x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Pavlyuchenko sends a message to Redknapp

The Russian forward provides Harry Redknapp with a reminder of his qualities as Tottenham marched back into fourth spot last night.

WIGAN // Roman Pavlyuchenko provided Harry Redknapp with a reminder of his qualities as Tottenham marched back into fourth spot last night. The Russian has been out of favour this season and came close recently to securing a move to Lokomotiv Moscow. But he may yet play a vital part in Tottenham's push for Champions League football after stepping off the bench to score his first league goals of the season late in the game yesterday.

Summoned from the sidelines after 73 minutes to replace Jermain Defoe, who had earlier scored his sixth goal against Wigan this season, Pavlyuchenko extended the visitors' lead on 84 minutes with a cool finish after he had been released by Luka Modric. The Russian then completed his brace in stoppage time at the second attempt after Chris Kirkland had initially blocked his shot. The Wigan fans had precious little to cheer on a miserable afternoon. Even the introduction of Victor Moses, the England Under 19 international, signed from Crystal Palace last month, failed to rouse them from their slumber. Wigan had almost taken the lead in the 22nd minute when Heurelho Gomes did well to tip over a shot from Hugo Rodallega after he played a neat one-two with Marcelo Moreno.

The home side will also feel aggrieved at the opening goal, which had a hint of con troversy about it. Defoe appeared to be in an offside position when he prodded home a cross from Gareth Bale at the back post for his 22nd goal of the season. That will not have bothered Redknapp one iota ahead of an FA Cup replay with Bolton this week. * PA