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Page last updated at 21:59 GMT, Friday, 2 January 2009

Tottenham 3-1 Wigan

By Oliver Brett

Jamie O'Hara, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Gareth Bale
O'Hara, Pavlyuchenko and Bale celebrate the Russian's penalty

Roman Pavlyuchenko's two goals and Luka Modric's header put Tottenham into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Pavlyuchenko enjoyed a superb match, and coolly slotted home a 52nd-minute penalty after Fraizer Campbell was fouled by Wigan keeper Richard Kingson.

Modric headed home a second after Jamie O'Hara's shot hit the post, before Henri Camara scored for Wigan late on.

But Pavlyuchenko had the final say with a fine injury-time goal, keeping his team in three cup competitions.

They have a Carling Cup semi-final against Burnley on Tuesday and a UEFA Cup date at Shakhtar Donetsk in February.

But although Premier League survival remains their number one objective, boss Harry Redknapp - an FA Cup winner with Portsmouth last May - must have been pleased with much of what he saw against a side who have won five of their last six Premier League starts.

And as heartened as he will have been with Pavlyuchenko's virtuoso performance, he would have been equally pleased with Heurelho Gomes's confident display in goal, although he was rarely tested by an off-colour Wigan attack.

Pavlyuchenko and Darren Bent started in attack for Spurs, who had Gareth Bale at left-back and O'Hara playing in front of him.

Wigan had injury problems, with Lee Cattermole suspended and Emile Heskey, Chris Kirkland and Amr Zaki all out, leaving Kingson to make his debut and Camara to lead the line.

Camara had the first chance of the match, with an opening intelligently worked down the left by Kevin Kilbane and Antonio Valencia but his header flew a yard wide of the far post.

606: DEBATE
Donie
Moments later, at the opposite end, Modric spurned an equally inviting chance, when he played a delightful one-two with Pavlyuchenko before drilling his left-footed shot wide.

Spurs emerged as the more creative force, with Pavlyuchenko and David Bentley frequently finding space, and Kilbane almost scored an own-goal when attempting to clear a cross from the England international.

Bent limped off and was replaced by Campbell in the 28th minute, and the 21-year-old immediately looked at home, finding a good position as he almost converted a Bentley cross with his first touch.

Probably the closest either side came to a goal in the first half was on 44 minutes. O'Hara's weak cross rebounded fortunately to Modric, who turned and shot on instinct, forcing Kingson into a low save.

But had he released the unmarked Bentley, hovering menacingly to his right, Spurs would surely have gone into the break with a 1-0 lead.

Wigan started the match, statistically, as the team with the best form in the top flight, boasting 15 points from the last 18 available. But they remained on the back foot early in the second half, so it was no surprise that the home team opened the scoring on 52 minutes.

Campbell's pace was the key, as he surged into the area chasing a ball which ricocheted invitingly into his path. Kingson tried to challenge fairly, but caught the striker's ankle with his glove and referee Alan Wiley had little option but to point to the spot.

Pavlyuchenko buried the penalty-kick confidently low and left and minutes later almost set up a second goal for Campbell, whose header was this time brilliantly saved by Kingson.

Wigan responded with their brightest spell of the match, winning two corners in quick succession, but the omnipresent Pavlyuchenko was on hand to put in a vital block as Paul Scharner attempted to force an equaliser.

However the majority of the attacks were by the home team, and when O'Hara - whose build-up play had often been patchy - fired his shot against the post, Modric was positioned perfectly to latch onto the loose ball.

Wigan did eventually score, mainly through some weak Spurs defending, but Pavlyuchenko's super strike from outside the area in the final seconds gave the home fans the climactic finish they would have desired.

However, there was a sour note for Redknapp in the closing moments when he chose not to use substitute Hossam Ghaly, despite the Egyptian midfielder being stripped and ready to come on, because the home crowd jeered the player.

It would have been Ghaly's return to the first-team after throwing his shirt on the ground when substituted under Martin Jol in 2007.


Spurs boss Harry Redknapp:
"Roman did well today, took his goals well and worked hard for the team so that was encouraging.

"We played Luka in that central midfield role today for the first time and he showed he was strong enough and certainly good enough to play there, he was terrific."

Redknapp on Ghaly:
"Everyone started booing and I heard people shouting abuse. I didn't want to change the atmosphere of the game with eight or nine minutes left.

"Obviously there is a problem with the boy playing. It's got to be very difficult for him in the future. I spoke to him afterwards about it."

Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate:
"[Pavlyuchenko] has a smile on his face and he's starting to learn the language and it's important for him he does that. He's a happy-go-lucky lad.

"You have to keep on buying as a club. We are not different to the rest of the league. We want to stay in the league. At the moment we are in relegation battle and we all know that, so if we beef up the squad then the more the better."

Wigan boss Steve Bruce:
"We made a couple of mistakes so I'm hopeful that we can have a few back for our next league game [Spurs] in 10 days' time and have a go at them then.

"Without [injured strikers Amr] Zaki and [Emile] Heskey we just didn't have enough firepower. The Christmas period has taken its toll and a club like ours can't afford to have four, five out. It's not good for us."

"Unless we have a really substantial offer [Zaki and Heskey] won't go. The last thing we want is to be dismantling the squad we are putting together.

"We are having a really good time in the league at the moment. I'll do my utmost to keep the squad I have in tact."


Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Woodgate, Dawson, Bale, Bentley, Modric (Lennon 90), Zokora, O'Hara, Bent (Campbell 27), Pavlyuchenko.
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Ghaly, Gunter, Taarabt, Boateng.

Goals: Pavlyuchenko 52 pen, Modric 76, Pavlyuchenko 90.

Wigan: Kingson, Boyce, Bramble, Scharner (Figueroa 73), Kilbane, Valencia, De Ridder (Cywka 74), Brown, Palacios, Kapo (Edman 84), Camara.
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Taylor, Routledge, Holt.

Booked: Palacios, Kingson.

Goals: Camara 88.

Att: 34,040

Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Spurs' Luka Modric on 7.81 (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
Redknapp unsure about Defoe deal
02 Jan 09 |  Portsmouth
Tottenham-Wigan as it happened
02 Jan 09 |  FA Cup


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