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Wigan vs. Liverpool: 6 Things We Learned

Mark JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2013

Wigan vs. Liverpool: 6 Things We Learned

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    One of Liverpool's more comprehensive performances of the season delivered one of their more impressive wins, as the Reds swatted aside Wigan Athletic to win 4-0 at the DW Stadium.

    Luis Suarez was once again the star of the show with an irrepressible hat-trick, but it was the two men playing either side of him who stole that show just 101 seconds in as Philippe Coutinho crossed for Stewart Downing to head home.

    Suarez then almost inevitably took over, and after a lethal finish from a superb Coutinho pass made it 2-0, the Uruguayan became this season's top scorer in the Premier League when he scored via a free-kick despite both slipping and seeing his shot take a huge deflection.

    The forward completed his hat-trick after latching onto a superb break from Glen Johnson early in the second half, and although Liverpool didn't add to their lead and were indebted to a couple of fine stops from Pepe Reina, they preserved their advantage and delivered the kind of result which indicates that the remainder of the season will be entertaining to watch.

    Here are six lessons that Liverpool will have learned from their day at the DW:

Luis Suarez Should Be Player of the Year

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    This was yet another stunning display from Luis Suarez, who once again proved that he is the most exciting Premier League player with the ball at his feet.

    The fight for mass acknowledgement is likely to go on for some yet, and will probably never be won in the eyes of the masses, but that only seems to motivate this extraordinary player; a player who thrives on the fact that people doubt him.

    Liverpool must hope that these doubts continue, as they only seem to make him better.

Stewart Downing the Goal Poacher

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    This Liverpool formation requires the two wide players in the front three to score goals, and Downing showed that goalscorer's instinct just 101 seconds into the match at the DW Stadium.

    He'll need to hone that skill to survive at Rodgers' Liverpool, but this was a goal he deserved based on recent performances and one he can build on.

    He's still got a future at Liverpool, and is impressing as he desperately tries to earn one.

Philippe Coutinho Could Be a Superstar

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    How good were those two assists from Coutinho?

    On his first proper outing in front of a watching English television audience, Coutinho was outstanding, and delivered another performance reminiscent of Reds favourite Luis Garcia.

    Given Liverpool's questionable spending recently he's already convinced many that he's a good use of £8.5m, and the good news is that he looks like he'll only get better.

There's Life in Pepe Reina Yet

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    Much of the criticism directed at Pepe Reina has centred on 'shot-stopping', that most ambiguous of goalkeeping traits.

    At the DW Reina showed fantastic skills in this regard as he kept out efforts from both Emmerson Boyce and Franco di Santo, and these were important saves in the grand scheme of Liverpool's impressive performance.

    His future remains unclear, but Reina played a large part in this Liverpool win.

No Daniel Sturridge? No Problem

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    The absence of Daniel Sturridge here would have led many Reds fans to worry that they were going to experience the same kind of struggles they saw in the recent home match against West Brom, but that was never going to happen here.

    From the moment that Downing scored Liverpool looked in complete control against a Wigan side who disappointed, but who were nevertheless blown away by the quality of their visitors.

    The Reds are still a better side with Sturridge in it, but at least there was evidence here that they can be a force without their new forward.

A Perfect 10?

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    There are 10 games left in Liverpool's season and on this form they look determined to try and finish as high as they can in the table.

    A top four finish still looks beyond them, but there should be little to worry Liverpool about the teams stationed directly below those hallowed places. A European place should be in sight for this side, and given the football they produce it should also be pretty deserved too.

    The Reds enter their final 10 matches of a trying campaign in good heart.

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