Wigan 3 Tottenham 3

  • By: Ian Parkes, PA Sport
  • Last Updated: October 9 2012, 10:05 BST

Tottenham came from behind three times to snatch a point as Wigan's defensive fragility left them firmly embroiled in a relegation battle.

Robbie Keane celebrates making it 3-3.

Emile Heskey, Leighton Baines and Kevin Kilbane all put Wigan in front at various stages of a pulsating game at the JJB Stadium.

But first Dimitar Berbatov hauled Tottenham level before captain Robbie Keane scored a double, with his first from the penalty spot to make it 38 goals for the duo this season.

Yet again manager Paul Jewell's side have dropped points from a winning position, making it 26 in total from 10 games - six defeats and four draws.

If they are relegated this season, the fact they have proven so brittle when they are in front will be their epitaph.

On this occasion it took them just 55 seconds to open the scoring and set the tone for the game, aided by the barracking of Pascal Chimbonda.

The Latics supporters made it clear they had not forgiven the right-back for handing in a transfer request on the final day of last season.

A stand-off between club and player ultimately resulted in the Frenchman moving to White Hart Lane at the start of this season for £5.25million.

When he challenged Heskey deep inside the Spurs half, there were boos, and when he conceded a free-kick by fouling the striker, there were cheers.

Chimbonda must have wished he had stayed at home because mayhem ensued from Denny Landzaat's inswinging delivery.

The Spurs rearguard failed to clear its lines and Heskey nodded home his third goal in successive matches, and his ninth of the season, from two yards.

However, the lead lasted just 135 seconds as Wigan's old failing - one that has angered Jewell so often this season - returned to haunt them as his side wilted while holding the advantage.

Keane danced into the area and after he squared the ball to Berbatov, the Bulgarian skipped past two tackles before toe-poking home his 20th of the season from 10 yards.

Wigan were then indebted to Landzaat who produced a goal-saving tackle to deny £10.9million Bulgarian Berbatov.

Soon after, the Dutchman blocked a sidefoot strike from Keane after he had been set up by Berbatov.

At that stage the Latics appeared on the ropes, yet they clawed their way back into the game, and regained the lead on the half-hour courtesy of Baines.

After collecting a Michael Dawson clearance to a Kilbane cross, left-back Baines unleashed a venomous left-foot drive from 30 yards out and wide on the left that flew past Paul Robinson in the Tottenham goal.

But again Wigan failed to hold on for any length of time as Keane equalised from the spot just under five minutes later following John Filan's challenge on Jermaine Jenas.

Even then Wigan should still have headed into the break with the lead for a third time, only for Robinson to make a stunning save in blocking Paul Scharner's diving header to a piercing right-wing cross from Emmerson Boyce.

As the ricochet looped up, Kilbane could only steer his own header just over the crossbar and with the goal at his mercy.

Robinson followed up early in the second half with a sprawling save to deny Landzaat from 22 yards, and after Kilbane glanced a header wide, Scharner then grazed the crossbar with a 20-yard left-foot effort.

When Scharner flashed a right-foot shot across the face of goal moments later, it appeared as if Wigan would pay for the missed opportunities.

But on the hour they again went in front courtesy of Kilbane's first goal for the club following his £2million move from Everton last summer, with the winger heading home a corner from substitute Ryan Taylor, who had replaced the injured Lee McCulloch in the 41st minute.

Yet Wigan fell asleep in defence again just eight minutes later on this occasion - and to simple route one football.

A long goal-kick from Robinson was misjudged by Matt Jackson, and from 35 yards out Keane delivered a precise lob over the stranded Filan.

It made the entire time Wigan had held the lead amounted to just 15 minutes, and they could have lost late on but for Filan denying Chimbonda with his legs.

Even then there was time for Scharner to try an audacious half- volley from 40 yards that Robinson only just kept out at the second attempt.

Teams

Wigan: Filan, Boyce, Jackson (Skoko 73), De Zeeuw, Baines, McCulloch (Taylor 40), Landzaat, Scharner, Kilbane, Heskey (Folan 66), Camara.

Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Aghahowa.

Booked: Filan, De Zeeuw, Scharner.

Goals: Heskey 2, Baines 30, Kilbane 60.

Tottenham: Robinson, Chimbonda, Dawson, Rocha, Ifil, Tainio (Malbranque 65), Jenas, Zokora, Lennon (Defoe 75), Berbatov, Keane.

Subs Not Used: Cerny, Ghaly, Charlie Lee.

Goals: Berbatov 4, Keane 35 pen, 68.

Att: 16,506

Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).