Fulham and Wigan Athletic played in a British Premier League match on Saturday, January 12th, at Craven Cottage that resulted in a draw 1-1, which brings Wigan out of relegation. These two clubs ended up being a great matchup, seeing that the teams had both their strengths and weaknesses.
The first half was led by Fulham in the goal category, after their goal brought the match to 1-0. This goal was scored by midfielder Giorgos Karagounis at the 22’ mark. The ball was kicked from the right hand side of the goal and then bounced off the left post into the right side of the goal. This beautiful goal was the first British Premier League goal for his season.
Three minutes later, Wigan tried to retaliate by taking the ball away from Fulham, but McArthur missed the attempt. This missed conversion could have tied up game after the first half.
Near the end of the first half, at the 44’ mark, Wigan’s Franco di Santo attempted to make a corner kick, but the ball did not land in bounds even leaving the score at 1-0 in favor of Fulham.
After the first half, there was a pretty even match-up overall. Other than score, the teams were tied up in a lot of the other categories. For possession time, Wigan had control 50.6% of the time; this left Fulham with only 49.4% of the possession time. For shots on target, Wigan had 2 and Fulham only had 1.
The first half was not as exciting as the second half. At 54’, midfielder Shaun Maloney of Wigan attempted to score after a poorly passed header from Fulham, but Fulham’s goalie, Mark Schwarzer, knocking the ball away with a diving catch. The ball bounced off the post and ended up out of bounds. Mark Schwarzer has been on the injuried list for the past three games, but he made an ultimate return having 3 saves this game.
Di Santo did not give up though and scored at 71 minutes causing the game to be tied up at 1-1. This was a crucial moment for the Latics because they needed to ensure they did not lose since they were in relegation zone entering this game.
Wigan had played hard and made sure the top scorers of Fulham, Dimitar Berbatov and Damien Duff, were defended and had no chance of scoring. Duff was having a difficult time with the ball because of Wigan’s good defending skills. Duff was substituted at the 81 minute mark for Hugo Rodallega. Roldallega had multiple chances of scoring in breakaways but could not convert.
Although the game had ended with a draw score, there were multiple opportunities for both teams to score. Fulham had 4 penalty kicks, but kicked three over the net and one was blocked. Wigan only had one penalty shot, but had a total of seven shots on target at the end of the game. Wigan also led the possession category at the end of the game with 50.8%.
The draw brings Wigan into 17th place since Aston Villa lost to Southampton 1-0. Fulham’s place did not change, although a win would have put them in 11th place.
For their next match, Wigan will take on West Browmwich Albion on Saturday, January 19th. Fulham will take on the current Premier League champions, Manchester City, the same day.