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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
went some way to redeeming himself by pulling off two close-range
blocks from Jermain Defoe and Parker after Tottenham had burst into the
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.
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.
visitors were also aggrieved when Gomez avoided punishment after
appearing to catch Spurs midfielder Lewis Holtby in the face.
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.