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Moments later the home side were forced into making a change as Gylfi Sigurdsson replaced the injured Sandro in the centre of midfield.
Wigan had a couple of good chances soon after when first Arouna Kone and Shaun Maloney combined in the inside-left channel, with Kone firing straight at Friedel from 15 yards before Maloney himself squandered a one-on-one opportunity.
The Latics took the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Ben Watson scrambled home from a corner, with Friedel unable to claw it out.
Wigan sat back and were bombarded by the home side with much of the good play coming through Gareth Bale.
A second win in a row for Wigan sees them rise to 12th while Spurs are replaced by Everton in the top four.