- Fulham vs Wigan

Saturday 12 January 2013 | Craven Cottage | Referee: Mark Clattenburg | Attendance 25,442

Fulham
  • Giorgos Karagounis (22)
Fulham
1 - 1
Wigan
  • Franco Di Santo (71)
Wigan

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Match report

For match photos, scroll to Photostream above. Scroll down to read manager reactions.

Franco di Santo’s thumping effort earned Wigan Athletic a deserved point in a 1-1 draw as Fulham’s struggles at Craven Cottage continued.

The Argentina international made the Latics’ pressure count in the 71st minute, cutting in from the left before unleashing a fierce drive that beat Mark Schwarzer.

Di Santo’s second-half strike means the west Londoners have now failed to win in four successive home matches in all competitions, with the last victory coming against Newcastle on 10 December.

It could have been so different for Martin Jol’s side, who had looked on course for a back-to-back Barclays Premier League wins for the first time since September.

Giorgos Karagounis last week opened his Fulham account with an exquisite half-volley against Blackpool in the FA Cup and scored another fantastic goal here, bursting through the middle to unleash a fierce drive that went in off the inside of the post.

However, the Greek veteran’s moment of magic was not enough for Fulham as Di Santo ensured Wigan would return to the north west with a point.

The visitors were quicker to settle on a cold afternoon by the Thames, with Shaun Maloney getting a fourth-minute strike away despite receiving a push in the back.

James McArthur saw a fizzing 20-yard strike fly just over as Wigan returned to the attack, before the Scotland international was denied another shot thanks to fine defensive cover by Bryan Ruiz.

The hosts were struggling to contain the Latics but began to threaten at the other end as Mladen Petric curled a 20-yard free-kick over.

Ruiz almost put through Dimitar Berbatov with a fine ball, before Petric, keen to impress on his return from injury, lashed over in the 15th minute.

Dimitar Berbatov was denied by a smart Ivan Ramis block as Fulham continued to press for an opener, which came in some style after 22 minutes.

Karagounis picked up the ball 40 yards out and made a beeline for goal, jinking past James McCarthy before rifling in a low strike off the inside of the post.

It was harsh on Wigan after a bright start and they could have drawn level four minutes later had McArthur’s half volley not been straight at Schwarzer.

Alex Kacaniklic mishit a volley when the Whites returned to the attack, with McArthur booked for yanking back Ruiz as they broke forward.

While Fulham were now on top, Wigan were still getting some joy when they voyaged forward.

The visitors could have levelled as half-time approached as Emmerson Boyce found Di Santo with a fierce right-wing cross, although the Argentina striker could not direct his effort on target.

It was not until 10 minutes into the second half that either goalkeeper was tested as Schwarzer earned his crust with a fine save.

Maloney found time and space to unleash a fine strike that was heading in via a marginal deflection until the veteran Australian superbly tipped it onto the bar.

Kieran Richardson then did well to sweep away a dangerous cross as Di Santo loitered with intent, before Maloney again tested Schwarzer.

Di Santo then expertly teed himself up before firing a volley from the edge of the box into the side-netting, leading Fulham boss Jol to bring on former Wigan favourite Hugo Rodallega in place of Petric.

There was a goal shortly after the Colombian’s introduction, although it was scored by former team-mate Di Santo. The 23-year-old cut in from the left flank and dribbled towards the edge of the box, before unleashing a thumping right-footed effort that beat Schwarzer.

The Argentinian tested the Fulham goalkeeper soon after as Wigan pushed for another, although play was now swinging from end to end.

Fulham peppered the visitors’ penalty area with some dangerous crosses, before Rodallega had an effort blocked by Gary Caldwell.

Di Santo struck the side-netting late on, before team-mate Ramis was stretchered off in added time, and there was still time for the hosts to pass up the chance to grab victory, but Maynor Figueroa was on hand to clear a Ruiz strike off the line in the dying moments.

Fulham manager Martin Jol: "It is always the same story. You go one up and you need another goal but cannot score another goal and then you are vulnerable. It is easier said than done but when you are 1-0 up you still have to dominate the game.

"We had a little problem to contain them and they had players in the pockets but we are a big team at the back. But we needed a second goal and we did not score a second goal. It was the same against Southampton when we needed second goal and didn't score and they scored an equaliser.

"We have a problem in our balance but we have quality and that will pull us through but we have to score two goals. Last year, if we scored one goal it was decisive. This year most of the time, it wasn't decisive."

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez: "[The injury to Ivan Ramis] is the real negative of the afternoon. I thought Ivan was outstanding throughout the game. I think you are starting to see a centre-half that has adapted to the British game and is someone very, very important.

"I wouldn't want to say anything before seeing the scans, but I fear the worst. He has damaged the ligaments in the right knee and the signs are not great. I expect the worst, cruciate ligament. We are going to take him to hospital on the way back. Those injuries go from six to seven months, but obviously it is impossible for me to tell yet because we need to get the scans. We will miss him and let's hope we've all got the wrong idea and we get good news from the scan.

"I am very, very pleased with the performance. I think we started the game really brightly and carried a very good threat in the the attacking third. The goal came a little bit against the run of play and from that moment on it would be all too easy to accept the momentum was Fulham's. We defended really, really well. We restricted Fulham and carried a real good threat. I thought Mark Schwarzer was man of the match and I think his save to deny Shaun Maloney was maybe the save of the season. It had to be something special to beat him and I was glad Franco di Santo got the reward."

Fan Rating

- rate the player performances for this match

Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Mark Schwarzer - -
18. Aaron Hughes - -
15. Kieran Richardson - -
27. Sascha Riether - -
5. Brede Hangeland - -
16. Damien Duff - -
31. Alexander Kacaniklic - -
14. Giorgos Karagounis - -
11. Bryan Ruiz - -
10. Mladen Petric - -
9. Dimitar Berbatov - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
8. Pajtim Kasami - -
4. Philippe Senderos - -
6. Chris Baird - -
20. Hugo Rodallega - -
13. David Stockdale - -
3. John Arne Riise - -
24. Ashkan Dejagah - -
Line-up All Fans BFR
26. Ali Al-Habsi - -
21. Iván Ramis - -
31. Maynor Figueroa - -
5. Gary Caldwell - -
17. Emmerson Boyce - -
6. David Jones - -
4. James McCarthy - -
22. Jean Beausejour - -
16. James McArthur - -
10. Shaun Maloney - -
9. Franco Di Santo - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
14. Jordi Gómez - -
11. Angelo Henríquez - -
12. Michael Pollitt - -
25. Roman Golobart - -
19. Mauro Boselli - -
15. Callum McManaman - -
23. Ronnie Stam - -

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