Ah yes…the warm glow of victory. The Spurs supporters had been summoning Roman Pavlyuchenko vocally from the bench long before Harry finally did, but there was sweet redemption for the Russian striker â€“ the best natural finisher at the club, for me â€“ as his two smartly taken goals sealed a handsome away win in the DW quagmire.
No doubt about it, Jermain Defoeâ€™s opener after 26 minutes was offside. Miles offside in fact. What was the assistant referee doing? So we got away with that one, and if we did just edge the first half, it was still pretty laboured stuff. Our inability to hold onto the ball up front was a particular concern, with the ball continually bouncing off Crouch and back to Wigan.
It was hard fought throughout, until late in the game when Harry sent on Luka Modric and Pavlyuchenko in place of Niko Kranjcar and Defoe. Everyone else seemed up to their knees in mud, but little Modric was quite brilliant, skipping across the glue as if he was out for a summer frolic in the sunshine.
Wigan had rarely threatened and now seemed spent, while both Defoe and Crouch had drawn good saves from Chris Kirkland. Now, with the changes made, Modric hit the post and saw another effort saved, before the Croat rampaged once more at the heart of Wiganâ€™s backline; he teed up Super Pav and Super Pav proved the fans right by sliding home in style.
Into time added on, and a floated free kick was flicked towards goal by the onrushing Pav. Kirkland sprawled to foil that one, but after a tangle of legs with a defender on the deck, Pav had the presence of mind to flick into the net from a tight angle for a vindicating third. Job done. Our turn again in the 4th place merry-go-round…
Star man: Pav and Modric come close even though they werenâ€™t on for long, but Iâ€™ll give it to Michael Dawson â€“ never missed a thing and would have loved the scrap in the mud
Worst performer: Peter Crouch â€“ not enough from the lanky one
Best moment: The second goal â€“ lovely movement, crisp passing, deadly finish, three points safe
Tactics: The usual 4-4-2, Modric held back to punish tired Wigan legs late on
Opposition fans: Consumed with a sense of injustice by the sounds of it. I didnâ€™t think much of the ref and his assistants either, but then I never do!
By Andy Knaggs
Have something to tell us about this article?