Spurs win increases pressure on Latics survival hopes

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On a day when the matches almost took second place to transfer deadline day,Wigan travelled to White  Hart Lane to take on high flying Tottenham Hotspur.

Roberto Martinez opted to revert to the 3 central defence with two wing backs meaning the recall of Stam and the debut of Jean Beausejour. Up front Rodallega was dropped to the bench with Franco Di Santo replacing him in the lone forward’s role.

Tottenham as expected started the brighter and poured forward with Assou-Ekotto and Bale giving the Wigan defence plenty of work to do. The first real chance fell to Spurs when a corner was met unchallenged by Kaboul , Al Habsi once again showing his worth with a reflex parry , allowing the defence to scramble the ball clear.

Wigan looked to catch Spurs on the break and Di Santo narrowly missed scoring from a superb cross from Stam, when his out stretched leg virtually on the goal line missed the ball allowing Friedel to gather the lose ball.

Wigan seemed unable to hold onto the ball and Spurs looked to attack at will, with balls being sprayed all over the pitch and Wigan content to just put men behind the ball and force Spurs to shoot from distance.

Wigan’s forays over the half way line were few and far between and all they had to show for their occasional ventures upfield was a wayward shot from Di Santo.

Kaboul came close again with his head when once again  he rose unchallenged from a corner  and McCarthy did well to clear the ball off the line as Spurs racked up the pressure.

Spurs pressure eventually told off when Bale was found by Modric and Figueroa allowed the mercurial Welshman to fire the ball past Al Habsi in the Wigan goal.

Wigan looked to try and hit back straight away with a long range shot from McCarthy once again not troubling Friedel in the Spurs goal.

Bale nearly made it two nil when once again the Spurs passing opened up the Wigan defence and Al Habsi had top make a snap save. The score line didn’t stay the same for much longer, as once again Wigan’s pitiful defence failed to clear the ball, which deflected off Gomez who seemed not to be concentrating and Modric doubled the lead virtually leaving Wigan to try and limit the ever worsening goal difference.

For Wigan, Di Santo and Moses struggled to receive any quality ball and were too often reduced to chasing lost causes and the half time tally of ten shots on target to Spurs and none to Wigan showed the Latics failing that has befallen them all season.

Half time brought a welcome respite for the bottom side in the league leavingMartinezwith a massive motivational talk if Wigan were to get anything out of this game in the second half.

The second half started much the same as the first with Spurs totally dominating a Wigan midfield who appeared to have forgotten how to tackle and a back three being pulled all over the place by the far superior speed and skills of their opponents. It was nearly three nil within two minutes of the re-start when a cross from Bale was headed narrowly over by Adebayor.

Wigan looked to try and get back into the game but Moses hit a poorly controlled shot well over the bar. Stam was continuing to try and take the game to Spurs and Di Santo constantly tried to make himself available but the rest of the midfield desperately counting down the days to Diame’s return looked totally ineffectual.

Once again Stam was the main creative outlet and in a groundhog day moment his superb cross was narrowly missed by the lunge of Di Santo. Stam’s leadership seemed to spark life into the Wigan side when first Moses and then Gomez tested Brad Friedel from range.

From the very first minute Latics gave scant support to Stam on the right and once againthey were made to pay as  Assou-Ekotto and Bale combined well and the Welshman left Watson standing and hammered an unstoppable shot past Ali Al Habsi into the Wigan goal.

Wigan made their first change replacing the anonymous Gomez with the more industrious and defensive minded James McArthur.

The next issue of note was when Assou-Ekotto committed an absolutely horrendous tackle on Franco Di Santo which went unpunished and forced the Argentinean’s replacement with Conor Sammon.

Wigan didn’t give up and when Moses passed to substitute James McArthur whose shot hit Parker and looped over the stranded keeper Friedel to put a more positive slant on the scoreline.

Wigan brought on Crusat for Watson, Roberto Martinez opting to keep transfer target Hugo Rodallega warming the bench.

McArthur for Wigan and Bale for Spurs almost added to the score but the full time whistle brought to a close a game which only served to increase the pressure onWigan’s survival hopes.


Al Habsi, Stam, Caldwell, Boyce, Figueroa, Gomez ( McArthur), Watson(Crusat), McCarthy, Moses, Beausejour, DiSanto( Sammon)

Man of the Match

Ronnie Stam…only consistent player over the 90 minutes

Att …35,801

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