After giving away the first goal and gifting Gareth Bale with the second, Wigan Athletic put a bad first half behind them and took the game to Tottenham in the second half. Had we not lost Gohouri to a second yellow card we could well have got at least a draw out of this game.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE – DW STADIUM – Saturday 24th September 2011

Mohammed Diame (50)

Rafael van der Vaart (3)
Garreth Bale (23)

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.

Looking devastating

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.


Cockney Latic Man of the Match: RonnieStam
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Attendance: 18,788
26 Ali Al Habsi 24 Brad Friedel
22 Patrick van Aanholt 26 Ledley King
5 Gary Caldwell 32 Benoit Assou-Ekotto
2 Steve Gohouri 4 Younes Kaboul
31 Maynor Figueroa 28 Kyle Walker
21 Mohamed Diame 8 Scott Parker
8 Ben Watson 14 Luka Modric
4 James McCarthy 30 Sandro
14 Jordi Gomez 3 Gareth Bale
11 Victor Moses 10 Emmanuel Adebayor
9 Franco Di Santo 11 Rafael van der Vaart
1 Chris Kirkland 23 Carlo Cudicini
23 Ronnie Stam 22 Vedran Corluka
19 David Jones 19 Sebastien Bassong
7 Albert Crusat 29 Jake Livermore
16 James McArthur 46 Tom Carroll
10 Shaun Maloney 17 Giovani dos Santos
18 Conor Sammon 31 Andros Townsend
03′ Goal Rafael van der Vaart
23′ Goal Gareth Bale
26′ Yellow Card Steve Gohouri
45′ Player Off Jordi Gomez
Player On Ronnie Stam
50′ Goal Mohammed Diame
63′ Red Card Yellow Card Steve GoHouri
71′ Yellow Card James McCarthy
73′ Player Off Franco di Santo
Player On Conor Sammon
73′ Player Off Ben Watson
Player On James McArthur
76′ Yellow Card Conor Sammon
78′ Player Off Rafael van der Vaart
Player On Dos Santos Giovani
90′ Player Off Raniere Sandro
Player On Jake Livermore
90′ Yellow Card Emmanuel Adebayor

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