Saturday 7 February 2009, 3:00pm at DW Stadium, Wigan
Barclays Premier League
Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic
0
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
A clean sheet at the DW Stadium meant Fulham travel back to London with a share of the points, after the game against Wigan finished 0-0.

70' Yellow Card

Maynor Figueroa Card was given for a foul

18' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ben Watson
Off:Antonio Valencia

61' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jason Koumas
Off:Michael Brown

71' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Amr Zaki
Off:Mido

35' Yellow Card

Clint Dempsey Card was given for a foul

51' Yellow Card

John Pantsil Card was given for a foul

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Olivier Dacourt
Off:Dickson Etuhu

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:Bobby Zamora

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Zoltán Gera
Off:Clint Dempsey

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Fulham dominated proceedings during the opening exchanges at the JJB, creating three attempts on goal in the first ten minutes of play. Roy Hodgson's side controlled possession with Johnson and Zamora finding plenty of space behind Wigan's midfield to exploit the Latics in the final third.

The opening chance of the game came straight from kick-off. After some intricate passing from the off Davies and Johnson linked up well with a neat one-two on the edge of Wigan's area before Davies' right-footed drive across goal flew wide. Five minutes later Danny Murphy tried his luck from 20 yards but his shot lacked the accuracy to test Kirkland.

Against the run of play Wigan's first effort on goal came after 12 minutes when Rodallega headed over Schwarzer's bar from six yards. Moments later Fulham were appealing for a penalty when Johnson tumbled under pressure as he raced into the area for a one-on-one with Kirkland. Fulham's appeal was immediately dismissed.

Three minutes later Johnson was there again, this time denied by Kirkland from close range before Dempsey headed over at the far post moments later. After quarter of an hours play, and an impressive start to the game, Fulham deserved to be comfortably ahead after several early efforts on goal.

Bobby Zamora went within an inch of giving Fulham the lead after 18 minutes. Andy Johnson's run into the area had Wigan's defence in disarray before his lay-off found an unmarked Zamora on the 18 yard line. The striker sent a left footed curling effort to Kirkland's far post but the slightest of defelctions sent the ball wide for a corner.

Wigan manager Steve Bruce was forced to make a double substitution after just 20 minutes of play. Valencia and Brown both appeared injured and were immediately replaced by Watson and Koumas respectively.

Wigan's change of personnel almost had a telling affect as Mido went close twice in as many minutes with two dangerous efforts. Mido's strikes on goal livened up the home crowd but failed to swing the balance as Fulham continued to control the game.

Wigan upped the ante after the half hour mark and took a more direct approach to goal. A series of crosses from deep, corners and long balls into the area tested Fulham's back-line but marshalled by the outstanding Hangeland, Fulham's defence rarely looked troubled.

Bobby Zamora had a superb chance to break the deadlock on 39 minutes with a close range header from Paul Konhesky's corner but the striker directed his effort over Kirkland's bar. A minute later the game was held up after Dickson Etuhu fell awkwardly following an aerial challenge.

As Etuhu received treatment Steve Bruce was forced to make his third and final substitution before half time, with Zaki replacing the injured Mido. For Fulham Etuhu attempted to run the injury off but his movement was severely restricted and Hodgson introduced January loan signing, and former French international, Olivier Dacourt to the fray.

Just before the break Koumas went close with a vicious volley from the edge of the area. Koumas strike was a superb piece of technical skill and looked goal bound but fortunately the ball flew just wide of Schwarzer's far post.

Wigan got the second half underway and after five minutes of play John Pantsil was booked after cutting across Zaki down the left flank.

After a tepid start to the second half a bright piece of play by Bobby Zamora on 53 minutes saw the striker beat his man on the half-way line and race clear of Wigan's back-line. As Zamora entered the area Wigan's defence recovered to intercept his attempted square ball to Andy Johnson.

On the hour mark Andy Johnson out-muscled Bramble for a long ball into Wigan's area, setting the striker clear through on goal on the right hand side of the area. Kirkland, to his credit, was alert to the danger and saved at Johnson's feet as the striker set to shoot.

Wigan for their part looked dangerous attacking from deep and the sheer physical presence of Zaki offered a serious threat in the final third. The striker twice went close with fierce efforts from distance in the second half.

Not for the first time during the second half Zamora left his marker rooted to the spot with a fine turn on 70 minutes before a cross from deep left almost found Johnson on the far post. Roy Hodgson revised his attacking options 15 minutes from time, replacing Zamora with Erik Nevland.

Both teams threatened during the final twenty minutes but neither side could find a cutting edge in the final third. Fulham for their part can count themselves unfortunate not to have taken more than a point from Saturday's clash at the JJB. Roy Hodgson's side will now turn their attention towards sealing a Quarter Final position in the FA Cup when they take on Swansea City next weekend.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 7 February 2009
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: DW Stadium, Wigan
Attendance: 16,599

Referee: Lee Probert

Wigan Athletic

Line-up: Kirkland; Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa; Antonio Valencia (Watson 18'), Brown (Koumas 61'), Cattermole, N'Zogbia; Rodallega, Mido (Zaki 71')

Unused substitutes: Pollitt, Edman, Boyce, De Ridder

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Davies, Murphy, Etuhu (Dacourt 45'), Dempsey (Gera 90'); Zamora (Nevland 75'), Johnson

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Stoor, Kallio, Kamara

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 23 53
2 Liverpool 24 51
3 Aston Villa 25 51
4 Chelsea 25 49
5 Arsenal 24 43
6 Everton 25 40
7 Wigan Athletic 25 34
8 West Ham United 24 33
9 Manchester City 24 31
10 Fulham 23 30
11 Sunderland 25 30
12 Hull City 25 29
13 Newcastle United 25 27
14 Bolton Wanderers 25 27
15 Tottenham Hotspur 24 24
16 Portsmouth 23 24
17 Stoke City 25 24
18 Blackburn Rovers 24 23
19 Middlesbrough 25 22
20 West Bromwich Albion 25 22
Wigan Athletic (4-4-2)
  • 1Chris Kirkland
  • 25Mario Melchiot
  • 7Paul Scharner
  • 19Titus Bramble
  • 31Maynor Figueroa
  • 16Antonio Valencia
  • 11Michael Brown
  • 4Lee Cattermole
  • 10Charles N'Zogbia
  • 20Hugo Rodallega
  • 9Mido
Substitutes
  • 12Michael Pollitt
  • 3Erik Edman
  • 17Emmerson Boyce
  • 8Ben Watson
  • 19Jason Koumas
  • 28Daniel De Ridder
  • 13Amr Zaki
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 9Bobby Zamora
  • 8Andrew Johnson
Substitutes
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 22Fredrik Stoor
  • 33Toni Kallio
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 16Olivier Dacourt
  • 10Erik Nevland
  • 15Diomansy Kamara