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Premier League

  • 12 January 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 25442

Fulham 1-1 Wigan: Di Santo leveller lifts Latics out of bottom three

Fulham 1-1 Wigan: Di Santo leveller lifts Latics out of bottom three

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Clinical strikes from Giorgos Karagounis and Franco Di Santo provide stark anomalies in Premier League game that mirrored both side's current poor runs of form

Fulham and Wigan shared the spoils in a tense Premier League affair that ended 1-1 at Craven Cottage.

In an afternoon that presented plain evidence of both sides' current lack of confidence, Fulham opened the scoring through Greek midfielder Giorgos Karagounis' emphatic strike off the post, before Franco Di Santo levelled for the visitors with a similarly clinical drive after the break.

Genuine quality throughout was sparse and though the result lifted Wigan out of the bottom three and left Fulham in relative mid-table comfort, both sides urgently need to address the form which may threaten their Premier League status.

Roberto Martinez made eight changes to revert back to a more familiar side after the disappointing FA Cup third round draw with Bournemouth, but was without top scorer Arouna Kone, who joined up with the Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Martin Jol welcomed back several senior players, with Mark Schwarzer, Damien Duff, Kieran Richardson and Mladen Petric all restored to the starting line-up and John Arne Riise named on the bench.

A recent lack of confidence from both sides manifested itself in a tense and uneventful opening 20 minutes, with Petric and James McArthur both blazing over the bar from the edge of the area and Dimitar Berbatov miscontrolling a Bryan Ruiz pass when through on goal.

It took a moment of class from Karagounis to break the deadlock, as the Greek midfielder picked the ball up centrally before driving to the edge of the box and sending an unstoppable drive in off the far post.

Wigan endeavoured to get themselves back into the game but got little joy against a home side who were more measured with their possession.

Alex Kacaniklic and Richardson both fired high and wide from promising positions for the home side, before Di Santo spurned a decent opportunity to draw Wigan level by hammering over Emmerson Boyce's wicked delivery from just six yards out.

The match continued in the same fashion after the interval with neither side showing the craft needed to create clear-cut opportunities.

Shaun Maloney's drive caught Brede Hangeland on the shoulder and forced Schwarzer to tip on to the bar before Di Santo improvised smartly to send a volley inches wide.

Wigan's pressure finally paid dividends when Di Santo drew them level with a rasping right-footed drive after cutting in from the right channel.

The Latics ended the game in the ascendancy but had Maynor Figueroa and Emmerson Boyce to thank for a point, after the defenders dramatically cleared Ruiz's two efforts off the line to see the game end in a 1-1 draw.