Wigan dropped to the foot of the Premier League table after losing their eighth successive game going down 2-0 to Fulham side who put some breathing space between themselves and the bottom three with victory at the DW Stadium.
Goals at the end of each half from Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele eased the pressure starting to build on Martin Jol also cranking up the heat on Latics boss Roberto Martinez. His side are rooted to the bottom of the table and looking at yet another long and arduous relegation battle. Fulham on the other hand bounced back from a disappointing late defeat at home to Everton last week with an determined display that lifted them away from the drop zone. Wigan produced a similar performance at Newcastle last week frustrating the Magpies for 80 minutes before conceding late on with poor finishing costing them dear. It proved to be a similar story this week as they wasted numerous chances allowing the Cottagers to snatch all three points.
A nervy first half was littered with sloppy passing and a few mistimed tackles and it was the home side who slowly but surely got on top with David Jones looking the most likely to break the deadlock. The summer signing from Wolves tested Mark Schwarzer with a stinging 20-yard strike before firing Emmerson Boyce’s cross wide from close range. Hugo Rodallega has yet to score in seven appearances this season was also guilty of wastefulness and should have at least made contact to a number of balls into the visitors penalty area. He did meet one with a wild scissor kick that sailed well over the bar before Ben Watson dipped a dangerous volley over the bar. They were made to pay as Fulham took the lead five minutes before half time against the run of play with a superb move starting at the back. Schwarzer rolled the ball out to John Arne Riise who in turn found Danny Murphy in the centre. The skipper pinged a super ball out to Bobby Zamora on the left who crossed the Dempsey to score via the body of Ali Al Habsi – drawing level with Brian McBride to become the highest scoring American in the league on 36 goals.
Wigan continued to probe and Victor Moses was unlucky to see his vicious strike hit the post after he outmuscled Riise as the frustration levels began to rise inside the DW. Maynor Figueroa also struck the woodwork from 30-yards after being saved just minutes earlier by the crossbar with Zamora’s volley smashing cannoning back off the frame of the goal after Murphy picked him out from 50-yards. For all their efforts the Latics just couldn’t breakdown the Cottagers rearguard and a defensive mistake of their own cost them dearly with four minutes to go. Figueroa gifted possession to Steven Sidwell on halfway with the midfielder picking out Dembele to finish and secure all three points.