Latics were by no means on top form today, but they had far too much for Tottenham to cope with. Maynor Figueroa was the man of the moment, scoring his first goal for the club deep into injury time giving Latics the win they more than deserved.
The first ten minutes looked ominous for Latics as we gave away possession from the kick and didn’t really get the ball back for ten minutes. Spurs though didn’t capitalise even though Kirkland fluffed his save from Ledley King, but managed to punch the ball out for a corner before Dawson could convert.
Jermaine Defoe, starting his first game since returning to Spurs was the next not to impress. After a clinical ball through from Zokora, all the England striker needed to do was stay on side, but he misjudged it and was flagged.
After more pressure on the Latics defence, Bramble gave away a foul right on the edge of the area when Defoe scored a full 6 points for triple back summersault with pike. Luka Modric tried a clever pass to O’Hara who had evaded his marker, but his scuffed shot limped harmlessly wide of Kirkland’s post with the goal at his mercy.
Dawson had the next chance but his header was aimed straight at Kirkland and he saved easily. Then started the Latics show, during which Spurs were just chasing shadows for the most part. Valencia especially was impressive, ripping Gareth Bale apart at every opportunity.
Zaki was the first to stamp his mark, forcing Dawson into a last ditch tackle after a great pass from the ever brilliant Palacios. Taylor got one of his favourite free kicks next just outside the 18 yard line, but the young midfielder sent the ball inches over Gomez’s crossbar.
Latics were growing in confidence now and Taylor had the chance to put in another corner, but Gomez managed to get his punch in before Bramble bore down on it. Taylor again was involved with the next chance, another free kick which he whipped in beautifully, but Zaki couldn’t get enough on the header and it goes wide of the post.
Heskey tried to put Valencia through, but the Ecuadorian couldn’t divert the ball past Gomez who saved well. Palacios again was acting as play maker as he got away from Dawson, he got a great cross over to Heskey but his shot was inches wide of the Spurs goal.
The last effort of the half fell to Ryan Taylor again as O’Hara fouls on the edge of the box, but the wall was nowhere near ten yards and Taylor nearly ripped Zokora’s head off with the ball as it hit the wall.
The second half started off with Ryan Taylor trying to lob Gomez from 45 yards after a wayward throwing by Tottenham, but his effort lacked the power to trouble Gomez who was relieved to have the ball land safely in his hands.
The half then went into scrappy mode where we couldn’t really get any clear breakthrough, Heskey and Zaki were both sliding good passes but there didn’t seem to be anybody there to get on to them. Oat the other end though, Defoe was firmly in Scharner’s pocket and wasn’t getting a sniff whilst Bramble was clearing everything else that managed to get through.
Redknapp tried to get Spurs moving by bringing on Lennon and Bent with half an hour to go. The result being Latics having the rest of the half to themselves, firstly with Heskey pulling a good save from the Spurs stopper.
Bale was very lucky not to see red as he sithed Valencia in half, but Mariner (who amazingly sent off Boyce for4 a clean tackle earlier in the season) just gave a yellow card. The game got quite messy after that with yellow cards and free kicks being the rule for a while.
Gomez was looking clearly hurt for the last 10 minutes or so and Latics looked for that killer goal. Taylor yet again didn’t do well enough with a free kick before he delivers a great corner in, but Zaki again headed wide.
Heskey at last now looks lively; he seemed to be just ambling around until now. He got away from his marker but his shot was never going to trouble Gomez. Valencia again got mileage down the left wing but his cross was headed out by King.
From the resulting corner came the breakthrough we deserved as Taylor again put in a good corner, Figueroa broke away from Jenus and blasted his first goal for Wigan with his head.
There was no looking back now as we kept hold of the ball and saw out the last couple of minutes of injury time to start the year off as we ended 2008, with a 1-0 win.
Report by Jason Taylor