A late own goal allowed Tottenham to salvage a 2-2 result at Wigan Athletic but it was a result that ultimately does neither side any great favors in achieving their very different goals at the climax of the season.
The visitors had gone in front early after a blunder from Wigan goalkeeper Joel Robles allowed Gareth Bale to score, but the Latics were back on level terms less than two minutes later when Emerson Boyce headed in a score. And Callum McManaman’s fine second-half goal looked to have given Wigan a vital three points in their fight to beat the drop, but Tottenham piled on the pressure late on and got their reward when Boyce unwittingly diverted the ball into his own net three minutes from time.
The result leaves Tottenham in fifth place in the Premier League, a point behind third-place Arsenal and level on points with Chelsea, although having now played one game more than the Blues. Wigan, meanwhile, remain third from bottom, although now just two points behind Aston Villa.
It looked like it would be a long afternoon for Wigan at the DW Stadium when Tottenham took the lead in farcical circumstances after just nine minutes. Defender Maynor Figueroa riskily exchanged passes with his goalkeeper and as the ball came back to Robles he could only clear it straight against the in-rushing Bale and the ball bounced into the net.
But Wigan recovered admirably and were soon back on level terms. Shaun Maloney’s right-wing corner was powered into the net from eight yards out by the head of defender Boyce.
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And a memorable win for Wigan as they look to mount yet another great escape looked on the cards when they went in front just four minutes into the second half. McManaman took the ball inside past Kyle Naughton just outside the area and unleashed a powerful left-footed drive that beat the dive of Hugo Lloris.
But, while Wigan were desperately trying to hang on, Tottenham finally mounted some concerted pressure in the final minutes and grabbed a second somewhat fortuitous goal of the game. Tom Huddlestone drilled a low free-kick across the six-yard box and in the melee of bodies it struck Boyce and went past Robles.
Both sides then desperately attempted to get a late winner with Tottenham going particularly close through Jermain Defoe in the final seconds of injury time.