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Premier League

  • January 12, 2013
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 25442

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

Clinical strikes from Giorgos Karagounis and Franco Di Santo provided stark anomalies in a Premier League game that mirrored both sides' 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 leveled the visitors with a similarly clinical drive after the break.

Genuine quality throughout was few and far between 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 survival.

Roberto Martinez made eight changes to revert back to a more familiar side after the disappointing FA Cup third round draw with Bournemouth, though was without top scorer Arouna Kone, who joined up with the Ivory Coast at 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 lineup 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 Berbatov failing to control 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 endeavored to get itself back into the game but got little joy against a home side which was more measured with its possession.

Alex Kacaniklic and Kieran Richardson both fired high and wide from promising positions for the home side, before Franco 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 onto the bar before Di Santo improvised smartly to send a volley inches wide.

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

The Latics ended the game in the ascendancy though had Emmerson Boyce to thank for a point, after the defender dramatically cleared Ruiz's effort off the line to see the game end a 1-1 draw.

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