Wigan Athletic upset the odds at White Hart Lane as they snatched a surprising victory over Champions League bound Tottenham Hotspur as Hugo Rodallega scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp made two changes to the team that beat Young Boys in midweek with Carlo Cudicini replacing the injured Heurelho Gomes and Younes Kaboul coming in to the defence, while Wigan boss Roberto Martinez started with Ali Al Habsi in goal and Emmerson Boyce in defence in his only two changes since last Saturday’s mauling against Chelsea.
The game started well for the away side and they had a glorious chance to pull in front within 10 minutes. A deep corner was met by Wigan defender Antolin Alcaraz, who managed to find his defensive partner Steve Gohouri and his shot beat Tottenham goalkeeper Cudicini but thundered off the top of the bar.
Despite the early pressure from Wigan, Tottenham managed to come back into the game and Peter Crouch had their first meaningful chance but his header went wide. However just a few minutes later and Spurs had an even better chance to go in front. Jermain Defoe spun with the ball on the edge of the box and his low shot was well saved by on-loan keeper Al-Habsi in the Wigan goal.
The home side started to dominate from then on but Wigan were still created chances with Boselli seeing his 30 yard shot easily saved by Cudicini and Rodallega bending a shot from just outside the box inches over the bar.
There were 10 goals scored in this encounter last season but chances were few and far between in the first half with Wigan defending superbly to keep out Spurs. Defoe came close again before half-time with a toe poke finish from six yards after creating a chance out of nothing but the teams went into the break level.
The second half saw the introduction of Niko Kranjcar and Roman Pavlyuchenko for Tottenham replacing Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Peter Crouch but Wigan still started the half the better team as Maynor Figueroa saw his shot well blocked by the Spurs defence.
However it wasn’t long before the two substitutes were making their impact on the game. Kranjcar managed to find Lennon on the right and his cross was met by Pavlyuchenko whose cushioned header was just a bit strong for Defoe.
Despite all of Tottenham’s dominance in the game, Wigan remained sturdy at the back and looked a totally different side to the one that conceded 10 goals in their first two Premier League games.
However with just over 10 minutes left, Wigan had the perfect chance to score. A ball on the right found Alcaraz free in the area and he managed to scoop the ball over the bar from two yards when it seemed easier to score.
However, minutes later Rodallega made amends for Alcaraz’s miss as he put the away side in front. Substitute Jordi Gomez found Rodellaga who made no mistake from 12 yards and slotted the ball past Cudicini.
The game came to life after that and Tottenham had two glorious chances to draw level. Tom Huddlestone first saw his volley just fly wide and then Defoe’s shot hit the side netting.
Wigan were beginning to defend deeply and had Al Habsi to thank for keeping them in front. The on-loan keeper first tipped over a Kranjcar shot then saved well from Tottenham defender Michael Dawson.
There was one more chance for the home side to claim a draw but defender Kaboul managed to head wide when he should have scored and Wigan held on to secure their first points of the season and complete a miserable day for Spurs and manager Harry Redknapp.
Watch Hugo Rodallega fire in Wigan's winner at Tottenham.