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Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Sunday, 11 January 2009

Wigan 1-0 Tottenham

By Ian Hughes

Maynor Figueroa (right) is delighted after scoring the winner
Maynor Figueroa (right) is congratulated after scoring the winner

Maynor Figueroa scored in injury time to hand Wigan victory over Tottenham in a match of few chances.

The left-back headed in Ryan Taylor's corner on 90 minutes to notch his first goal for Wigan and ensure Spurs stay in the bottom three in the table.

Earlier, Jamie O'Hara and Didier Zokora dragged shots wide for Spurs, while Emile Heskey was denied by Heurelho Gomes and Amr Zaki headed just wide.

Zaki nodded wide twice more before Figueroa finally made the breakthrough.

It gave Wigan their fourth consecutive league victory - and they did it after making seven changes from the shadow side beaten 3-1 by Spurs in the FA Cup nine days ago.

Tottenham, too, had a different look about them, as they lined up in a 3-5-2 formation.

Interview - Wigan boss Steve Bruce

And many eyes in the stands, including those of England boss Fabio Capello, were focused on Jermain Defoe as he made his debut for Spurs after re-signing for the club from Portsmouth last Friday.

However, Defoe's only contribution of note was a flicked pass to play in Zokora, who wasted the promising position by dragging his shot horribly wide.

O'Hara was similarly wayward when he skewed his effort after Luka Modric had sent a low free-kick into the box.

Right at the start of the match, Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland very nearly made a disastrous error when he spilled Ledley King's header but he was able to recover and punch the ball away from Michael Dawson, who was poised to nod home.


There was little else from Tottenham as an attacking threat as Wigan quickly came to terms with their opposition's five-man midfield and began to dominate.

The combative Wilson Palacios was involved in much of Wigan's best work, playing in Zaki, whose shot was blocked brilliantly by Dawson, and later trying an audacious overhead kick himself.

Palacios and Zaki combined again to create a chance for Heskey but the striker could not squeeze his shot past Gomes at the near post.

Clear-cut chances, though, were not forthcoming and neither side really looked like making a breakthrough.

The second half started as the first had, with a goalkeeper almost embarrassed.

This time it was Gomes who got away with it - his ball straight out to Taylor was returned by the defender but the Brazilian stopper was able to gather.

Interview - Spurs boss Harry Redknapp

And once again, it was to prove a rare moment of goalmouth action as most of the play was conducted in a congested midfield.

Tottenham brought on Darren Bent for Roman Pavlyuchenko and Aaron Lennon for a disappointing Modric, but there was barely any improvement in their attack.

Wigan continued to force the pace, without looking particularly dangerous.

Zaki headed off target twice as Wigan struggled to make their superiority tell.

And then from an unlikely source, Wigan got the goal they deserved when Figueroa rose highest to nod home from Taylor's corner.

Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Palacios, Cattermole, Taylor, Heskey, Zaki. Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Edman, Kilbane, Brown, Boyce, De Ridder, Camara.

Booked: Valencia, Palacios, Scharner.

Goals: Figueroa 90.

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson (Jenas 79), Woodgate, King, Bale, Zokora, Modric (Lennon 57), O'Hara, Pavlyuchenko (Bent 53), Defoe. Subs Not Used: Cesar, Bentley, Huddlestone, Campbell.

Booked: Bale, Zokora, Woodgate.

Att: 17,500

Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Amr Zaki 7.66 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Premier League as it happened
11 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Redknapp slams players after loss
11 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
11 Jan 09 |  Football

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