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Premier League

  • 29 October 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 15796

Wigan Athletic 0-2 Fulham: Martinez's men fall deeper into trouble as Dempsey & Dembele earn visitors a rare away win

Wigan Athletic 0-2 Fulham: Martinez's men fall deeper into trouble as Dempsey & Dembele earn visitors a rare away win

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Cottagers secure first victory on the road this season and push the Latics to the bottom of the table after their seventh straight defeat, as pressure builds on Spanish boss

Fulham secured their first away victory of the season with a 2-0 smash and grab raid on Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium, a result that leaves the Latics bottom of the Premier League table.

The hosts dominated the game and created plenty of chances but were unable to hit the target, and when they did they were denied by goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and the frame of the goal.

The visitors opened the scoring just before half time thanks to Clint Dempsey, the American latching onto a low cross from Bobby Zamora to tap home his third goal of the season, before they sealed the win with three minutes remaining through Moussa Dembele's low strike.

Both managers kept faith in the sides that lost their previous games. Wigan welcomed back James McCarthy and Franco Di Santo to their matchday squad in place of Hendry Thomas and Jordi Gomez, whilst Shaun Maloney had to wait for his first start for the Latics.

Martin Jol called Pajtim Kasami and Matthew Briggs onto his subs bench in place of Aaron Hughes, who picked up an injury in training on Thursday, and youngster Karim Frei.

The game started off very nervously with both sides clearly understanding how crucial the match was, and for the opening 15 minutes both midfield's prodded and probed for an opening without much success.

The opening chance came in the 15th minute through the impressive David Jones. Victor Moses was the creator with a neat chipped cross to Hugo Rodallega, as the Colombian combined with Albert Crusat before rolling the ball into the path of Jones. From the edge of the area the former Wolves man controlled and fired a left-footed shot towards the top corner but Schwarzer saved easily.

Chances were at a premium as once again both teams returned to a tactical battle and the expectant crowd had to wait another 10 minutes for the next chance on goal, and it fell to Jones once again. This time it was a dangerous cross from Emmerson Boyce that found the 26-year-old running in from the edge of the area, but his left-footed volley flew wide when it looked easier to score.

The home side were beginning to have more of the possession and were clearly growing in confidence as the game went on, and minutes later an outrageous effort from Rodallega nearly opened the scoring. Another Boyce right-wing cross found the Colombian on the penalty spot, who met the ball with an overhead kick that sailed well over Schwarzer’s crossbar.

        Dembele doubles | Steve Sidwell celebrates the Belgian striker's goal to make it 2-0

Two minutes later the Australian goalkeeper was called into action and he made a fine save to deny Ben Watson. A great run from Maynor Figueroa ended with a rolled ball into Crusat, his cross was headed down to Watson but the midfielder's volley from the edge of the area was brilliantly tipped over by Schwarzer. From the resulting corner Gary Caldwell could only direct a free header over the bar.

With the half coming to a close Fulham had their first sighting of the Wigan goal and they took the lead against the run of play. Danny Murphy released Bobby Zamora on the left, and despite a suspicion of offside the striker continued into the area and rolled a low cross into the centre of the goal, where Dempsey put the ball into the back of the net to give the visitors the lead at the break.

The second half began in the same manner as the first, with both sides looking to keep possession whenever they could, before Fulham went close through Johnson but the first real chance fell to the Moses in 54th minute.

The winger held off John Arne Riise to get onto a header from Boyce before unleashing a sensational volley from 25 yards which beat Schwarzer but crashed against the bar. The rebound fell to Rodallega but he was judged offside by the assistant referee.

Chances for the visitors were few and far between but just after the hour Zamora had an opportunity to double their lead - a long ball from defence releasing the striker behind Caldwell, who took his shot early but it flew just over Ali Al Habsi’s crossbar much to the relief of the keeper.

The hosts did not give up and managed to get into excellent positions but their final efforts were either blocked or lacking enough power to test Schwarzer. Rodallega went closest as the game continued, with a long range free kick from the Colombian denied by the Fulham stopper.

Figueroa also went close with six minutes to play, as the Fulham defence backed off he unleashed a thunderbolt which seemed to heading towards the corner but the ball clipped the post and rebounded wide with Schwarzer well beaten.

With three minutes remaining Fulham secured all three points through Dembele. The Belgian raced unchallenged from inside the Wigan half, evading one defender before side footing a shot past Al Habsi and into the bottom corner of the net to seal the win for the Cottagers with his first goal of the season.

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