Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Fulham 2 Wigan 1

Defender Philippe Senderos ended Wigan’s recent revival with a powerful header from John Arne Riise’s free-kick a minute from end to crown an impressive Fulham fightback.

Fulham trailed to Emmerson Boyce’s powerful 57th-minute drive but equalised within a minute thorugh Pavel Pogrebnyak, who might have been celebrating another goall five minutes later when his close-range effort bounced down off the underside of the Wigan Athletic crossbar.

It looked as if the ball might have crossed the line but Fulham players did not claim a goal and immediate television replays were inconclusive.

Wigan’s fluent 4-3-4 system provided a tactical test for Fulham but the home side went closest to achieving the early breakthrough.

Danny Murphy’s short free-kick, played across the penalty area, had Wigan slow to react but Damien Duff shot high over the bar. Another Fulham set-piece also caused problems, Pavel Pogrebnyak first to reach Duff’s corner but directing his effort wide.

Fulham struggled to raise the tempo against a composed Wigan side, and it was not until the approach of half-time that the Craven Cottage crowd were roused from their slumbers.

Duff, well-placed just inside the Wigan penalty area, curved a ball just beyond the far post, then Ali Al-Habsi, the visitors’ goalkeeper, had to be alert to grab Clint Dempsey’s tantalising low cross.

Fulham enjoyed both possession and territory but Wigan’s game plan allowed for that. Roberto Martinez’s side are equipped to do maximum damage on the break and Fulham received a warning just before half-time when Jordi Gomez ended a rapid counter-attack by testing Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer at the foot of his near post.

Fulham were given two further scares soon after the restart. Antolin Alcaraz headed down Jean Beausejour’s free-kick and Jordi Gomez’s tightly-angled drive rippled the outside of the home metting in the 52nd minute before Maynor Figueroa bounced a shot wide of the target.

It was no surprise, therefore, when Wigan opened the scoring in the 57th minute. Boyce’s ball to the edge of the penalty area rebounded back to him from Philippe Senderos and the Wigan wing-back unleashed a flashing drive that flew beyond Schwarzer.

Yet the lead was to last for barely a minute as Fulham finally unlocked the Wigan rearguard. Pogrebnyak exchanged passes with Dempsey before firing a low shot past Al-Habsi.

Fulham were refreshed and the afternoon’s big talking point arrived five minutes later. Duff’s low cross fell for Pogrebnyak, whose close-range shot clipped the underside of the crossbar, spinning dowwards before bouncing clear.

Pogrebnyak’s eventful second half continued when he wasted a golden chance 12 minutes from the end, rolling a rebound against a Wigan post after Al-Habsi had pushed away Dempsey’s drive.

It was left to Senderos to deliver the winner, getting on the end of Riise’s long, dipping free-kick just as time appeared to have run out.

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