The Men in Black - Spurs 0-1 Latics
White Hart Lane
Wigan Athletic finally got their Premier League season underway with a 1-0 away victory against Spurs when Hugo Rodallega smashed home from a tight angle on 80 minutes to give the Latics their first ever win at White Hart Lane.
The game started brightly enough for Roberto Martinez` men and they forced a couple of corners in the opening exchanges, and from one of these corners on 7 minutes Latics defender Stave Gohouri cracked an effort against the bar when he swivelled and shot from six yards after a good knock down from captain Antolin Alcaraz.
Latics had a good first twenty minutes of the game with Ronnie Stam looking threatening down the right but what was most impressive was the way the team defended as a unit when possession was lost, with Gohouri and Alcaraz forming a solid partnership at the heart of the back four and they kept Crouch and Defoe limited to half chances.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp made two changes at half-time taking off Crouch and Assou-Ekotto bringing on Pavlyuchenko and Kranjcar but the pattern of the game remained the same with the Latics defending stoutly and limiting Spurs to half chances.
As the second half grew on the Latics had two glorious openings to take the lead, firstly a break down the right with Rodallega who played a superb ball to the far post and storming in with an open goal at his mercy Antolin Alcaraz missed the target from barely 2 feet out.
Moments later Rodallega was again the creator as he played a lovely ball into Jordi Gomez who was on as a replacement for Mauro Boselli, the former Espanyol man hit a volley on the run from 25 yards that screamed over the bar.
Then on 80 minutes Rodallega showed his two team mates how it should be done when he fired across Carlo Cudicini from a tight angle into the far corner of the net to make it 1-0 to the Latics.
There were one or two anxious moments but on the whole the Latics were comfortable as they ran the clock down, at the final whistle there was a sense of relief in the Wigan camp. Three Premier League points gained, first goal of the league season scored and most importantly none conceded.
Looks like the new black away kit just might be a lucky one after all
Subs: Alnwick, Jenas, Keane, Bassong
Latics: Latics: Al Habsi; Boyce, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Diame, Thomas; Stam (McArthur), McCarthy, Rodallega; Boselli (Gomez)
Subs: Pollitt, Caldwell, Mustoe, Watson, McManaman