Wigan frustrate sloppy Reds
Wigan - Liverpool were brought back down to earth as their three-game game winning run came to a halt after Hugo Rodallega gave Wigan a 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium on Wednesday.
Rodallega cancelled out Fernando Torres's early opener and Roy Hodgson's visitors could have no complaints at the result after a lacklustre showing.
Just weeks ago Hodgson appeared to be in danger of losing his job as his side lurched from one crisis to another, but Sunday's win over Chelsea was seen as a sign they were getting back to their best.
Liverpool were filled with confidence and swagger at the start here as Lucas Leiva forced goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi to turn his 25-yard shot over the crossbar in the opening moments.
They wouldn't have to wait too long to break the deadlock through Torres as the Spanish striker, with his fourth goal in as many games, converted Steven Gerrard's pass with a fine finish in the seventh minute.
Gerrard's pass was weighted to perfection as he picked out Torres, but he made it look all so easy as he held off Gary Caldwell to slot home.
This was a different Torres from the lacklustre figure of the last few months. There was no slump of the shoulders, the body language was positive and he wanted the ball at every opportunity.
It was Gerrard though who was at the heart of everything. He started and finished a move that should have resulted in a second goal for Liverpool in the 17th minute.
Only this time the final product didn't match the interchange as Gerrard, Torres and Dirk Kuyt combined before the Liverpool captain shot tamely over the bar.
Liverpool were well on top at that stage but Wigan gradually started to threaten and Charles N'Zogbia weaved his way into the area without ever getting his shot away.
But Wigan were finally finding their feet, evidence provided when N'Zogbia did have the ball in the Liverpool net after 32 minutes, only for his effort to be rightly ruled out for Rodallega's offside in the build-up.
It was a warning to Liverpool that this game wasn't yet over.
That clearly hadn't been heeded as Wigan hauled themselves level in the 52nd minute through Rodallega.
Ronnie Stam's cross was only pushed out by goalkeeper Pepe Reina, where Rodallega kept his head to nod home.
The Colombian threatened again when his run into the area wasn't picked up, but this time he ran out of room.
Suddenly this was the error-filled Liverpool team of a few weeks ago as they carelessly squandered possession.
Even Torres was catching it, with the striker strangely opting to go for goal from an acute angle with Gerrard and team-mates in support.
Despite Wigan looking more likely to score, it was Gerrard who could have sealed a win, against the run of play, when his shot bounced back off the crossbar.
Maxi Rodriguez's defensive-splitting pass found the Liverpool midfielder, but his first time shot somehow stayed out in the 82nd minute.