Sun, Jan 04, 2009 - Page 20 News List

THE FA CUP: Pavlyuchenko’s brace downs the Latics

AP , LONDON

Roman Pavlyuchenko scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur’s revival under Harry Redknapp continued with a 3-1 victory over Wigan Athletic to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday.

Russian striker Pavlyuchenko scored from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute after debutant Wigan goalkeeper Richard Kingson was judged to have brought down Frazier Campbell. Croatia’s Luka Modric added a second in the 76th minute after a shot from Jamie O’Hara hit the post.

Although Henri Camara replied for the Latics in the 88th minute, Pavlyuchenko made sure that eight-time FA Cup winners Spurs made it to the last 32 of soccer’s oldest domestic cup competition with his second goal in injury-time.

Redknapp, who guided Portsmouth to an FA Cup triumph last season at Wembley, has lifted Spurs away from last place in the Premier League, into the fourth round of the FA Cup and the knockout phase of the UEFA Cup since he arrived at White Hart Lane two months ago.

Now that the transfer window was open, he was trying to buy Portsmouth striker Jermaine Defoe.

“The crowd would like him, we’d all like him, but he belongs to Portsmouth,” Redknapp said. “If they want to keep him, it’s up to them. It’s their decision. I have a couple of fantastic options, but if we can get the people we want then we will be strong.”

Wigan’s Kevin Kilbane almost handed Spurs a first-half lead when his attempted clearance flew just past his own net.

Redknapp was forced to send on Campbell to replace the injured Darren Bent after 27 minutes before he saw his team twice go close just before halftime.

Modric had a low shot saved by Kingson after a step-over by Pavlyuchenko had set up the opening. Then a low, left-foot shot by David Bentley flew past the near post.

Spurs broke through in the 52nd minute when Ghana international Kingson, starting because Chris Kirkland was injured, brought down Campbell as the striker chased a through ball and Pavlyuchenko rolled in the penalty.

Four minutes after being beaten from the penalty spot, Kingson made a quality acrobatic save to keep out a diving header from Campbell.

Jonathan Woodgate rescued Spurs in the 60th minute when Camara got clear for Wigan, only for the defender to get back and clear off his toe before the striker could get his shot away.

Pavlyuchenko lobbed a shot wide of an empty net and Modric fired straight at Kingson as Spurs continued to create chances. Then Pavlyuchenko pulled a shot wide in the 74th minute after a slick Spurs move opened up the Wigan defense.

But Tottenham went further ahead two minutes later when a low, left-foot shot from O’Hara hit the post and Modric reacted quickest to slide the ball home.

Wigan hit back in the 88th minute when Luis Valencia’s shot was blocked, but Camara collected the rebound and fired home from 10m.

Pavlyuchenko still found time to add a third in the third minute of injury-time with a swerving shot from the edge of the area on a Spurs breakaway.

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