Honours even at the JJB

07 February 2009 02:17
The points were shared at The JJB Stadium on Saturday as Wigan's clash against Fulham finished goalless.

Fulham had the better of the play in the first half, although one of the best chances fell to Mido who sent an unchallenged header wide.

Latics boss Steve Bruce was forced into making three changes before half-time with the likes of Antonio Valencia, Michael Brown and Mido all picking up knocks.

The visitors shaded the second half and Andy Johnson was close to connecting with Bobby Zamora's cross, but in truth neither side deserved to win it.

Having lost five players and brought in four in the transfer window Steve Bruce had spoken about the need for his new recruits to "hit the ground running" but Wigan's early play was disjointed.

Having to make two early substitutions certainly did not help with cohesion and losing Valencia, back after missing two matches with a hamstring injury, was a particular blow.

Up to that point Fulham had looked the more threatening Zamora and Johnson having chances. Zamora was denied by a Mario Melchiot block and Chris Kirkland save in the same incident.

The visitors had a penalty claim when Johnson fell - somewhat easily - under a challenge from Paul Scharner but the contact was accidental and just outside the box.

First saveIn the 23rd minute Fulham goalkeeper Schwarzer made his first save when Hugo Rodallega's chest trap and through-ball presented Mido with an opportunity at the near post.

Seconds later the Egypt international was only just off target with a header from Maynor Figueroa's long cross.

Clint Dempsey was the first player to be booked, in the 35th minute, for bringing down Melchiot as he charged down the right touchline.

Zamora was then taken by surprise by Hangeland's flick-on from Davies' left-wing corner and managed to head over from two yards out.

Things got worse for Wigan three minutes before the break when Mido limped off and was replaced by Amr Zaki.

Jason Koumas and Ben Watson both flashed volleys wide from outside the area as the hosts ended the half on a brighter note.

Fulham's on-loan Inter Milan midfielder Olivier Dacourt also came on for his debut just before the break when he replaced the injured Dickson Etuhu.

John Pantsil was booked for going through the back of Zaki in the 51st minute but Koumas' free-kick was cleared.

Mis-placed passThe Wales midfielder's mis-placed pass on the halfway line then allowed Zamora to charge into the penalty area but he crossed rather than shot and Titus Bramble got across to block.

Bramble's decision to leave Davies' near-post cross to Kirkland could have proved costly as Zamora nipped in but he could not keep his shot down.

The game was becoming more end to end and Zaki fired a 30-yard effort straight at Schwarzer before Kirkland dived at Johnson's feet to deny the Fulham striker.

Wigan's main problem was that they could not knit enough passes together to open up Fulham.

Figueroa was booked for sliding in on Zamora as he threatened to break free down the left but Davies' inswinging free-kick was punched clear by Kirkland.

The Honduran left-back's 73rd-minute deflected shot brought Schwarzer into action but he was not really troubled in diving to his left.

Zamora was replaced by Erik Nevland for the last 15 minutes but when he got his first chance from Dacourt's dinked ball he headed tamely wide.

Passes continued to go astray from both sides in the closing stages and ultimately they both got what they probably deserved.



Wigan Athletic

Team Statistics

Fulham





0

Goals

0





0

1st Half Goals

0





2

Shots on Target

2





7

Shots off Target

6





2

Blocked Shots

1





4

Corners

8





9

Fouls

12





0

Offsides

2





1

Yellow Cards

2





0

Red Cards

0





69.3

Passing Success

75.6





18

Tackles

13





88.9

Tackles Success

76.9





42.8

Possession

57.2





53.7

Territorial Advantage

46.3











Source: SKY_Sports