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Fulham   2 - 1   Wigan

Brede Hangeland and Damien Duff
Brede Hangeland is congratulated by Damien Duff after scoring Fulham's winner

By Les Roopanarine

Fulham fought back from a goal down to end a run of three successive Premier League defeats at the expense of relegation-threatened Wigan.

Jason Scotland drilled in a first-half opener for Wigan after Marcelo Moreno chested down a Charles N'Zogbia cross.

But Fulham hit back strongly after the break, half-time substitute Stefano Okaka dinking in a Zoltan Gera centre.

And there was worse to come for the visitors when Brede Hangeland headed in Damien Duff's corner to seal victory.

It was a tenacious victory for Fulham, who looked jaded initially but rallied to clinch a result that hauls them to 41 points, effectively securing their Premier League future.

Wigan, who remain four points adrift of safety, had a chance to put daylight between themselves and the relegation zone but were undone by familiar defensive shortcomings.

606: DEBATE

Fulham's teamsheet was always destined to come under forensic scrutiny after West Ham's complaint to the Premier League about the weakened side fielded by Roy Hodgson for last weekend's 2-0 defeat against Hull.

Hodgson reacted indignantly to the ensuing furore, insisting he had no case to answer, and here he made only one change to the side that defeated Wolfsburg 2-1 in Thursday night's Europa League quarter-final first leg, resting leading scorer Bobby Zamora.

That decision initially looked costly for Fulham, who faded rapidly after a strong opening spell during which Gera tested Chris Kirkland with a diving header before David Elm, Zamora's replacement up front, shot straight at the Wigan keeper.

Hodgson delighted with fightback against Wigan

This was Fulham's 53rd competitive fixture of a season in which they also reached the FA Cup quarter-finals, and the first-half signs were that the pressure of overstretched resources may finally be starting to tell.

The home support may feel that the referee, Mark Clattenburg, did little to help.

Clattenburg turned down a spurious penalty claim from Gera, who appeared to go down under a challenge from Mohamed Diame but in fact tripped over his own feet.

In truth, the greater problem for Fulham was a Wigan side invigorated by an urgent need to ease their relegation fears.

Their parlous league plight notwithstanding, Roberto Martinez's side favour an attractive brand of football, eschewing long-ball tactics and physical intimidation in favour of a more cultured passing game.

Having weathered Fulham's initial pressure, the virtue of that approach began to tell.

Defensive lapses cost us - Martinez

N'Zogbia drew a sharp save from Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer only to be wrongly ruled offside, while Paul Scharner twice went close, most notably with a lobbed effort that Hangeland headed away from under his own crossbar.

From the resulting clearance, Maynor Figueroa forced Schwarzer to tip over an audacious 40-yard effort, adding to the growing sense that Wigan were on the verge of a breakthrough.

Sure enough, moments later N'Zogbia spun a cross into the area, Moreno chested down for Scotland, and the former Swansea man drilled a low effort inside the near post for his first Premier League goal.

Hodgson was apoplectic, and his dugout seat felt the brunt of his displeasure.

But Wigan's attacking artistry is too often cancelled out at the other end, and within two minutes of the restart a defence breached eight times in the club's previous three away games was again found wanting.

Scharner's failure to complete a routine clearance allowed Gera to cut in from the left and centre for Okaka.

The forward, on loan from Roma and on as an interval replacement for Elm, stuck out a foot to clip in his first Premier League goal, and Fulham were back in the hunt.

Two minutes from the hour mark, Wigan's defensive shortcomings were highlighted again as Hangeland rose unopposed to head home Duff's corner.

Fulham continued to dominate and, although Wigan applied some late pressure on the home defence, they held out for a deserved victory ahead of Thursday's trip to Wolfsburg.


Fulham manager Roy Hodgson:

"The first-half performance was way below the levels we set ourselves, but I know how much our players are putting into the Europa League matches and I wasn't surprised.

"But the players dug deep, and that speaks volumes for their character.

"Bobby Zamora is suffering with a kicked achilles, but I'll be very disappointed if he isn't fit to face Wolfsburg."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez:

"In the first half we had to be at our best. We wanted to impose ourselves, and we did that.

"But two lapses of concentration cost us, and we got heavily punished.

"Fulham play with huge confidence at home and they only need half a chance to get a goal.

"I felt we deserved a lot more from our performance, which speaks volumes for our potential, but we need to be as good as we can be in every game."

