Sunday 4 April 2010, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Okaka 47'; Hangeland 58'
Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic
Scotland 34'

47' Goal

Stefano Okaka

58' Goal

Brede Hangeland

85' Yellow Card

Stefano Okaka Card was given for a foul

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Stefano Okaka
Off:David Elm

87' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Chris Baird
Off:Danny Murphy

87' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:Stefano Okaka

34' Goal

Jason Scotland

13' Yellow Card

Paul Scharner Card was given for a foul

63' Yellow Card

Maynor Figueroa Card was given for a foul

60' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Victor Moses
Off:Jason Scotland

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ben Watson
Off:Charles N'Zogbia

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Scott Sinclair
Off:Marcelo Moreno

Wigan Athletic have not enjoyed their trips to the capital this season, and despite a brave performance, goals from Stefano Okaka and Brede Hangeland handed victory to Fulham.

The visitors had conceded 13 goals in two games in London prior to this visit to Craven Cottage, and will no doubt be looking to put that jinx behind them with two more in their last five fixtures.

Despite their predicament in the league, Wigan certainly impressed and came straight out of the blocks, with Fulham needing the cool assurance of Brede Hangeland to slow proceedings and see the ball to safety.

Despite a positive start from Wigan, it was the Whites that saw the best of the early chances, with Simon Davies breaking down the right and finding Damien Duff in space behind Wigan left-back Maynor Figueroa. The Republic of Ireland international teased a cross into Zoltan Gera, but the Hungarian could only find the arms of Chris Kirkland with a diving header.

England hopeful, Kirkland, did even better moments later, denying David Elm with a super block, the Swedish striker put through and firing at goal from the left of the area.

With Fulham pushing forward, referee Mark Clattenburg waved away appeals for a penalty with little more than 15 minutes gone, with Gera going down under the challenge of Titus Bramble.

At the other end, Hugo Rodallega was proving a useful outlet for the Latics, with his skill down the left fashioning a brief moment of hope for Marcelo Moreno. Mark Schwarzer also did well to claim one testing, low delivery from the Colombian attacker.

Moreno also tried his luck from distance, while Paul Scharner headed high and wide from a James McCarthy corner.

A nervy spell ensued for Schwarzer on the half hour mark, with Hangeland heading off from the line with the Australian caught out of position. Schwarzer did make amends seconds later, tipping Figueroa’s floated effort over the crossbar.

However, Schwarzer was beaten on 34 minutes, with Jason Scotland’s shot on the turn following Moreno’s clever knockdown finding its way into the bottom left corner.

Elm responded with an ambitious curled strike from the right of the Wigan box, dispossessing Titus Bramble and attempting to catch Kirkland off guard. While Duff’s deflected cross almost found its way into the Wigan net, with Kirkland palming the ball to relative safety.

Fulham certainly finished the half on top though, with Davies’ deep delivery almost finding the head of Clint Dempsey.

With plenty to do, Fulham emerged with endeavour, which was underlined by Gera’s graft on the by-line. The number 11 looked up, and with the outside of the right boot teed up substitute Stefano Okaka to turn the ball home with a confident first-time finish with barely a minute of the second-half gone.

Almost instantly, Rodallega flashed a chance wide of the Whites’ goal, collecting a fantastic pass from Bramble and running beyond Davies. The Colombian international then hit a crisp strike at Schwarzer following a clever run inside.

The goal seemed to breathe life into the visitors, who had won only twice in their last 12 league games, with the game there for the taking.

But a stinging strike from Duff, following some clever play from Davies and Gera gave Fulham the impetus once more, with Dempsey then picking the pockets of McCarthy and forcing a corner.

From Duff’s subsequent delivery, it was Hangeland that rose highest, heading in with conviction on 58 minutes, with the Norwegian’s effort leaving Kirkland well-beaten.

Fulham kept the ball nicely and a period of positivity followed with Gera, Dempsey and Duff pulling Wigan out of shape.

Wigan substitute Victor Moses did go close to an equaliser however, heading over from McCarthy’s corner, while Paul Konchesky did well to thwart Moreno.

An excellently despatched free-kick from Danny Murphy forced Kirkland into action on 74 minutes, with Dickson Etuhu and Okaka bearing down on the Latics’ stopper.

With play swinging back-and-forth, Dempsey did well to block efforts from both McCarthy and Moreno on the edge of the Fulham box, while a crunching tackle from Etuhu reminded Roberto Martinez’s side of the Whites’ commitment.

With the final 10 minutes approaching, Wigan certainly had the momentum with Schwarzer claiming a deep delivery from Mario Melchiot under pressure from Rodallega.

Hangeland twice did well to snuff out the threat of an on-running Scott Sinclair, while Aaron Hughes showed his experience to deny Wigan another with a minute left on the clock.

Fulham were denied further claims for a penalty in injury-time when Bramble dived in on Dempsey, but it mattered little as the Whites held on to secure a valuable win.

With European exploits aside, March had been a month to forget for Fulham with three straight league defeats, but this afternoon’s win did much for our domestic ambitions with three points moving the Club past the 40-point marker ahead of Thursday’s highly anticipated trip to Wolfsburg.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Sunday 4 April 2010
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 22,730

Referee: Mark Clattenburg


Line-up: Schwarzer; Davies, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Duff, Murphy (Baird 87'), Etuhu, Dempsey; Gera, Elm (Okaka 45' (Nevland 87'))

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Shorey, Smalling, Greening

Wigan Athletic

Line-up: Kirkland; Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa; N'Zogbia (Watson 84'), Diamé, McCarthy, Rodallega; Moreno (Sinclair 84'), Scotland (Moses 60')

Unused substitutes: Stojkovic, Gohouri, Amaya, Jordi Gómez

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 33 74
2 Manchester United 33 72
3 Arsenal 33 71
4 Manchester City 32 59
5 Tottenham Hotspur 32 58
6 Liverpool 33 55
7 Aston Villa 32 54
8 Everton 32 49
9 Birmingham City 33 46
10 Stoke City 32 42
11 Blackburn Rovers 33 42
12 Fulham 32 41
13 Sunderland 33 38
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 33 32
15 Bolton Wanderers 33 32
16 Wigan Athletic 33 31
17 West Ham United 32 27
18 Hull City 32 27
19 Burnley 33 24
20 Portsmouth 33 23
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 29Simon Davies
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 35David Elm
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 6Chris Baird
  • 7Nicky Shorey
  • 26Chris Smalling
  • 27Jonathan Greening
  • 9Stefano Okaka
  • 10Erik Nevland
Wigan Athletic (4-4-2)
  • 1Chris Kirkland
  • 25Mario Melchiot
  • 7Paul Scharner
  • 19Titus Bramble
  • 31Maynor Figueroa
  • 10Charles N'Zogbia
  • 21Mohamed Diamé
  • 4James McCarthy
  • 20Hugo Rodallega
  • 18Marcelo Moreno
  • 18Jason Scotland
  • 29Vladimir Stojkovic
  • 2Steve Gohouri
  • 4Antonio Amaya
  • 11Victor Moses
  • 8Ben Watson
  • 14Jordi Gómez
  • 16Scott Sinclair