Wigan 0 Fulham 2
I knew it just had to come!
I knew if I hoped hard and long that we`d get another away-day win, I just had this funny feeling, a feeling that came through in my Match Preview prediction.
As far as the purists go, it was never going t be a classic at the DW Stadium, games between Fulham and Wigan there rarely are.
In fact the possession statistics probably show the true story, a story of how we didn`t have as much possession as our hosts but made far better use of it.
Fulham took the field without the injured Hughes and Senderos with Baird and Grygewra complimenting the usual duo of Riise and Hangeland. Elsewhere, there were no major surprises with Ruiz part of a strong bench that also included Duff and Etuhu.
Wigan started the game the slightly the better of the two teams and we could be accused of rough-house tactics early on when both Sidwell and Grygera committed poor tackles on Diame.
Such was their impact the Wigan player only lasted thirteen minutes before being replaced by McCarthur.
On the back foot, Fulham had to defend two efforts from Jones, the first of which was saved by Schwarzer and the second of which skipped wide of the upright.
Schwarzer was then called into action to tip an excellent shot from Watson onto the bar. From the resulting corner Caldwell wasted a glorious opportunity by heading over.
So far, our attacking efforts had been limited to one strike from Johnson that Al-Habsi had kept out with comparative ease. But as is often the case in games like this, the team that has been on the back-foot takes the lead.
Zamora, trying to unsettle the Wigan defence all afternoon, burst down the flank and his cross was swept home by Dempsey. Strangely enough, the goal came after Schwarzer had produced an excellent save to keep out an effort form Watson that had taken a deflection of off Moses.
Half Time - Wigan 0 Fulham 1
Leading, as the second half started, Fulham knew they`d face something of an onslaught as Wigan tried to get back into things. But although Wigan had lots of possession they couldn`t create that many clear-cut chances.
When they did the woodwork came to Fulham`s aid with Moses being thwarted. But the possibility of Fulham doubling their lead was also there and Zamora could only watch in exasperation as his effort clipped the bar.
As time began to run out for the home side, Fulham made sure all three points were theirs when Dembele got that vital second goal. Once again the goal came after Wigan had almost scored themselves.
On this occasion Figueora had just hit the post with a stunning effort from thirty-yards out. Dembele`s goal though, celebrated enthusiastically by the travelling support, came after Figueroa had given the ball away, Sidwell played the perfect pass and Dembele lashed a low shot home from the edge of the box.
Game, set and match to Fulham.
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