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Figueroa seals deserved late victory

Wigan Athletic
1 - 0
Tottenham Hotspur

JJB Stadium, Wigan

11/01/2009 3pm

Attendance: 17,500

Referee:

Normal service was resumed at the JJB, as Steve Bruce restored his injured and rested players to first team action.

They responded with a spirited, hard worked victory over a limited Spurs side, thereby increasing the pressure on Harry Rednapp's men.

Jermaine Defoe made his second debut for Sours and immeadately caused problems for the Wigan defence, with a cross which was headed goalwards by King, resulting in a dropped ball by Kirkland, which was cleared for the first corner after 50 seconds.

Defoe no doubt hoped to influence the watching England manager Capello, however it was the man marking him Titus Bramble who stole the show with another tremendous defensive performance.

In truth, both sides put in tremendous defensive stints with Zaki often going out wide on the left looking to escape the clutches of Woodgate and Dawson. Heskey who took a knock early on, put in one of his more enigmatic performances.

As usual Latics best play came down the right wing from Valencia suppored by Melchiot. In midfield Palacios made a welcome return to form, growing in confidence as the game progressed.

Palacios put Zaki through on the right but he delayed his shot and allowed Dawson to block his effort, resulting in a corner. Palcios also tried a spectacular overhead kick and Taylor had a trademark free kick which went narrowly over the bar, as Wigan finished the half the stronger.

The second half started again,with Wigan as the dominant team but what will be a concern for Steve Bruce, is the very few clear cut chances created against a team who had come to defend deep and soak up Wigan's pressure.

Zaki had a few headers which went narrowly wide and Valencia once again flashed crosses into the area,which no one could get on the end for.

Gomes in the Spurs goal developed a leg injury, which resulted in a greatly increased mobilty but Wigan tested him with very few shots.

The best chance fell to Heskey, as he appeared to have beaten the offside trap, putting him one on one with Gomes but the linesman correctly flagged for offside.

The game appeared to be petering out for a draw, when in injury time Latics won a corner. A pin point corner from Taylor, found Figueroa who haeaded past the stationary Gomes, to spark wild celebarations amongst the Wigan fans and players and the mass exodus of the long suffering Spurs fans.

Latics deserved their victory but the lack of clear cut chances for the strike force and the dearth of a quality wide elft player will need to be addressed.

Star Player



Titus Bramble, deserves an England call up as reward for his performances this season.

Player Ratings


Kirkland...7/10

One of his quieter afternoons

Melchiot...7/10

A steady performance from the captain

Figueroa....7.5/10

Worked hard and the goal was fine reward for a commited performance.

Titus Bramble...9/10

A titanic performance in front of the England manager.

Paul Scharner...8.5/10

Totslly commited and only shaded for man of the match by his centre half partner.

Antonio Valencia...8/10

Put the not for sale signs up

WIlson Palacios...8/10

A return to his best form

Lee Cattermole...7/10

One of his quieter performances

Ryan Taylor...7/10

Dangerous at set pieces but looks lost on the left

Emile Heskey...6.5/10

An ineffectual performance in what could be his last game for the club

Amr Zaki...7.5/10

Ran himself to a standstill and deserved a goal for his efforts, although worryingly was given very little quslity ball

Manager Rating

Steve Bruce...8/10

Has got his side superfit and their commmitment to the final whistle bore fruit once again

Opponent Rating

Harry Rednapp...5/10

Came to defend and got caught late on.


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Writer:Baskerville
Date:Sunday January 11 2009
Time: 5:08PM

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Comments

0
Spurs are poor, we got the 3 points, bring on United
worbo
11/01/2009 17:18:00
0
At the end of the day, you're still a club nobody's ever heard of. Yes you beat us today, for the 1ST TIME EVER, and you deserved it, but if we're being honest, you'll never compare to a club like us. You swim in the same pond as Bradford, Lincoln, and Luton Town.
WhiteHartSpur
11/01/2009 18:06:00
0
history counts for nowt mate ask Leeds, Leicester, Charlton et al. In football its the here and now that matters. Who knows where will will end up or how long we will remain in the Premier League but we are currently here on mrert and you need to eat a big piece of humble pie
baskerville
11/01/2009 18:09:00
0
I'd sooner be classed with the likes of Bradford, Lincoln and Luton as a club rather than Spurs, Man City and Newcastle, joke clubs really that think they are Bertie big timers and only have to turn up to get results
worbo
11/01/2009 18:12:00
0
well said worbo, if franchise football comes in we have no chance but as long as membership is judged by football merit we are in with a shout
baskerville
11/01/2009 18:19:00
0
I was annoyed when we lost to you at the JJB, and I may have said some harsh words about how I viewed Wigan as a club. However you're doing well at the moment and I can admit to being wrong. Imagine Wigan in Europe! Good luck for the season, it seems to be going well for you so far!
toffeetower
11/01/2009 22:52:00
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