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Fulham 2-1 Wigan FT
(HT 0-1)
  • Okaka Chuka 47
  • Hangeland 58
  • Scotland 34

Fulham

Substitutes

Wigan

Substitutes

Ref: ClattenburgAtt: 22,730
FULHAM
WIGAN

Possession

  • Fulham 55%
  • Wigan 45%

Attempts on target

  • Fulham 5
  • Wigan 7

Attempts off target

  • Fulham 2
  • Wigan 5

Corners

  • Fulham 6
  • Wigan 3

Fouls

  • Fulham 11
  • Wigan 10
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:09 The match has reached full-time.
  • 90:00+2:51 Corner taken short by Zoltan Gera.
  • 90:00+2:31 The ball is swung over by Scott Sinclair, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.
  • 90:00+2:21 Scott Sinclair delivers the ball, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.
  • 90:00+1:32 Aaron Hughes fouled by Paul Scharner, the ref awards a free kick. Mark Schwarzer restarts play with the free kick.
  • 90:00+0:57 Mohamed Diame takes a shot.
  • 90:00+0:18 Damien Duff challenges Mohamed Diame unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ben Watson delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel.
  • 88:17 Ben Watson takes a shot. Blocked by Aaron Hughes.
  • 87:50 Substitution Stefano Okaka goes off and Erik Nevland comes on.
  • Correction - 87:01 Substitution Chris Baird on for Danny Murphy.
  • 86:56 Substitution Danny Murphy leaves the field to be replaced by Chris Baird.
  • 86:21 Simon Davies produces a cross, Paul Scharner manages to make a clearance.
  • Correction - 84:26 Substitution (Wigan) makes a substitution, with Ben Watson coming on for Charles N'Zogbia.
  • Correction - 84:26 Substitution Marcelo Moreno leaves the field to be replaced by Scott Sinclair.
  • 84:26 Ben Watson crosses the ball in from the free kick.
  • 84:26 Substitution Ben Watson on for Charles N'Zogbia.
  • 84:26 Substitution Scott Sinclair on for Marcelo Moreno.
  • 84:26 Booking Booking for Stefano Okaka for unsporting behaviour.
  • Correction - 84:21 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Maynor Figueroa by Stefano Okaka.
  • 84:21 Stefano Okaka gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Maynor Figueroa.
  • 80:01 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by Dickson Etuhu. Titus Bramble takes the free kick.
  • 74:22 Marcelo Moreno has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.
  • 73:05 Mario Melchiot gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Zoltan Gera. Danny Murphy delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save by Chris Kirkland. Free kick awarded for a foul by Danny Murphy on Victor Moses. Mario Melchiot takes the direct free kick.
  • 72:22 Corner taken by Damien Duff from the left by-line, clearance by Marcelo Moreno.
  • 71:52 Damien Duff delivers the ball in from the corner, clearance made by Mohamed Diame.
  • 71:46 Simon Davies produces a cross, Mario Melchiot makes a clearance.
  • 70:13 Corner taken right-footed by James McCarthy from the left by-line, Victor Moses has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.
  • 69:33 Clinton Dempsey challenges Victor Moses unfairly and gives away a free kick. Charles N'Zogbia crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Aaron Hughes.
  • 64:04 The ball is delivered by Charles N'Zogbia, clearance made by Aaron Hughes.
  • 62:53 Free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.
  • 62:53 Booking Maynor Figueroa is booked.
  • 62:49 Maynor Figueroa concedes a free kick for a foul on Damien Duff.
  • 61:57 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Chris Kirkland.
  • 60:24 Substitution Jason Scotland goes off and Victor Moses comes on.
  • 57:36 The assist for the goal came from Damien Duff.
  • 57:36 GOAL - Brede HangelandFulham 2 - 1 Wigan Brede Hangeland scores a headed goal from deep inside the penalty box. Fulham 2-1 Wigan.
  • 57:13 Outswinging corner taken by Damien Duff,
  • 56:03 Damien Duff takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland. The referee blows for offside against Stefano Okaka. Chris Kirkland takes the free kick.
  • 55:14 Damien Duff sends in a cross, Maynor Figueroa makes a clearance. Corner taken by Damien Duff from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Jason Scotland.
  • 54:16 Marcelo Moreno is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
  • 53:32 Titus Bramble fouled by Stefano Okaka, the ref awards a free kick. Titus Bramble takes the free kick.
  • 51:37 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 49:49 Hugo Rodallega produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.
  • 46:19 Assist by Zoltan Gera.
  • 46:19 GOAL - Stefano OkakaFulham 1 - 1 Wigan Goal scored by Stefano Okaka from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Fulham 1-1 Wigan.
  • 45:58 The ball is crossed by Danny Murphy.
  • 45:01 The second half begins.
