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18:15 21st February 2010


Ref justice as poor decisions cost the home side


Defoe 27
Pavlyuchenko 84, 90+3

Report by Paul Chialton

They say that luck evens itself out over the course of the season, but once again fortune was not on the side of Roberto Martinez's men at the DW Stadium.

Despite a spirited and promising second-half performance that really deserved a goal, Latics could not cancel out Jermain Defoe's highly dubious opener.

It came on the half-hour mark when a sweeping Spurs move found Gareth Bale on the left, the Welshman's low cross found Defoe with an open goal in sight.

However the replays confirmed everyone's, including the striker's, initial thoughts that he had in fact been at least a yard offside. A bad decision that was at the top of a long list!

Determined not to let luck decide the game Latics fought back and were by far the better side for the majority of the game with James McCarthy giving a star performance in the middle, battling hard at the Spurs defence and showing quick, clever feet in possession.

Around him Hugo Rodallega and Charles N'Zogbia tried desperately to get their side back in their game, and it was the Frenchman who came closet just after the hour-mark curling left-footed from the corner of the area but seeing his effort pass just over the bar.

Ultimately Latics needed to create more opportunities and didn't test Heurelho Gomes enough, despite imposing themselves on the opposition penalty area time and time again.

Roman Pavlyuchenko made sure of things five minutes before the end, twice squirming the ball under Chris Kirkland who had been fantastic throughout, but the flow of the game showed how important the first goal is in the Premier League.

So another frustrating night for Wigan Athletic, but a night that will probably be remembered as one that should have turned out very differently.

Kirkland; Melchiot, Caldwell, Scharner, Figueroa; Thomas (Moses, 56), Diame; N'Zogbia, McCarthy, Rodallega; Moreno (Sinclair, 76)

Subs: Stojkovic, Boyce, Watson, Gomez, Scotland

Spurs: Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, King (Bassong, 52), Bale; Bentley, Palacios, Huddlestone, Kranjcar (Modric, 69); Crouch, Defoe (Pavlyuchenko, 73)

Subs: Alnwick, Kaboul, Rose, Gudjohnsen

    Data provided by Press Association