A reasonably uneventful game saw a handful of chances and a goal-less
point apiece that helps neither Spurs nor Wigan in their respective
hopes at either end of the table.
Spurs looked like their players had one eye on the Champions League game
in the Bernabeu on Tuesday, while Wigan gave everything they had, but it
proved not to be enough and whether it is enough to keep them in the
Premier League will depend on whether they can find goals between now
and mid-May, as they were the one thing that stopped them taking all
three points in this match.
Spurs were sluggish and failed to get any
great degree of supply to Defoe and Pavlyuchenko up front. Playing
van der Vaart on the right of midfield might have been a risk, but
against Wigan, it was a fairly safe bet, but his roaming nature meant
that it was not always easy to pin him down when he was needed as an
outlet. With Sandro acting as the defensive anchor, it was
surprising to see him advancing beyond our attacking midfielders, with
runs from the deep, but he was the outstanding Spurs player out there
today ... along with Heurelho Gomes who earned the point with a couple
of smart stops.
The game started
with Spurs playing two up top, while Wigan settled for one with
supporting midfielders getting forward with pace. Neither tactic
worked for the first twenty minutes, as the ball into the box from
either side was not of the quality desired and both sides were working
hard to win the midfield battles. Referee Marriner stopping the
game regularly for petty fouls did not help the flow of the game.
Just before the halfway point in the first
half, Roman Pavlyuchenko went down under challenge by Watson, but it
looked a bit too dramatic for the ref to give anything and then a ball
inside to Jenas saw him hit it in his stride and the power was too much
for Al Habsi to hold, although he got down quickly to smother the
rebound before Jermain Defoe could get there. When a corner was
cleared to Victor Moses a couple of minutes later, Spurs were relieved
to see it whizz just too high over Gomes' goal, although the home fans
wanted a corner.
before the break, Moses broke into the right side of the Spurs box and
with Benoit Assou-Ekotto trailing him, the Wigan winger went down and
claimed a penalty, but it was a seemingly unintentional contact and the
ref waved play on. Pav turned inside his man and hiot s shot over
from just outside the box and then Rodellega took a goal-kick down and
hit a looping shot from 35 yards that went wide, but he had seen Gomes
off his line and tried his luck.
Tottenham were working the ball better as the half came to an end, with
Defoe and Modric creating a half-chance for Rafael van der Vaart to
shoot at goal, but Al Habsi got his body behind the curling shot.
The second half started with Assou-Ekotto
dweeling on the ball too long and being robbed by N'Zogbia, who went
into the box and hit shot was low to Gomes' near post, but the keeper
did well to get down to save the shot four minutes in. He was
grateful to Michael Dawson and Sebastien Bassong a few minutes later,
when a low Moses cross form their right wing was palmed out by Gomes and
fell to Rodellega and the Spurs skipper and his central defensive
partner both got in the way to prevent him getting his shot past them.
Wigan were building the pressure on the
Tottenham defence, but could not capitalise on their dominance.
N'Zogbia played the ball from the right wing to the left and Cleverley
struck a curling shot that Gomes could not take any chances with and
just touched around the far post for a corner. To change things,
Harry sent on Crouch for Defoe and Peter had a couple of half chances
with headers and one shot that failed to find the target, while van der
Vaart was replaced by Aaron Lennon, with a hug for Redknapp as he went
off, after the recent rumblings about neither party being happy about
the way substitutions were made or received.
Three minutes from the end, the best
chance of the game arrived for Wigan. Diame played the ball into
the area and substitute Connor Sammon got on the end of it with a shot
that was difficult for Gomes, being under his ribs as he dived, but the
Brazilian did well to grab it to disappoint the few, if vociferous, home
The game petered out with
Crouch having the last chance, but not with enough conviction to make it
into a chance for a team-mate.
so another two points slip out of hands in games we should be getting
more from if we are serious about finishing in the top four come the
season's end. This sequence of games with the defeat at Blackpool
and draws with Wolves, West Ham and now Wigan will probably define our
season when it is looked back on. The lack of goals are killing us
at the moment and with tough games coming up against sides at both ends
of the table, we need to take every chance we get.