Dembele double bites Wolves
But star striker Zamora hospitalised after breaking ankle
By Hayley Paterson. Last Updated: 11/09/10 6:14pm
Dembele: At the double
Moussa Dembele's free-kick at the death snatched a much-needed win for Fulham as they beat 10-man Wolves 2-1.
Mark Hughes' men were yet to register a win in their three opening games of the Premier League campaign and things were looking slightly bleak when a John Pantsil error led to a Jelle Van Damme tap-in at the far post for the opener.
However the lively encounter was overshadowed when Bobby Zamora fell awkwardly under a well-timed Karl Henry tackle and was taken to hospital with a broken right ankle.
Simon Davies was in the thick of the action and had a succession of penalty appeals turned down before Dembele struck his first past Marcus Hahnemann.
The Belgian was on hand to send Fulham away with all three points when his free-kick was not dealt with and found its way in the back of the net in stoppage time.
Referee Phil Dowd was unfortunately heavily involved throughout the game with barely seven minutes on the clock when Fulham's Davies broke free and went down under a Jody Craddock lunge in the box, however nothing was given.
The Cottagers were then made to rue the dismissed penalty appeal when Pantsil failed to clear a Kevin Doyle cross and Van Damme nicked in at the back-post to prod the ball past Mark Schwarzer in the 10th minute.
Just before the half hour mark Zamora was released in the middle of the park but then fell awkwardly under Henry's challenge. The England striker signalled straight to the bench and winced in pain as he was taken away on a stretcher and given oxygen with reports later confirming the 29-year-old had broken his ankle and could face four months on the sidelines.
Fulham brought on Zoltan Gera in place of the injured Zamora as both sides piled on the pressure but also wasted a host of set-pieces to break the deadlock.
Pantsil was eager to atone for his earlier mistake but saw his effort sail just over the bar in the 34th minute.
Danny Murphy dispatched a free-kick high into the stands and although Wolves were on the defensive, they were coping admirably.
The home fans were incensed by their robust tackling and at the same time criticised Dowd for failing to issue any punishment.
One incident which incensed the home fans saw Sylvan Ebanks-Blake clatter into Brede Hangeland in the air which sent the centre-back crashing to the floor and needing treatment.
Boos greeted the performance of Dowd at half-time as Fulham felt several challenges were going unpunished and Davies had a clear-cut penalty denied.
However that seemed to spur on the home side as they burst out of the traps in the second-half and summer signing Dembele made an immediate impact in the 49th minute.
Gera failed to control Stephen Kelly's cross which eventually found the Belgian who shifted the ball between his feet on the edge of the box and unleashed his effort into the bottom left corner.
Keeper Marcus Hahnemann brought down Davies and Fulham could rightly feel aggrieved not to win a penalty as the American got nowhere near the ball.
Wolves were shown a succession of yellow cards as Dowd finally lost patience and then gave Christophe Berra his marching orders after a second bookable offence when he brought down substitute Eddie Johnson in the dying minutes of the game.That challenge seemed to be the nail in the coffin for a hard-working Wolves side as Dembele shaped to shoot from the free-kick and drilled the ball into the bottom corner to give Hughes his first managerial win at Craven Cottage.
|Fulham||Team Statistics||Wolverhampton Wanderers|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|3||Shots on Target||2|
|8||Shots off Target||3|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Ham United||23||36|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||23||22|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||23||19|