Premier League - Wigan hold Spurs to drab draw

Sat, 02 Apr 15:57:00 2011

Tottenham Hotspur's poor run against the Premier League's bottom sides continued when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

Match Highlights: Wigan 0

Following defeat at Blackpool and draws against Wolves and West Ham, Spurs were again frustrated by a team fighting relegation as Wigan were good value for their share of the points.

The draw means that fourth-placed Manchester City can increase the gap between them and Spurs to seven points if they can beat Sunderland on Sunday. Wigan remain bottom of the table by a point following Birmingham's win over Bolton.

Spurs came into this match very much with one eye on Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final trip to Spain to face Real Madrid, but a raft of defensive injuries meant manager Harry Redknapp had plenty to worry about for the trip up north.

The club only have two fit centre-backs, Michael Dawson and Sebastien Bassong, while right-back Alan Hutton was added to the list of injured defenders on Friday.

Winger Gareth Bale remains a doubt for that trip to Madrid, and he was not risked for this match against the Premier League's bottom side.

Wigan beat Spurs at White Hart Lane back in August, but in the first half chances were thin on the ground for Roberto Martinez's men as they went in search of a league double over the Londoners. Victor Moses fired a pair of efforts over the bar, while James McCarthy did likewise.

Spurs did not fare too much better themselves, as Jermaine Jenas's shot from range was their only clear chance, but the strike was a regulation stop for goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi.

Both sides had penalty claims refuted by referee Andre Marriner. McCarthy appeared to trip Roman Pavlyuchenko inside the Wigan area, while at the other end Moses was given nothing after going down too easily.

As half-time approached, Maynor Figueroa's long clearance was chased by Hugo Rodallega, who tangled with Bassong, the last man between striker and goal, before hitting the deck. The Colombian striker, who scored the winner in the reverse fixture, couldn't contain his shock at the decision.

After such a drab showing from both sides in the first half, Wigan emerged brightly after the break.

Almost right from the kick-off, Charles N'Zogbia nipped inside past Benoit Assou-Ekotto and had his shot saved by Heurelho Gomes at the near post, before the Spurs keeper palmed a low cross right to the feet of Rodallega, whose effort was denied by a timely block from Bassong.

Gomes then pulled off the save of the match when Tom Cleverley cut inside and shot for the far corner, tipping the strike around the post.

Redknapp, aware that qualifying for next season's Champions League is almost as important as progressing this term, introduced Peter Crouch and Aaron Lennon in order to inject some spark into his team's laboured performance.

However, aside from Crouch shooting over the bar from long range, Spurs could not find any cutting edge.

Indeed, it was Wigan's substitutions which were more effective, with Irish striker Conor Sammon sneaking his way into the box late on, only to hit his shot too close to Gomes.

Wigan secured the result via their first clean sheet at the DW in their last nine league games, while Spurs were left wondering how they can lift themselves against Europe's top sides but struggle against their own league's lesser lights.

Tony Mabert / Eurosport

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