Premier League - Unhappy Tottenham slump at home to Wigan

Premier League, White Hart Lane - Tottenham Hotspur 0 Wigan Athletic 1 (Watson 56)

Premier League - Unhappy Tottenham slump at home to Wigan

View photo

Tottenham Hotspur's Aaron Lennon (R) challenges Wigan Athletic's Jean Beausejour during their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane

Tottenham Hotspur's run of Premier League form came to a juddering halt as they lost 1-0 to Wigan at White Hart Lane.

Ben Watson scored the only goal 10 minutes into the second half, when the officials rightly decided his shot had crossed the line before being saved by Brad Friedel.

Despite coming into the game fourth on a run of five wins in six games, Tottenham played abysmally, and manager Andre Villas Boas was booed for his second-half withdrawal of Jermain Defoe.

Though Spurs had been poor it is not clear what made the N17 faithful believe Defoe, who had managed 11 touches, five passes and no shots in 58 minutes, was the answer to their problems. However, the atmosphere of disharmony mirrored a performance lacking any kind of coherence or unity.

Wigan dominated the match to take their third win of the season and move further into the safety of mid-table. They passed the ball better, created more chances and should have won by more if not for a number of fine saves from Friedel.

Tottenham have not scored in the first half at White Hart Lane all season, and never looked like breaking their duck in a hugely sterile performance against a well-organised Wigan side.

Clint Dempsey produced some moments of quality, shooting wide twice, while Steven Caulker went close with a looping header from Gareth Bale's delivery.

Ali Al-Habsi was finally called into action when Jan Vertonghen struck a fine volley from the edge of the box, but the Omani goalkeeper was equal to it.

It was Al-Habsi's opposite number Friedel who had the heavier workload, as Wigan sliced through a Spurs side made flimsier by the early departure of the injured midfielder Sandro.

Arouna Kone forced Friedel into a fine save after some neat interplay between Wigan's forwards, before the Ivorian turned provider for Shaun Maloney on 34 minutes.

Played onside by Kyle Walker, Maloney was clean through one on one but could not beat the veteran goalkeeper, who continues to keep France captain Hugo Lloris on the bench.

Kone again provided Wigan's creative spark when he teed up Watson at the edge of the box just before half-time, but then midfielder wasted his shot which curled harmlessly into the crowd.

The second half brought more of the same from Spurs, whose only moments of quality came from Vertonghen - ostensibly a left-back but given an increasingly roving brief as the match went on. The Belgian hit a powerful shot that Emmerson Boyce deflected for a corner, and won a dangerous free-kick that Walker wasted.

But it was no surprise to see Wigan take the lead. Friedel rose to punch a corner, and as he did so, the momentum took him back into his own net - consequently, he was a good yard behind the line when he 'saved' Watson's follow-up which was correctly deemed a goal.

Wigan continued to dominate with Kone, Jordi Gomez and Maynor Figueroa going close.

After the discontent of the Defoe substitution - Emmanuel Adebayor came on - Spurs looked fractionally better, with Caulker having another header cleared off the line.

But the expected late surge never came, and Wigan comfortably played out five minutes from stoppage time.

To complete a miserable afternoon, William Gallas may join Sandro on the injury list after limping his way through the latter stages.


Gary Caldwell (Wigan) - The Scotsman marshalled the Wigan defence brilliantly. Without resorting to heroic last-ditch tackles, the Wigan defence retained their shape and denied Tottenham time and space to create chances.


TOTTENHAM: Friedel 6, Walker 5, Caulker 6, Gallas 6, Vertonghen 7, Lennon 5, Sandro 6, Huddlestone 5, Bale 5, Dempsey 5, Defoe 5; Subs: Carroll N/A, Sigurdsson 6, Adebayor 6

WIGAN: Al Habsi 6, Boyce 7, Caldwell 8, Ramis 7, Figueroa 7, Beausejour 7, Watson 7, McCarthy 6, Maloney 6, Kone 7, Di Santo 7; Subs: Gomez 7


View comments (71)