Davids delight as Spurs triumph
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Goals from Robbie Keane and Edgar Davids saw Tottenham beat Wigan 2-1.Goals from Robbie Keane and Edgar Davids ensured Tottenham picked up their first win in four games as they beat Wigan 2-1 at The JJB Stadium.
Lee McCulloch made Martin Jol nervous on the touchline in the final minutes when he netted a late consolation but overall, it was Spurs who looked the likelier to be challenging for a top four spot at the season's conclusion.
Prior to Keane's goal it was Wigan that had started the brighter with Graham Kavanagh dictating proceedings from the centre of the field with an assured display.
A succession of corners were forced as Jason Roberts and Henri Camara worked the channels well, but with Tottenham's defence looking solid, a breakthrough never really looked on the cards.
A game of few real chances was always likely to be decided by a mistake or a touch of class - De Zeeuw provided the first, Davids the latter.
In the ninth minute Spurs' first real foray upfield saw Teemu Tainio hit an innocuous crossfield pass, which De Zeeuw, normally a model of consistency, misjudged horribly as Keane nipped in behind to round Mike Pollitt and finish in some style.
Buoyed after a tepid start, Keane could then have doubled his side's tally but Pollitt was out quickly to smother at his feet from Mido's sumptuous flick
The remainder of the half saw Wigan very much in the ascendancy, with McCulloch's ability in the air proving a thorn to Tottenham's backline.
Twice the Scotland international sneaked in unattended but on each occasion his headers were powered wide of Paul Robinson's goal.
Kavanagh had a brace of efforts himself that were not too far away, before Camara screwed Wigan's most inviting opportunity wide when free inside Tottenham's box.
Ten minutes before the break and Henchoz was looking relieved as his pull on Keane in the box went undetected, as the Irishman failed to get anything behind his strike when bearing down on goal.
The second period saw a lull in the first twenty minutes as both sides failed to find anything like their top form, or even each other, as misplaced passes became the predominant feature on a pitch badly cut-up.
Spurs fired the first warning of a largely drab affair after the interval as Taino hit a half volley that Pollitt did well to turn behind, before at the other end, Roberts' blushes were saved by a linesman's flag as he fired straight at Robinson when put clean through.
With Wigan chasing an equaliser, their experienced but ageing central defence were too often left exposed and it was on the counter attack that Davids put the game beyond them.
Picking the ball up inside his own half, the diminutive Dutchman went straight for the heart of Wigan and with De Zeeuw unsure whether to fully commit himself to a challenge, with a man to mark in the middle, Davids too easily skipped past and was through on goal.
An unnerving finish across Pollitt and into the far corner capped a perfect way to open a previously blank Premiership account and all but secured Tottenham maximum spoils in the 77th minute.
Credit must go to Wigan for the manner of their response as again, like last weekend against Arsenal, they pulled a goal back after going two down.
Roberts and Camara combined and from the latter's shot on the angle, McCulloch was on hand to prod home after Robinson parried into his path with just two minutes remaining.
Wigan pressed in the final moments but Tottenham are made of sterner stuff than in previous years and were just about worthy of taking three points back to the capital on a cold day in Lancashire.
Wigan v Tottenham player ratings
|Wigan Athletic||Team Name||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||4|
|8||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||1|
|13||Total Fouls Conceded||16|