Ecstatic Latics thrash sorry Palace
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Liddell began the rout of hapless Palace inside ten minutes and completed a brace with a disputed penalty. Nathan Ellington emulated him with two of his own after Horsfield had scored his fourth goal in five games.
After two defeats in a week, it was a reaffirmation of Wigan's promotion prospects while Palace, with one win since August, continue their descent towards the relegation zone.
Missing the departed Hayden Mullins and the injured Darren Powell, Palace's three-man rearguard were found wanting from the start, though an insipid midfield hardly aided them.
Thomas Myhre was given a gentle introduction as he dealt with tame shots from Jason Jarrett, a dynamic force in the Wigan midfield, and Lee McCulloch. But the Norwegian was left standing as Liddell rifled home his 67th Wigan goal after evading Danny Granville's inadequate challenge.
Palace, hitherto subdued, almost levelled when Dougie Freedman latched on to a Matt Jackson error but John Filan came to his captain's rescue. Otherwise unoccupied, Filan's concentration did not waver when Andy Johnson closed in on goal after the interval.
Horsfield had spurned a hat-trick of chances - two laid on for him by his former Birmingham team-mate Nicky Eaden - before extending Wigan's lead in far more difficult circumstances. Collecting a hopeful long punt, confronted by two opponents and without support, the striker twisted and turned before beating Myhre with a delicate finish.
Strike partner Ellington was profligate when Eaden - made to look more like David Beckham by the Palace defence - whipped in another teasing cross. But Palace struggled against Ellington's pace as much as Horsfield's power and a mazy solo burst ended with a shot Myhre saved.
Wigan's third goal was their most fortunate. Neil Shipperley was harshly penalised for handball and Liddell, with great composure, scored his seventh of the season.
And still the goals continued, Ellington ending a nine-game goal drought with a classy half-volley, Palace's inability to clear a basic long ball costing them again. Back in the goals, Ellington duly added another with a header from Liddell's cross as Palace neglected to mark the two-goal man.
With 20 minutes remaining, the only surprise was that Wigan did not grab a sixth, though Ellington, the excellent Jimmy Bullard and Gary Teale could all have added to Palace's misery.