Spurs hold off ten-man Latics
Wigan put in spirited second-half display but Spurs win 2-1
Last Updated: 25/09/11 9:57am
Tottenham held off a resurgent second-half display from ten-man Wigan to earn a deserved 2-1 victory at the DW Stadium.
Harry Redknapp's side dominated the opening period and were a goal to the good after only three minutes when Emmanuel Adebayor latched onto a poor back-pass from Maynor Figueroa before crossing for Rafael van der Vaart to slot home.
The visitors then doubled their advantage on 23 minutes when Gareth Bale got in front of Figueroa and headed home Luka Modric's corner.
But the Latics came out a different side after the break and Mohamed Diame pulled one back on 50 minutes.
But their task was made harder when Steve Gohouri was sent off for a second bookable offence on 63 minutes and Spurs held on for a vital victory.
Van der Vaart stepped in to replace Jermain Defoe after the Spurs striker picked up a virus, with Sandro also coming in for Niko Kranjcar in the only other change to the side that thumped Liverpool 4-0 last weekend.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez made two changes from the 3-1 loss at Everton, with Diame and Gohouri in for the injured Hugo Rodallega and Adrian Lopez.
Spurs looked sleek from the start and came close in the opening minute when Scott Parker found Kyle Walker on the right and his cross was bundled clear by James McCarthy.
And Redknapp's men grabbed the lead in the third minute when Adebayor pounced on Figueroa's awful back-pass, beat Gary Caldwell and crossed for Van der Vaart to sweep home.
The visitors were looking devastating in the opening minutes and Adebayor once again carved the home defence apart with a through ball to Bale, whose effort was cleared.
Then moments later Walker delivered another pinpoint pass to Adebayor, who blasted his rising shot just over the bar when he should have scored.
Wigan were having a nightmare, and Spurs should have capitalised again on eight minutes when Ali Al Habsi panicked into clearing a back-pass straight to Parker, who was closed down.
The hosts finally fashioned their first chance in the 12th minute when Jordi Gomez delivered a free-kick from the right and both Diame and Victor Moses were close to connecting.
Spurs' seemingly inevitable second goal arrived in the 23rd minute when Bale was left unmarked in the box and was able to flick home Modric's right-wing corner.
The Wales winger almost repeated the feat in an identical move five minutes later as the inept Wigan rearguard showed no signs of learning from their mistakes.
As Spurs continued their relentless pressure, Adebayor fed Bale who burst in from the left and drilled a low shot which was saved well by Al Habsi on the half-hour.
Then the Wigan keeper made a great save to deny Adebayor as the Latics did well to go in only two goals down.
Martinez swapped Gomez for Ronnie Stam at the break and his side started the second half with more purpose, a dangerous Moses cross booted out of the six-yard box by Younes Kaboul.
And Stam was instrumental in the Latics reducing the deficit on 50 minutes, pouncing on a poor Benoit Assou-Ekotto clearance to feed Diame, who twisted and fired a superb low shot past Brad Friedel.
With the game suddenly wide open, Spurs poured forward straight from the restart and Adebayor drove in a low shot which was blocked by Al Habsi.
Wigan looked like a different team, with Moses suddenly incisive on the left flank, Diame bossing centre-field and Caldwell almost setting Franco Di Santo clear with a pinpoint pass.
But their revival threatened to be cut short in the 63rd minute when Gohouri was sent off for a second bookable offence after hacking down Bale.
Modric had a hopeful penalty appeal waved away by referee Jon Moss in the 68th minute and the action quickly swung to the other end, where Friedel saved comfortably from Moses.
Martinez made a double substitution on 73 minutes with Conor Sammon and James McArthur replacing Di Santo and Ben Watson as Wigan sought an improbable draw.
Kaboul almost made sure of the points for Spurs six minutes from time when he bulleted in a free-kick which struck the Wigan wall and clattered the bar.
There was still time for the Latics to launch a series of late assaults, including McArthur shooting from long range, but they could not find the equaliser.
|Wigan Athletic||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|3||Shots on Target||6|
|1||Shots off Target||6|
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