LUIS SUAREZ inspired Liverpool with a double strike as the Reds defeated Wigan Atheltic to claim their third league win of the season.
Two second half goals from the Uruguayan and a first goal for the club from Jose Enrique saw Brendan Rodgers move up two places in the Premier League table.
Wigan, who won here last season thanks to a Gary Caldwell goal, have proved stubborn opposition in recent seasons with Liverpool failing to win any of their five previous meetings.
And after forgettable first 45 minutes at Anfield this afternoon, supporters may have feared further disappointment against the Lattics but Suarez kick-started a much improved second half performance where Rodgers’ men plundered three goals inside 20 minutes.
The former Ajax man opened the scoring when he converted Raheem Sterling’s cross before latching on to Jose Enrqiue’s through ball and finished clinically beyond Ali Al Habsi.
Enrique then added a third goal as Liverpool wrapped up the three points and extended their unbeaten run in the league to seven matches.
The game only came to life two minutes after the restart when Maynor Figueroa was sold short by a pass from Jean Beausejour.
Sterling was on to it as quick as a flash and after surging into the area he crossed from Suarez to finish high past Al Habsi.
Before Uruguayan’s ninth league goal of the season there had been little to excite the fans.
Daniel Agger’s header was palmed wide by Al Habsi and Suso’s stinging drive from distance was blocked by the Wigan goalkeeper – but there was little else in a low key first half.
Enrique, playing on the left hand side of the midfield, fired wide, Suarez hit a free-kick over the bar and Suso had been unable to get proper contact on a header in an opening 45 minutes where Wigan had proved well organised.
Liverpool held the lion’s share of possession but were unable to hurt the visitors.
But once Suarez had broken the deadlock, the Reds played with greater freedom and 10 minutes after opening the scoring, the 25-year-old made it 2-0.
Enrique threaded the ball into his path and Suarez poked the ball beyond Al Habsi for his 13th goal in all competitions this campaign.
Spaniard Enrique turned goalscorer for Liverpool’s third when Sterling’s shot was saved by Al Habsi but only into the former Newcastle United man’s path and he knocked the ball home from two yards.
Wigan players Gary Caldwell and Franco Di Santo were booked for remonstrating with referee Kevin Friend after the match official awarded Liverpool a throw-in which led to their goal.
The visitors were convinced the ball had gone out of play against Suarez.
Henderson and Glen Johnson both had chances to add to the scoreline but were off-target with their efforts.
But little did it matter as Rodgers’ side celebrated a much welcome victory.
LIVERPOOL (4-2-3-1) Reina, Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger (Carragher 82), Johnson, Gerrard ©, Allen, Enrique, Sterling, Suarez (Shelvey 87), Suso (Henderson 37). Subs: Jones, Sahin, Cole, Henderson, Coates, Carragher, Shelvey.
Goals: Suarez (47,58) Enrique (66)
Red Cards: None
WIGAN ATHLETIC (3-4-2-1) Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell (Gomez 69), Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Watson (Jones 32), Beausejour, Di Santo (Miyaichi 69), Maloney, Kone. Subs: Pollitt, Gopmez, McManaman, Boselli, Stam, Jones, Miyaichi.
Cautions: Figueroa, Di Santo, Caldwell
Red Cards: None
Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 44, 913