  • 45:01 Substitution Stefano Okaka replaces David Elm.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:41 The match has reached half-time.
  • 45:00+2:09 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Damien Duff, clearance made by Marcelo Moreno.
  • 45:00+2:03 The ball is delivered by Simon Davies.
  • 44:49 Jason Scotland handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick crossed by Danny Murphy, save made by Chris Kirkland.
  • 43:03 Foul by Dickson Etuhu on Mohamed Diame, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Chris Kirkland.
  • 42:13 Foul by Dickson Etuhu on Hugo Rodallega, free kick awarded. Titus Bramble takes the direct free kick.
  • 41:20 The ball is delivered by Damien Duff, save by Chris Kirkland.
  • 38:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marcelo Moreno on Aaron Hughes. Aaron Hughes takes the free kick.
  • 38:02 David Elm produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.
  • 37:34 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Zoltan Gera by James McCarthy. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Danny Murphy from right channel.
  • 35:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Brede Hangeland on Marcelo Moreno. James McCarthy takes the direct free kick.
  • 33:34 Assist by Marcelo Moreno.
  • 33:34 GOAL - Jason ScotlandFulham 0 - 1 Wigan A goal is scored by Jason Scotland from just inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Fulham 0-1 Wigan.
  • 33:30 The ball is swung over by Mario Melchiot.
  • 30:54 Corner taken by Charles N'Zogbia from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by David Elm.
  • 30:39 Shot by Paul Scharner. Clearance made by Brede Hangeland.
  • 28:57 Free kick awarded for a foul by Brede Hangeland on Marcelo Moreno. Mohamed Diame restarts play with the free kick.
  • 28:09 Corner taken right-footed by James McCarthy from the left by-line to the near post, Paul Scharner produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
  • 27:46 Marcelo Moreno takes a shot. Blocked by Brede Hangeland.
  • 26:26 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Murphy by Charles N'Zogbia. Paul Konchesky takes the free kick.
  • 24:10 Maynor Figueroa challenges David Elm unfairly and gives away a free kick. Damien Duff crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.
  • 22:34 Clinton Dempsey crosses the ball, Maynor Figueroa makes a clearance.
  • 21:58 The official flags Charles N'Zogbia offside. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
  • 19:51 Unfair challenge on Aaron Hughes by Marcelo Moreno results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 16:17 The assistant referee flags for offside against Marcelo Moreno. Indirect free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
  • Correction - 14:20 David Elm takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland.
  • 14:20 David Elm takes a shot. Chris Kirkland makes a save.
  • 13:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Damien Duff by Mohamed Diame. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
  • 12:11 Free kick crossed by Damien Duff.
  • 12:11 Booking Paul Scharner booked for unsporting behaviour.
  • 11:59 Foul by Paul Scharner on David Elm, free kick awarded.
  • 11:34 The referee blows for offside. Aaron Hughes restarts play with the free kick.
  • Correction - 10:43 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Simon Davies gets a block in.
  • 10:43 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Blocked by Simon Davies.
  • 10:00 The referee blows for offside against Zoltan Gera. Chris Kirkland takes the free kick.
  • 7:50 The ball is crossed by Hugo Rodallega.
  • 4:45 Damien Duff delivers the ball, David Elm takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mohamed Diame by Zoltan Gera. Maynor Figueroa delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel.
  • 2:59 Clinton Dempsey has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 2:16 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Dickson Etuhu gets a block in.
  • 0:00 The referee gets the game underway.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League results

4 Apr 2010 23:59 UK


Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 4 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 33 54 74
2 Man Utd 33 50 72
3 Arsenal 33 41 71
4 Man City 32 24 59
5 Tottenham 32 26 58
6 Liverpool 33 21 55
7 Aston Villa 32 12 54
8 Everton 33 8 50
9 Birmingham 33 -4 46
10 Stoke 32 -3 42
11 Blackburn 33 -15 42
12 Fulham 32 -2 41
13 Sunderland 33 -7 38
14 Wolves 33 -23 32
15 Bolton 33 -25 32
16 Wigan 33 -34 31
17 West Ham 33 -17 28
18 Hull 32 -35 27
19 Burnley 33 -39 24
20 Portsmouth 33 -32 14

see also
Sunday football as it happened
04 Apr 10 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
04 Apr 10 |  Premier League



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