly a handball," Martinez said. "I have had so many bad decisions this season I've always kept my mouth shut and today I will only concentrate and enjoy our victory.

"I think Lee Mason was a very strong referee and we were fortunate with that as we all know Luis Suarez is an artist in getting free-kicks and good situations for himself."

Dalglish, who blamed his team's lacklustre performance on tiredness, took the directly opposite viewpoint.

"There is no rhyme or reason why the second goal should be chalked off when Luis challenged for the header,'' Dalglish said. "It wasn't handball. I must have a different television. It hit his shoulder as he turned to try to play it in."

Dalglish complained he had been forced to use several players in all three matches his team had played in the last seven days and felt those exertions caught up with them.

"I think they looked a bit tired," he added. "We had a lot of possession in the game... we gave away the ball quite a lot in vital positions and it is not because they cannot play but tiredness.

"If you play Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday it is going to take its toll and a lot of the lads have played three games. For us that would be a reasoning behind our own performance. We were disappointed because a lot of the final balls in good positions we didn't deliver and we put that down to tiredness."

Defeat was Liverpool's fifth in their last six league matches and the tenth of a season which is threatening to go into freefall after just two victories since the turn of the year.

Asked whether he thought better performances were around the corner, he replied: "I'm not clairvoyant.

"We have extolled the virtues of the players here many times and it (defeat) is not because we cannot pass to each other, it is because we have not had enough players at our disposal to give them adequate rest.

"It is a problem we face but it is a problem dictated to clubs and players by television schedules and maybe the fact we have done well in two cup competitions which has given us a lot of extra fixtures.

"We will accept progress in the cups and we just need to accept we are going to be a little bit tired, but I cannot see the same players being able to play Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday every week."

Moses was taken to hospital for a check-up after Skrtel's challenge but Martinez was optimistic about the winger's condition.

"We are concerned that it is a fracture but he was not himself and he couldn't really think straight so we are going to check him out as he was concussed for a while," Martinez added.

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