Latics 1-2 Spurs
This weeks match report by Vital member wigan-latics.
A truly woeful Latics defence gifted Spurs two first half goals via Van der Vaart and Bale sending Harry Redknapp's side down south with all three points, and Wigan Athletic finding themselves yet further down the premier league table.
It was an unchanged side for Martinez with the exception of Diame replacing the injured Rodallega and Gohouri taking the place of Lopez. The defence had once again been reconfigured with van Aanholt, Figueroa, Caldwell and Gohouri lining up from left to right.
Martinez's side started the game half asleep loosing possession almost immediately inviting the first of many attacks from the visiting side imposing pressure on the newly formed defence. At this point many fans feared for the worst.
After only three minutes Van der Vaart took advantage of a mistake from Maynor Figueroa; miss-kicking the ball straight into the path of Adebayor, allowing him to tee up the skilful Midfielder, inevitably putting the visitors 1-0 up.
At this point any optimism of a cup style upset had drained out of the DW Stadium. A fight back was simply non-existent inviting more and more pressure. With Spurs sailing through the game unchallenged as if it were a training exercise, shots got closer and closer until the twenty- third minute, when Caldwell headed the ball out for a corner.
Gareth Bale took advantage of terrible defending to head home the second goal for the away side, sailing past Al Habsi into a goal with no defenders on either post. Further extend the Spurs lead.
Tottenham continued to pile on the pressure looking for their third goal of the game. Once again Bale found a free header in the box, fortunately it went wide to keep Wigan in the game.
Half time saw Martinez's side booed of the field, and the first substitution of the game with uninspiring Jordi Gomez giving way for right back/winger Ronnie Stam.
Wigan Athletic came out into the second half a different team (both literally and mentally). Stam showing the other players some fight and determination, which eventually paid off when Diame found some space on the edge of the box to poke the ball into the bottom corner. Friedel beaten, he made it 2-1, the fight back was on with Franco Di Santo picking the ball out of the net and returning it to the centre spot.
The Latics continued to pressure the away side with Diame and Stam linking well, coming close on numerous occasions.
Yet it all went to pot on the sixty-third minute when referee Jon Moss gave defender Steve Gohouri a second yellow card, in turn giving the Ivorian his first sending off in English football, also sending the Latics down to ten men.
In an attempt to salvage a point from the game, James McArthur and Connor Summon were brought on with 20 minutes remaining.
The man advantage though proved to be too much, with Spurs passing the ball around comfortably, and coming close in the last five minutes with Gary Caldwell giving away a cheap free kick on the edge of the box, Kaboul's free kick deflecting onto the woodwork.
The Latics gave everything they had in the final moments of the game including an ambitious shot from 40 yards by James McArthur, only to be parried away by Brad Friedel.
Final Score: Wigan Athletic 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Shots on target: 4-7
Although he wasn`t the best winger, I thought Stam came on determined and gave a new lease of life to the team.
Diame scored a key goal in the game, without it Tottenham could have had a few more.
Villain of the match - Gary Caldwell
Subs:Kirkland, Crusat, Maloney, Jones
Spurs:Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto, Modric, Parker, Sandro (Livermore, 90), Bale, Van der Vaart (Dos Santos, 77), Adebayor
Subs:Cudicini, Bassong, Corluka, Townsend, Carroll