clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wigan Athletic Vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 2011 Premier League: Match Report

Rafael Van Der Vaart of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with Sandro during the match between Wigan Athletic and Spurs on September 24, 2011
Rafael Van Der Vaart of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with Sandro during the match between Wigan Athletic and Spurs on September 24, 2011

Tottenham Hotspur dominated in the first half of their game against Wigan Athletic, but were seriously made to work in the second half. What looked like it was going to be an easy win for Tottenham eventually turned into a nailbiter. Spurs scored twice in the first half and conceded once early in the second half, but were able to hold on and nab three points at the DW Stadium with a 2-1 victory.

The first goal came instantaneously, as Wigan looked very much like a team that is going to be stuck in a relegation battle. Maynor Figueroa committed a terrible giveaway at the back to Emmanuel Adebayor, who took off running towards the goal. He was closed down well, but was able to find Rafael van der Vaart arriving late in the box, and the Dutchman put Spurs up with a great finish.

Spurs almost doubled their lead quickly, creating an equally good chance in the 6th minute. With Wigan playing a dangerously high line, Scott Parker played a fantastic through ball for Kyle Walker to run on to. The right back showed off his speed by completely blowing by the Wigan defense and catching up to the ball at the endline, then putting in a pass for Adebayor. He looked to have a sure goal, but somehow scuffed his shot over the crossbar.

Tottenham would finally double their lead deservedly in the 22nd minute, thanks to a brilliant header from Gareth Bale. Walker, who had a great afternoon, put a dangerous cross into the box that Gary Caldwell could only put out for a corner. Modric took the set piece, an out-swinger to the near post, and Bale hit a fantastic header across the goal to the far post, putting his team up 2-0.

The visiting side would have a couple more chances before halftime, with Ali Al Habsi making brilliant saves on both Bale and Adebayor, but Spurs would have to settle for two goals and a 2-0 lead at the break.

Wigan clawed one back in the 49th minute, thanks to an uncharacteristic giveaway from Benoit Assou-Ekotto. He used to be well known for his bad judgment with the ball, but he's been Tottenham's most consistent player for over a year now. On Saturday afternoon, he shortly reverted to his old self, completely mis-playing a pass and giving possession back to the home side. Mohamed Diame eventually found the ball at his feet and made a fantastic turn and shot, finishing past Brad Friedel to get a goal back.

Incredibly, Adebayor almost answered with a goal of his own right off the ensuing kickoff, but Al Habsi was alert and made a good save at his near post.

Wigan right back Steve Gohouri seriously crippled his team's comeback effort in the 62nd minute when he managed to get himself sent off. With Bale threatening to go around him with the ball, Gohouri foolishly pushed him down while already on a yellow card. He was unsurprisingly shown a second yellow, and Wigan went down to 10 men.

The final minutes of the match were eventful, but ultimately amounted to nothing. Younes Kaboul hit the crossbar with a free kick in the 84th minute, and Giovani dos Santos had to block a Wigan shot in the 92nd minute to maintain Spurs' lead. 

It wasn't the greatest second half performance from Tottenham and they made the game much harder than it should have been, but the wins all count the same and Tottenham will be happy with the three points.