Latics' pre-season continues with 2-0 defeat in Liverpool test.
- Ings and Woodburn second half goals see Latics defeat 2-0 by Liverpool.
- Latics' squad given run out over weekend double-header.
- Over 18,000 supporters at DW Stadium for pre-season friendly.
WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
Latics rounded off their pre-season Premier League double header with a 2-0 defeat at the DW Stadium to Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, with the other half of the squad not used against Manchester United on Saturday getting a testing run out against Jurgen Klopp's Reds.
It was an open affair at the DW with plenty to encourage Latics supporters in the first half, from the direct running of Yanic Wildschut, to the composure and quality on the ball from Alex Gilbey and Jordan Flores, but Liverpool ultimately had too much for Gary Caldwell's side, who fell down to two quick-fire second half goals from substitutes Danny Ings and 16-year-old Ben Woodburn.
Latics rotated their team for the second friendly of the weekend, with a complete changed starting XI from the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, amongst which Alex Gilbey made his first appearance at the DW Stadium since his summer move from Colchester United.
The second half also saw some first team debuts, as Development Squad players Luke Burke, Josh Gregory and Callum Lang were introduced, alongside James Barrigan who made his first appearance on Saturday.
Latics started confidently enough with clever play from Flores, but it was Liverpool who fired the first warning shot just five minutes in when Phillipe Coutinho cracked the under side of the cross bar with a free kick.
A minute later Wildschut was lighting up the left side with a trademark bullish run, breezing past two oncoming challenges before winning a corner kick, the result of which saw Flores blast wide with his first time effort.
Coutinho would rattle the woodwork again before the half an hour mark, this time down the left side of the area, with his low effort bouncing across goal.
Gilbey and the combative Sam Morsy began to catch the eye in midfield, and Sanmi Odelusi was making a nuisance of himself up front, almost gifting Latics the opening goal when he challenged Liverpool keeper Loris Karius just yards from the goal line.
The new addition at Anfield misjudged a pass from Joel Matip across his body, allowing Odelusi to close down, but the keeper recovered in time to block the prodded effort.
Former Liverpool youngster Lee Nicholls replaced Jussi Jaaskelainen between the sticks for this one, with the former England youth international more than earning his stripes on the afternoon, starting with a double save before the break.
Nicholls first denied multi-million pound forward Sadio Mane with his feet, before reacting to clutch onto Coutinho's low effort heading for the bottom right.
Liverpool made eight changes at the break, introducing both goal scorer Ings and Woodburn, along with Tiago Ilori, Andre Wisdom, Lucas, Ryan Kent, Lazar Markovic and Trent Alexander-Arnold, as Latics remained unchanged.
Nicholls was quick to react again shortly after the break to deny Ings from close range, before Wildschut relieved some pressure with another forceful run and powerful effort wide.
Odelusi continued to find spaces down the right from clever midfield service by Gilbey and Flores, but Latics couldn't quite find the final pass.
Opportunities to advance into the final third passed Latics by, chances they were ruing moments later when Andrew Taylor's back pass went straight to Markovic whose chipped cross was tapped home by Ings from close range.
Three minutes later much talked about youngster Woodburn doubled Liverpool's advantage, latching onto a threaded pass down the left side, before clipping to ball into the left corner from close quarters.
Latics almost pulled a goal back in the final 10 minutes when the determination and awareness of Ryan Colclough saw him deliver for Tim Chow, only for the midfielder to scuff his right footed effort into the hands of Karius.
Caldwell introduced Burke, Barrigan, Gregory and Lang throughout the second half, with warm receptions for the young talents from the 18,000 strong crowd.
Latics continue their pre-season campaign this coming Wednesday with a trip to Macclesfield Town.
Latics: Nicholls, A.Taylor, Gilbey (Burke 78), Morsy (Gregory 88), Odelusi (Barrigan 78), Flores (Davies 70), Chow, Colclough (Lang 88), Pearce (Capt), Wildschut, Hendry
Unused Subs: Jaaskelainen, Cosgrove, Whitehead, O'Brien
Liverpool: Karius, Lovren (Capt) (Ilori 46), Coutinho (Lucas 46), Firmino (Kent 46), Mane (Woodburn 46), Brannagan (Markovic 46), Matip, Stewart (Wisdom 46), Flanagan (Ings 46), Ejaria ( Alexander-Arnold 46), Randall
Unused Subs: George (GK)