Ali Al Habsi
Looked a little suspect when coming for crosses and didn’t really get enough on them to clear the danger. He was rooted to his line for Rodallega’s header, but it was from such close range that there was nothing he could do about it.
The Latics skipper really does lead from the front with surging runs out of defense, strong tackles and vital clearances. However his one lapse in concentration allowed Rodallega to open the scoring with a free header from Berbatov’s header. He was replaced by McManaman in the 77th minute.
The wing back had a good game on the right hand side and provided Wigan with a real outlet in attacking positions. He worked hard to track back with the runs of Kacaniklic but could have done more to keep the Swede away from goal. He had the first chance of the game for the home side from a perfect Figueroa cross but was unable to get his header on target. He was replaced by Miyaichi in the 77th minute.
Solid as a central defender but you sense he would prefer the opportunity to get forward more given his occasional runs forward. He showed his quality in attacking positions with a perfect cross from the left but Boyce was unable to convert his back-post header.
The Spaniard had the tough task of trying to pick up Dimitar Berbatov and the Bulgarian gave him plenty to do, and in the main he did his job well. He looked calm in possession and timed his challenges well, a much more solid performance from the summer signing.
Seemed to enjoy playing alongside Watson, it gave him a bit more freedom to get forward and he should have got himself on the scoresheet at least once. His build-up play and interchanging with Watson was good and helped his side keep possession but they failed to capitalise on that. His best chance of the match came in the second half when a loose ball fell at his feet but his low shot was well saved by Schwarzer.
He was back in the team in place of James McArthur and he was always available for a pass and keen to keep his side moving with short, sharp passes. He was the heartbeat of Wigan’s play, popping up all over the pitch to receive the ball and help his side keep possession. Unfortunately he was unable to unlock the Fulham defense.
He provided a good outlet for the home side down the left, he was keen to run at Riether and cross whenever he could. However his crosses lacked accuracy and there was very little for the Wigan strikers to feed off.
The Spaniard was a frustrating figure for the hosts as he drifted in and out of the game with moments of class quickly followed by moments of poor play. His best moment was in the first half as he got on the end of Beausejour’s low cross from the left only to see his left foot shot crash against the crossbar. His frustrating afternoon was brought to an end in the 62nd minute
The Ivorian led the line well for the hosts but never really had a clear sight of goal until the second half. He linked up well with Maloney and Gomez but was kept at bay by the close attentions of Hangeland and Hughes. His best chance looked to have come in the second half as he was released behind the Fulham back line, but saw his shot well saved by Schwarzer. He finally got his name on the score sheet in injury time as he fired low past Schwarzer from seven yards.
Very busy as part of the Wigan front three, he showed some excellent touches and link-up play with Kone but the final ball was lacking from the Scot. He never gave up though and continued to run at the Fulham defense whenever he had the ball at his feet.
He had to stay alert and be ready for the few Wigan attacks, and when they came he was and reacted well. He commanded his penalty area well but wasn’t forced into making a save until midway through the second half, and he did excellently to first deny Kone and then McCarthy.
Worked well alongside Hangeland and picked up the runs from the Wigan midfield to deny any real chances on Schwarzer’s goal. The speed of Wigan’s attacks caught him out in the final moment of the first half as he mistimed a challenge on Shaun Maloney, a challenge that earned him a yellow card.
The German full back impressed down the right hand side. He barely gave Beausejour a kick, and threatened himself down the right in support Damien Duff.
He handled the threat of Kone well, he stayed very tight to the Ivorian giving very little room to work opportunities and when the ball was in the air the Norwegian was dominant against his opponent.
He gave Jordi Gomez very little room and time to create for the home side, but he had a busy time trying to deal with the overlapping runs of Boyce as well. Unusually he didn’t really threaten going forward, allowing Kacaniklic to pose the left wing threat.
Playing as the holding man in the center of midfield he broke up a lot of dangerous attacks from the home side, and he stuck to his brief throughout the game.
The midfielder was an integral part of the pressing football that Fulham deployed to try and limit the amount of possession the home side had, and it worked. The hosts were rushed into making passes that he was able to cut out and launch Fulham attacks. His link-up with Baird in the center of the pitch was good and they provided a solid base from which to threaten.
The Swedish winger was full of pace down the left, running at and past Boyce at regular intervals. His pace and skill enabled him to get into some dangerous positions but his final ball and his shooting lacked accuracy which meant he didn’t get his name on the scoresheet. He was replaced by Ruiz just before the hour.
Threatened on a regular basis down the right hand side, he was keen to run at Figueroa whenever he could but having to cut back onto his left foot meant that his crosses were able to be headed clear. He continued to threaten in the second half as was in the right place at the right time to fire past Al Habsi in the 68th minute after excellent work from Ruiz.
Rather than playing as an out and out striker the Bulgarian dropped off Rodallega and proved difficult for Wigan to mark. His movement and vision caused all kinds of problems for the home side and on another day he could have easily got his name on the scoresheet. He delivered a perfect cross for Rodallega in the 31st minute, showing the touch and skill we come to expect from the striker.
The script was written for the former Wigan man, back at the DW for the first time and in search of his first Fulham goal. And that goal duly arrived just after the half hour as he rose to head past Al Habsi from six yards. His movement and link-up with Berbatov gave the Cottagers a real threat going forward and could have resulted in more goals. Was replaced with minutes to go by Briggs.
Replaced Caldwell in 77th minute and was lively down the right hand side when he was given the ball, sadly that wasn’t often enough for him to create anything for the home side.
Replaced Gomez in the 62nd minute and could have got his side back into the game but somehow missed from yards out after Schwarzer could only parry McCarthy’s shot.
Replaced Boyce in the 77th minute as the hosts went all out attack, but he struggled to get into the game.