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  • Wigan 1-2 Tottenham: van der Vaart, Bale, Diame great-finsih, Gohouri sent-off

    Tottenham Hotspur moved into the top half of the Premier League for the first time this season with a 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.
    A mistake from Maynor Figueroa led to Rafael van der Vaart's opener after just three minutes, before Gareth Bale headed in Spurs' second midway through the first half.

    Mohamed Diame pulled one back for the Latics early in the second half, and they had a spirited stab at a comeback despite defender Steve Gohouri being sent off with just less than half an hour to go.

    Wigan took four points off Spurs last season, but the first-half performance from Roberto Martinez's side was more akin to that which saw them thrashed 9-1 by Spurs at White Hart Lane back in November 2009.

    Jermain Defoe scored five goals that day, but was missing from the Tottenham squad at the DW after succumbing to a virus the night before the game, so Van der Vaart started in behind Emmanuel Adebayor. Brazilian midfielder Sandro made his first Premier League appearance of the season.

    The tone for Wigan's woeful showing was set soon after the kick-off when Figueroa dithered in possession and Adebayor robbed him of the ball. The Togolese striker nipped past Gary Caldwell and squared a pass across for Van der Vaart to finish past Ali Al-Habsi for his second goal of the season.

    Spurs had the run of the game, with Scott Parker once more a dominant presence in the centre of the park. Bale picked out Kyle Walker with a decent cross only for the right-back to head wide before the Welshman himself got on the scoresheet.

    The reigning PFA Player of the Year scored his first league goal of the season on 23 minutes when he rose to glance Luka Modric's corner into the far bottom corner. The 22-year-old then had an identikit chance later in the half, but this time headed over the bar before forcing a near-post save from Al-Habsi with a strike from a wide angle when he had Modric and Adebayor waiting inside the area.

    Wigan trudged into the dressing room at half-time firmly second-best, but they emerged for the second half with renewed vigour. They took their turn to capitalise on a defensive misjudgement when Benoit Assou-Ekotto was too casual trying to play his way out of defence. The Cameroon left-back's attempted pass was blocked and dropped for Diame on the edge of the box, and the French midfielder rolled around Younes Kaboul to drill a clinical finish past Brad Friedel.

    Adebayor almost gave an instant reply from the kick-off when his shot from range forced a decent save, as the frantic pace to the second half continued.

    However, the hosts were soon down to 10 men when Gohouri fouled Bale on the wing. Having already been booked for a cynical trip on the Spurs number three in the first half, referee Jonathan Moss had no choice but to show the Ivorian a second yellow and subsequent red. Just as with Liverpool's Martin Skrtel a week before, Bale's pace and trickery led to the right-back detailed with stopping to be sent off.

    Tottenham had a penalty appeal turned down after Assou-Ekotto went down in the area, while Kaboul sent two headers from corner off target and had a free-kick rebound off the bar as Tottenham reasserted their dominance.

    Although Wigan struggled to create any clear chances for a late equaliser, the fact they made Spurs work for their win in the closing stages will be a source of encouragement for Martinez, but ultimately he could not stop Tottenham returning to London with a third-straight league win under their belts.
    Tony Mabert - on Twitter @tony_mabert / Eurosport

    Team Line-up:

    Wigan: Al Habsi, Gohouri, Caldwell, Figueroa, Van Aanholt, Diame, Watson, McCarthy, Moses, Di Santo, Gomez. Subs: Kirkland, Crusat, Maloney, McArthur, Sammon, Jones, Stam

    Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel, Walker, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Modric, Parker, Sandro, Bale, Van der Vaart, Adebayor. Subs: Cudicini, Giovani, Bassong, Corluka, Livermore, Townsend, Carroll.


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