Latics 1 Liverpool 1 - Alternative match report
Cannon Fodder... was a great action-strategy shoot 'em up by Sensible Software. The Latics-Liverpool game, on the other hand, was an excellent early pre-season soiree for the could bes, wannabes and.... er.... Alex Gil-bees.
Within seconds, gold plated new-bee Mo Salah sliced over Christian Walton's crossbar. Conversation quickly turned from 'look at them phantom pitch potholes' to 'ooh flippin' 'eck, this is gonna be a rugby score, i'nt it?'
But apprehension transformed into bemused delight as the freshly shorn Gilbey slotted through so many pairs of legs to defeat Simon Mignolet. For a change, the West Stand was beside itself with excitement.
How should you measure success in a premature pre-season pootle such as this? Certainly, a half time lead against Premier League opposition would be good luck in Cookie's book. Of... er... management.
Latics were 20 seconds away from securing such an accolade. But when Craig Morgan fluffed a defensive one-two, Coutinho played through Firmino and Mo Salah was in just the right spot to snaffle a much-threatened equaliser.
Liverpool began the second half with a totally new lineup. I would list all eleven changes but I would probably exceed my word count for this article.
And by 9pm, Latics had also refreshed their entire 11 with members of their universally acclaimed reserve side.
Yep, 'universally acclaimed'. Because those U21 guys slid and hacked their way through the best part of 45 minutes to keep their goal line gloriously unbreached.
Not even Dejan Lovren could evade Owen Evans' pesky post on 75 minutes. And not even Danny Sturridge could direct his shot low enough to challenge the Wigan goalmouth on 87 minutes.
Your small time Internet weblogger awards Walton and Evans a joint man of the match trophy in the shape of a boot with sharpened studs. May this represent both the uncharacteristically choppy July pitch and the shin chopping challenges that dragged out a creditable draw.