Wigan Athletic's 2-1 Win at Anfield Rewards Roberto Martinez for Daring Approach

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 24:  Roberto Martinez of Wigan gives instructions in front of Kenny Dalglish of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Wigan Athletic at Anfield on March 24, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Wigan Athletic produced the result of the day with a stunning 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield. The victory was a great reward for manager Roberto Martinez, who sticks to his ideals about playing open, passing football, despite his team's plight.

Goals from Shaun Maloney and a fine individual effort from central defender Gary Caldwell, put Wigan only a point away from safety.

The Latics were rewarded for a typically daring performance. Their decisive start at Anfield punished an increasingly sluggish-looking Liverpool.

Shaun Maloney, who netted their first goal from the spot was active and intelligent, while the midfield moved the ball quickly and passed with confidence.

Rather than playing with the customary holding midfield destroyer for a tough away game, Martinez instead moved forward Jean Beausejour into the middle. He gave him the freedom to link with the forward lines and form a front three, which gave Wigan the impetus and put Liverpool on the back foot.

So often Wigan are criticised for resisting the urge to be more functional and scrap their way out of trouble. Yet Martinez and his players should instead be praised for sticking to attacking principles, regardless of the consequences.

It's easy to promote attacking, expansive football from a position of strength, or when little is at stake. Yet to do it as a club of limited resources, at the risk of losing millions, is commendable.

That perseverance and faith in the way the game should be played comes from Martinez. He was the driving force behind the revival that led to the stylish Swansea City team we see today.

Wigan have continued to rely on passing football to fight their way out of trouble
Wigan have continued to rely on passing football to fight their way out of troubleLaurence Griffiths/Getty Images

He has striven to do the same for Wigan, encouraging youngsters like Victor Moses and James McCarthy to play with flair.

Martinez has attempted under trying circumstances, to create a team structure emphasising skill and technique, rather than cynical functionality designed for survival by any means.

Wigan staged an incredible escape from relegation with a 1-0 win away to Stoke City on the final day of last season. Their fidelity to the attractive style of play promoted by their manager, can hopefully be met with a similar reward this year.

If they do once again manage to avoid the drop, their first-ever win at Anfield will probably be remembered as the turning point in their season.