The Colombian striker came back to haunt the club he left on a free during the summer scoring his first goal for the Cottagers to put them on the road to victory in the North West. The result lifted Martin Jol’s men into the top four for 24 hours at least while the Latics find themselves in familiar territory in the bottom half of the table.
An incident involving referee Lee Probert dominated the early stages as the he played the literal middle man in a a full-blooded challenge between Steve Sidwell and Ben Watson. Fulham started to take a foothold in the game and went close to taking the lead with Dimitar Berbatov denied a goal by Ali-Al Habsi on two occasions. The Wigan keeper first kept out the Bulgarian’s header before pushing his 24th minute strike over the bar.
Emmerson Boyce then headed wide for the Latics before Rodallega gave Fulham the lead, heading home after being expertly picked out by Berbatov. The home side’s went close to equalising on no less than three occasions before the break with Jordi Gomez hitting the bar, while Watson and Arouna Kone spurned good chances.
Bryan Ruiz came on for Fulham at half time and drew a good save out of Al Habsi from a 20-yard free kick before Mauro Boselli shot wide after James McCarthy’s effort was pushed into his path my Mark Schwarzer. Fulham made them pay two minutes later as Damien Duff produced a clinical finish after being teed up by Ruiz.
Roberto Martinez’s side did eventually find the net through Kone’s turn and finish in injury time but it was too little too late.