Summary: A last minute Emmerson Boyce own goal denied Wigan the chance to move out of the bottom three as Tottenham salvaged a point at the DW Stadium.
The Latics required a victory to leapfrog Aston Villa to the safe-haven of 17th but were undone by one of their own at the death, while a draw prevented Spurs from re-entering the top-four.
Andre Villas-Boas men were on top in the opening stages and almost lead after five minutes when Tom Huddlestone’s free kick came off the post before Gareth Bale put them in front in bizarre circumstances.
A farcical exchange of passes between goalkeeper Joel and Maynor Figueroa in the penalty area ended with the former’s half-hearted clearance collided off Bale and flew into the net. A just reward for the Welshman’s persistence.
That spurred the home side on and they levelled two minutes later when Callum McManaman’s corner was powerfully headed in Boyce before Joel atoned from his earlier error to deny Jermain Defoe and Scott Parker in quick succession.
And four minutes after the break Wigan went in front when the ball fell nicely for McManaman to control and smash a stunning 20-yard volley past Hugo Lloris.
Arouna Kone was denied by the legs of Lloris and substitute Franco Di Santo curled wide before Boyce inadvertently turned in Huddlestone’s drilled free kick from the right as Tottenham avoided an embarrassing defeat.
Roberto Martinez post-match…“The equaliser is what disappoints me. It is not a free-kick in the first place, when you are at the bottom of the table it seems you attract the ball to the back of your net sometimes, but those are the small margins that sometimes affect the results.”
Andre Villas-Boas post-match…“We did ever so well in the first half, ten shots against their two. The problem is that when we came back on after half-time we thought we were in control and Wigan scored almost straight away and that really shook our confidence.”
Good day for…Tom Huddlestone: Handed a rare start by Villas-Boas and fully repaid his manager with an unblemished display in the heart of midfield. Conducted everything from his central perch, keeping it simple for the most park, while offering a fleeting reminder of his passing range with a few raking balls across the DW Stadium pitch.
Bad day for…Joel: Doubt many will hold it against Roberto Martinez for reinstalling Ali Al-Habsi between the sticks for Wigan’s next fixture after Joel’s role in a farcical opening goal. The Latics can’t afford to persist with a nervous goalkeeper given their Premier League status remains under threat.