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Super Subs!

As part of a regular series, Andy Greeves takes a look at matches in which a substitute has made a real impact for us.

Roman Pavlyuchenko celebrates with Vedran Corluka after scoring against Wigan in February, 2010.

Roman Pavlyuchenko v Wigan Athletic (Away) – Premier League, February 21, 2010.

During the 2009-10 season, in which we achieved qualification for the UEFA Champions League by finishing fourth in the Premier League, 26 of our 70 points were gained away from White Hart Lane with seven wins and five draws.

We had experienced a slight drop in form in the opening months of 2010, with only one win in six league matches ahead of a visit to Wigan Athletic on February 21, 2010. Jermain Defoe scored five times in a 9-1 victory when we had met the Latics earlier in the season but with the home side fighting for the survival in the Premier League, it was always likely to be a closer encounter in the reverse fixture at the DW Stadium.

David Bentley twice forced saves from Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland in the opening stages of the match while Hugo Rodallega’s effort was met by an excellent save from Heurelho Gomes at the other end. It was Defoe, though, who carried on his fantastic run of goal scoring against the Latics, tapping in from a Gareth Bale cross on 27 minutes to put us one up.

While we would dominate possession for much of the match, the game was still very much in the balance going into the final quarter. There were three substitutions made by manager Harry Redknapp in the second half – Sebastien Bassong replacing the injured Ledley King, Luka Modric coming on for Niko Kranjcar and on 73 minutes, Defoe being swapped for Roman Pavlyuchenko.

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