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Premier League: Fulham 1 Wigan 1

Fulham and Wigan shared the spoils in a tense Premier League affair that ended 1-1 at Craven Cottage.

In an afternoon that showed a lack of confidence for both sides, Fulham opened the scoring through Greek midfielder Giorgos Karagounis’ emphatic strike off the post, before Franco Di Santo levelled with a similarly clinical drive after the break.

Genuine quality throughout was few and far between and though the result lifted Wigan out of the bottom three and left Fulham in relative mid-table comfort, both sides urgently need to address the form which may threaten their Premier League survival.

The opening 20 minutes were tense and uneventful, with Petric and James McArthur both blazing over the bar from the edge of the area and Berbatov miscontrolling a Bryan Ruiz pass when through on goal.

It took a moment of class from Karagounis to break the deadlock, as the Greek midfielder picked the ball up centrally before driving to the edge of the box and sending an unstoppable drive in off the far post.

Wigan endeavoured to get themselves back into the game but got little joy against a home side who were more measured with their possession.

Alex Kacaniklic and Kieran Richardson both fired high and wide from promising positions for the home side, before Franco Di Santo spurned a decent opportunity to equalise by hammering over Emmerson Boyce’s wicked delivery from six yards out.

The match continued in a similar fashion after the interval with neither side showing the craft needed to create clear-cut opportunities.

Shaun Maloney’s drive caught Brede Hangeland on the shoulder and forced Mark Schwarzer to tip onto the bar before Di Santo improvised smartly to send a volley inches wide.

Wigan’s pressure finally paid dividends when Di Santo equalised with a rasping right-footed drive after cutting in from the right.

Wigan ended the game on top though they had Emmerson Boyce to thank for a point, after the defender dramatically cleared Ruiz’s effort off the line.

Sat 12 January, 2013
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