English Premiership

Spurs leave Wigan in drop

2013-04-27 18:19
Emmerson Boyce (Getty)

London - Emmerson Boyce's late own goal handed Tottenham Hotspur a 2-2 draw on Saturday that dealt a major blow to Wigan Athletic's hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

With Arsenal and Chelsea not in action until Sunday, a Spurs win would have moved them up to third in the table and they took an early lead when Gareth Bale capitalised on a Joel Robles error to open the scoring.

But two minutes later, Boyce headed the hosts level before Callum McManaman's first Premier League goal put Wigan ahead just after the interval.

However, Boyce inadvertently diverted a Tom Huddlestone free-kick into his own net at the death as Spurs secured a point that leaves them in fifth place, while Wigan remain in the relegation zone, two points adrift of Aston Villa.

In an engaging contest at the DW Stadium, Huddlestone hit the Wigan post with a free-kick from a narrow angle after just a couple of minutes.

But Wigan conceded the opening goal for the 22nd time in 34 Premier League matches following some woeful defending in the ninth minute.

Maynor Figueroa played the ball back to Robles, only for the Spanish goalkeeper to return the ball to his defender.

When Figueroa knocked the ball back to Robles yet again, the goalkeeper's attempted clearance caught the bottom of the onrushing Bale's boot and flew into the net to gift the Welshman his 19th Premier League goal of the season.

Less than two minutes later, Wigan pulled level when Shaun Maloney swept over a corner from the right and Boyce steered a header inside the back post.

Tottenham continued to press and American forward Clint Dempsey just missed the target with a shot from distance, while midfielder Scott Parker poked narrowly over the bar after swapping passes with Bale on the edge of the area.

The Latics threatened once again when a long ball from Paul Scharner picked out Jordi Gomez and the Spaniard laid the ball back for Arouna Kone, whose shot dropped just over the bar.

Bale was being restricted by Jean Beausejour and James McCarthy but played a fine pass through for Kyle Walker, whose cross eventually fell for Parker to shoot narrowly over the bar.

When Kyle Naughton's deep cross gave Bale a first proper sight of goal, he could not keep his header down.

Robles went some way to redeeming himself by pulling off two close-range blocks from Jermain Defoe and Parker after Tottenham had burst into the area.

Shortly after the interval, Wigan substitute Ronnie Stam hit a powerful cross that was pushed away from the top corner by France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

But three minutes into the second period, McManaman received a pass from McCarthy and darted inside Naughton before thumping a glorious shot past Lloris to put Wigan in front.

Wigan were forced to spend much of the remainder of the match defending on the edge of their own area but Tottenham struggled to find any space.

The visitors were also aggrieved when Gomez avoided punishment after appearing to catch Spurs midfielder Lewis Holtby in the face.

Wigan also went close to snatching a third on the break when Franco Di Santo tore into space down the right and crossed for Kone, only for the Ivory Coast striker to fail to stretch Lloris.

Kone was thwarted by Lloris once again when he was played through on goal late on, and then, in the 90th minute, a Huddlestone free-kick flew across the area and bounced in off the helpless Boyce.

Tottenham even threatened to snatch a winner, with Bale and Defoe both denied in injury time, but Boyce's goal was punishment enough.

Read more on:    tottenham hotspur  |  epl  |  soccer

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