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Barclays Premier League

Craven Cottage (ATT 22,500) 29th October 2008 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: H Webb

Fulham Fulham vs Wigan Athletic Wigan

Fulham 2

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Centurion Johnson downs Latics

Striker's 100th goal and first Fulham strike piles pressure on Wigan

Last Updated: 29/10/08 11:57pm

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Johnson: Fulham hero

Johnson: Fulham hero

Andrew Johnson's 100th league goal helped Fulham to a 2-0 victory over Wigan at Craven Cottage and provided what could prove a vital three points come the end of the season.

Man of the match: Andy Johnson Moment of the match: Konchesky's cross and Johnson's finish Attempt of the match: Maynor Figueroa's sizzling effort. Save of the match: None spring to mind Talking point: Johnson gets his brace, Wigan in freefall after losing four in a row Goal of the game: Andy Johnson's first

Ahead of kick-off, the two struggling sides were separated only by goals scored as they dangled over the relegation zone, with Wigan enjoying the slight advantage, to leave both sets of supporters already looking nervously over their shoulders.

But a brace from former Birmingham, Crystal Palace and Everton striker Johnson handed Fulham the win on Wednesday evening and piled pressure on Wigan boss Steve Bruce.

The Cottagers took the lead on 11 minutes as Johnson survived Wigan appeals for offside to tap in Paul Konchesky's cross for a personal century.

And after the interval, Johnson took his tally to 101 as he rolled past Chris Kirkland from close range on the hour-mark to double his side's advantage and secure the points.

The victory was Fulham's first in seven matches and helped ease their own concerns after slipping towards the bottom of the table.

Dismal

Wigan headed in the opposite direction with their dismal run making their unbeaten progress through September seem like a distant memory.

Titus Bramble was dropped to the bench in response to the weekend's 4-0 drubbing by Aston Villa, while Antonio Valencia returned from suspension, but the changes failed to halt the slump.

Conceding a glut of early possession, Wigan came under heavy pressure and paid the price as Johnson sent Fulham ahead in the 10th minute.

Bobby Zamora started the move by picking out left-back Konchesky, who whipped in a low cross to Johnson to convert from close range.

Replays suggested Johnson was offside but he wasted little time celebrating his first goal for Fulham, lifting his shirt to reveal a vest trumpeting his 100th league strike.

The Cottagers remained in full control with Wilson Palacios' cynical tackle on Danny Murphy summing up their frustration.

A clever pass from Murphy gave Simon Davies a clear sight of goal from the edge of the area, but the Wales midfielder skied his shot.

The second half was three minutes old when Fulham went close to extending their lead, Zoltan Gera hitting the post after goalkeeper Kirkland palmed Zamora's shot into his path.

Scrappy

Fans of either team had little to cheer as the second half continued with the ball given away far too easily by both sides.

Jimmy Bullard and Murphy were being out-muscled in an increasingly scrappy midfield battle, but luckily for them Wigan were equally inept at using possession.

The match desperately needed a second goal and it arrived in the 60th minute when Fulham crept further ahead.

Bullard's vision did the initial damage with the former Wigan midfielder turning Paul Scharner inside out with a pass to Johnson.

Johnson had escaped the stranded centre-back and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner from a tight angle.

The striker then caught Kirkland with his boot as he raced in on goal but he was able to continue after receiving treatment.

FulhamTeam StatisticsWigan Athletic
2Goals0
11st Half Goals0
2Shots on Target2
8Shots off Target4
3Blocked Shots2
2Corners2
11Fouls16
3Offsides6
0Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
72.3Passing Success74.2
23Tackles13
100Tackles Success84.6
48Possession52
46.6Territorial Advantage53.4

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 9 23
2 Southampton 9 19
3 Manchester City 9 17
4 West Ham United 9 16
5 Arsenal 9 14
6 Swansea City 9 14
7 Liverpool 9 14
8 Manchester United 9 13
9 Everton 9 12
10 Hull City 9 11
11 Tottenham Hotspur 9 11
12 Stoke City 9 11
13 West Bromwich Albion 9 10
14 Newcastle United 9 10
15 Aston Villa 9 10
16 Crystal Palace 9 9
17 Leicester City 9 9
18 Sunderland 9 8
19 Queens Park Rangers 9 7
20 Burnley 9 4

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