Tottenham have knocked Wigan out of the third round of the F.A. Cup this evening with a long awaited 3-1 win. The goals were long awaited as well.
Wigan showed grit throughout, taking advantage of some criminal Spurs defence episodes. Unfortunately for Steve Bruce's Lattics, the goals that they rightfully deserved never materialised.
The greater amount of possession was Wigan's. Spurs had their first problem only in the fifth minute when Valencia planted a cross onto Henri Camara's head.
But luckily for Spurs, the ball went wide.
Tottenham responded with a one-two passing between midfielder Luka Modric and Russian (goal)tank Roman Pavlyuchenko.
Eventually the ball ended up at the feet of Modric who pulled the trigger without success. His left-footed shot ended up going wide as well.
David Bentley, who I think pulled his weight tonight, then launched a great swinging cross to Darren Bent. Still, the net didn't move an inch as Wigan's keeper Richard Kingston collected the headed ball without fail.
Both teams had woken up a bit more by this point in the game.
A seventeenth minute corner was taken by ex-Ajax midfielder Daniel De Ridder but no Wigan player was there to greet it with a header.
Just a quick (if not useless to this article) fact, Daniel De Ridder had actually been a previous transfer target for Tottenham Hotspur along with a shedload of other teams while at Ajax in 2005.
At 20 minutes Bentley took a free kick into the Wigan penalty box where it was almost sliced into the net by Kevin Kilbane. Still, it wasn't and was put behind for a corner.
“Trouble” struck Tottenham as Darren Bent had to be substituted due to injury. He was replaced by Fraizer Campbell. Campbell proved to be a menace the minute he got on the pitch.
A long sweeping ball down the left wing was retrieved and crossed by Bentley to where Campbell had ran in. However, no goal. The ball went just wide at the left post.
Wigan then pushed Spurs back and held them there while Daniel De Ridder struck a
half-volley which was confidently saved by Gomes (for once).
To be fair, Gomes had been solid throughout the match.
At the stroke of 42 minutes, Didier Zokora felt the full force of Michael Dawson’s clearance kick which knocked his mangoes halfway into his intestines.
Various teammates ran up to him to voice their concerns for his well-being and manhood. Those concerns were along the lines of “ha ha ha ha ha ha ha that was so f*cking funny!”
It appeared as if the F.A. Cup might not have been the only cup needed at a time like this.
Five minutes into the second half and a cheeky Fraizer Campbell got clipped on the leg and brought down by Kingston inside the penalty area sending Spurs fans into a frenzy of celebration before the penalty was even a goal!
Pavlyuchenko converted the penalty to a goal by tapping it into the left hand side of the net.
It wasn't too long before Campbell had a chance at a goal again via a diving header but Kingston produces a great save by palming it away with his right hand.
Wigan soon came to life again. Michael Dawson made a duff header that fell kindly for Camara. He was approaching goal almost ready to shoot but Woody saved the day by nudging the ball out of play from under Camara’s foot.
On 65 minutes, Pavlyuchenko started a hoodoo of missed chances for himself again. He cottoned on to a great pass and attempted to dink the ball over a fast-approaching Kingston, but it bounced wide.
Spurs then doubled the lead (and Wigan’s agony) at 70 minutes. Corluka passed the ball across to Jamie O’Hara in plenty of time and space. O’Hara’s shot was aggressive but promising. The post ricocheted it, but straight onto Luka Modric’s head.
That goal looked a bit accidental considering the fact that he had tripped and slid forward on his front like a penguin on ice.
Controversy also reigned supreme at the time because Figueroa was injured and staying down at the other end of the pitch while play continued, allowing the goal to be scored.
Figueroa had been put on in place of Daniel De Ridder just minutes before. Alan Wiley (referee) still allowed the goal to stand.
The game still wasn’t wrapped up in gift wrapping for Spurs yet. Henri Camara made good use of Spurs’ make-a-three-course-meal-of-it defending to poke in a goal from close range.
This gave the northern side a bit of hope with just two minutes and plus three minutes of stoppage time to go.
All hands on deck for Spurs as Camara emerged again with a shot. Gomes parried it clear and was met with a rapturous round of applause, this time a bit less sarcastic than previous occasions.
In the last minute of injury time, after a lot of wasted chances, the Russian Roman (Pavlyuchenko) conquered the goal net again.
He took a few touches across the outside of the box from the left wing and then struck a fine shot into the left side of the net unaffected by Kingston’s efforts.
Done and dusted.
The fourth round awaits them.
Can Spurs go on to win the Cup this season?
The way Spurs have played this evening wouldn’t be enough to defeat the likes of Manchester United or Arsenal, so it will take a lot of tactical work and mentality boosting.
But please do remember what my headline for this article was.