Saturday 22 December 2007, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Dempsey 78'
Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic
1
Bent 70'
Clint Dempsey cancels out Marcus Bent's opener to ensure Fulham take a point from the game against Wigan Athletic at Craven Cottage.

78' Goal

Clint Dempsey

59' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:David Healy
Off:Steven Davis

60' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Chris Baird
Off:Elliot Omozusi

70' Goal

Marcus Bent

63' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Antoine Sibierski
Off:Julius Aghahowa

86' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Salomon Olembé
Off:Ryan Taylor

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First Half Action

2 mins
Paul Konchesky, back from injury, suffered an early lapse in concentration when he misjudged the pace of a pass allowing Wigan right winger, Antonio Valencia, to intercept and bear down on goal. The Wigan man saw his first shot blocked and was unable to make good on the follow-up thanks to a clearance from Aaron Hughes.

7 mins
Fulham sustained their first real attack of the match, putting the visiting defence under intense pressure. Diomansy Kamara linked up well with Paul Konchesky on the left wing who in turn fed the ball back to Bouazza. The Algerian international crossed but Kamara was unable to find the target. A series of corners followed which saw Danny Murphy ultimately miss the target with a glancing header.

9 mins
A sublime pass from Steven Davis cut through the Wigan defence and into the path of Bouazza whose low cross was just missed at the near post by Clint Dempsey. It was certainly an exciting start to the match from the Whites.

17 mins
The Whites were producing a performance full of energy and inventive passing as the visitors were enjoying precious little time on the ball. Nonetheless, in a packed midfield with such little space available, there were untidy passages of play from both sides.

22 mins
Simon Davies forced a good block from Chris Kirkland after a fine piece of Fulham play. The opportunity came largely as a result of strong running from Diomansy Kamara, who chased half the length of the pitch to close down Kirkland. The clearance fell to a White shirt and was worked out to the right wing where Davies was waiting to shoot.

25 mins
Another nice passing routine from the Whites was brought to an abrupt halt when Kamara was upended. From the following free kick, which was whipped in skilfully by Davies, Kamara beat Kirkland to the ball. Unfortunately the ball bounced just wide of the post.

27 mins
The Whites almost took the lead in spectacular fashion just before the half hour mark when Paul Konchesky hit a shot from fully 35 yards. Chris Kirkland could only watch as the ball rattled the crossbar and spun over into the Putney End.

38 mins
A lull in play followed Konchesky’s shot as Wigan upped their work rate and looked to stifle the Whites’ passing game. To a certain extent the visitors were able to shut Fulham down but the home side was still enjoying that extra touch in midfield.

Second Half Action

53 mins
The second half started a far scrappier affair with neither side being able to put together passing movements of any great quality. However, it was Fulham who had the first scoring opportunity of the half when Dempsey was played through on goal. However, with his accompanying defender making up ground, the American could only snatch at a shot, which rolled wide of the far post.

58 mins – Fulham Substitution – Healy & Baird ON Omozusi & Davis OFF
An injury sustained to Elliot Omozusi ended the full back’s participation in the match – he was replaced at right back by Chris Baird. Steven Davis was also taken off and replaced by David Healy. The Northern Irish striker took his customary position up front with Dempsey moving to right wing and Simon Davies joining Danny Murphy in the middle of the park.

69 mins – GOAL WIGAN – Marcus Bent
The visitors took the lead in the 69th minute when Marcus Bent latched on to a flick-on in the area after a corner was cleared and a high ball was pumped back into the box. The Whites failed to deal with the delivery and subsequent flick-on and Bent was lurking at the back to slam his shot past Niemi.

71 mins – Fulham Substitution – Kuqi ON Bouazza OFF

77 mins – GOAL FULHAM – Clint Dempsey
The Whites got back on level pegging thanks to a well taken Clint Dempsey finish. A high ball was launched towards Kuqi but was only cleared to Kamara who fired a low cross across the penalty area to Dempsey. The American placed a firm shot with the outside of his right foot past Kirkland.

80 mins
Fulham could have easily gone behind again in the 80th minute when the linesman’s flag stayed down and Valencia sprinted towards goal. Thankfully his final touch was too heavy allowing Niemi to come out and smother at the striker’s feet.

84 mins
There was high drama in the Wigan area as Kirkland missed a catch and the ball bounced down to Murphy whose shot was unable to find a way through a sea of bodies.

88 mins
As the game descended into a battle of wills rather than one of skill the Whites almost fell behind when a high ball into the box was headed just over the angle of the bar by Wigan substitute, Antoine Sibierski. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 22 December 2007
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 20,820

Referee: Alan Wiley

Fulham

Line-up: Niemi; Omozusi (Baird 60'), Hughes, Bocanegra, Konchesky; Davies, Murphy, Steven Davis (Healy 59'), Bouazza; Dempsey, Kamara

Unused substitutes: Warner, Stefanovic, Seol Ki-Hyeon

Wigan Athletic

Line-up: Kirkland; Boyce, Scharner, Bramble, Ryan Taylor (Olembé 86'); Antonio Valencia, Brown, Koumas, Kilbane; Bent, Aghahowa (Sibierski 63')

Unused substitutes: Pollitt, Granqvist, Skoko

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 18 43
2 Manchester United 17 39
3 Chelsea 17 34
4 Manchester City 18 34
5 Liverpool 17 33
6 Everton 17 30
7 Portsmouth 18 30
8 Aston Villa 18 29
9 Blackburn Rovers 17 26
10 West Ham United 17 25
11 Newcastle United 17 25
12 Reading 18 21
13 Tottenham Hotspur 18 18
14 Bolton Wanderers 18 17
15 Middlesbrough 18 17
16 Birmingham City 18 15
17 Fulham 18 14
18 Sunderland 18 14
19 Wigan Athletic 18 13
20 Derby County 17 6
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 29Antti Niemi
  • 22Elliot Omozusi
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 4Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 27Danny Murphy
  • 10Steven Davis
  • 24Hameur Bouazza
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 11Diomansy Kamara
Substitutes
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 6Dejan Stefanovic
  • 34Chris Baird
  • 7Seol Ki-Hyeon
  • 31David Healy
Wigan Athletic (4-4-2)
  • 1Chris Kirkland
  • 17Emmerson Boyce
  • 7Paul Scharner
  • 19Titus Bramble
  • 2Ryan Taylor
  • 16Antonio Valencia
  • 11Michael Brown
  • 19Jason Koumas
  • 8Kevin Kilbane
  • 23Marcus Bent
  • 15Julius Aghahowa
Substitutes
  • 12Michael Pollitt
  • 4Andreas Granqvist
  • 20Salomon Olembé
  • 24Josip Skoko
  • 6Antoine Sibierski