| 11.9°C Belfast

Spurs beat plucky Wigan


Luka Modric (left), Gareth Bale (centre) and Younes Kaboul

Luka Modric (left), Gareth Bale (centre) and Younes Kaboul

Luka Modric (left), Gareth Bale (centre) and Younes Kaboul

First-half goals from Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale sealed a 2-1 win for Tottenham but they were forced to cling on in the face of a late assault by 10-man Wigan.

Van der Vaart swept home a third-minute opener after an error by Maynor Figueroa, then Bale headed home a corner from Luka Modric.

Spurs should have been out of sight at half-time but Wigan struck back in the 49th minute through Mohamed Diame before Steve Gohouri's 63rd-minute dismissal hit their hopes of a comeback.

Spurs grabbed the lead in the third minute when Emmanuel Adebayor pounced on Maynor Figueroa's awful back-pass, beat Gary Caldwell and crossed for Van der Vaart to sweep home.

The visitors were looking devastating in the opening minutes, Bale seeing an effort cleared and Adebayor blasting over the bar.

The seemingly inevitable second goal arrived in the 23rd minute when Bale was left unmarked in the box and flicked home Luka Modric's corner.

Substitute Ronnie Stam was instrumental in the Latics reducing the deficit, pouncing on a poor Benoit Assou-Ekotto clearance to feed Diame, who twisted and fired a superb low shot past Brad Friedel.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

The game was suddenly wide open and Wigan were looking like a different team, but their revival threatened to be cut short in the 63rd minute when Gohouri was sent off for a second bookable offence after hacking down Bale.

Younes Kaboul almost made sure of the points for Spurs six minutes from time when he bulleted in a free-kick which struck the Wigan wall and clattered the bar.

There was still time for the Latics to launch a series of late assaults, with James McArthur coming close from long range and fellow substitute Conor Sammon miscuing a shot in the box, but they could not find the equaliser.

Top Videos