Fulham secured an important but fortunate win over fellow Premier League strugglers Wigan Athletic.

The opener came from Clint Dempsey, who fired home from close range after being picked out by Bobby Zamora's ball across the box.

Wigan had the better chances and hit the woodwork through Victor Moses and Maynor Figueroa although Zamora also hit the crossbar.

And Moussa Dembele sealed the win late on from the edge of the box.

Wigan's eighth successive defeat leaves them bottom of the table and lifts Fulham, who ended a three-game losing streak, up to 15th.

Wigan hurting after loss - Roberto Martinez

Both sides looked nervous in the first 20 minutes, with the only moment of note coming when the hosts' Mohamed Diame had to be replaced with an ankle injury following a clumsy tackle by Steve Sidwell.

The two sides continued to misplace passes on a regular basis but it was Wigan who started to get on top and created the game's first chances.

Midfielder David Jones has not scored for the club since his summer switch from Wolves but he looked the most likely to break the deadlock, first having a shot from 20 yards held by Mark Schwarzer and then arriving late to fire wide from 12 yards out after meeting Emmerson Boyce's cross from the right wing.

Wigan's top scorer last season was Hugo Rodallega but the Columbian international had failed to score in seven games this season and never looked confident that he would end his goal drought, the 26-year-old failing to get on the end of crosses on more than one occasion when he should have made contact.

He did meet one Boyce centre but his spectacular scissor kick flew well over the bar.

Martin Jol praises Fulham defence

It looked a matter of time before Wigan would score as Ben Watson's dipping volley from just outside area was saved well by Schwarzer and, from the resulting Jones corner, Gary Caldwell headed over unmarked from six yards out.

But, entirely against the run of play, it was Fulham who took the lead.

After yet another Wigan attack, Cottagers keeper Schwarzer rolled the ball out to John Arne Riise, who picked out Danny Murphy. The veteran midfielder's long ball over the top found Zamora in acres of space down the left wing, and he picked out Dempsey, whose shot hit keeper Ali Al-Habsi but still went in.

Wigan kept pushing, Moses deflecting Watson's shot wide, then the striker turning provider for the midfielder, whose header missed the target.

FAST FACT

Clint Dempsey's strike means he has equalled Brian McBride's record of 36 Premier League goals by an American

The Latics' big chance came when Moses hit the angle of post and crossbar from outside the box after outmuscling Riise. Fulham also hit the woodwork through Zamora, who was again picked out by a 50-yard Murphy ball and his volley clipped the crossbar.

Wigan continued to press and Figueroa hit the post with a curling effort from 30 yards out but minutes later the defender gifted Sidwell the ball on the halfway line and he found Dembele, who charged forward and slotted home.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez:

"The stats tell the story. I'm not disappointed with the performance but with our run, the result becomes even more important.

"It is not time to feel sorry for ourselves. It's time to try to improve ourselves, try to change the negative dynamic that's affecting us at the moment.

"I felt we were going to be the next team to score but we were punished while chasing the game.

"Once we get our first positive result, everything will change."

Fulham boss Martin Jol:

"If you don't score you don't get the points. We deserved to win because over the season we should have picked up four or five more points.

"We changed it around and put Moussa Dembele in midfield. I thought Moussa deserved to score, he was terrific.

"He is so gifted. The next step is for him to score goals. He has all the talent in the world."

Lineup, Bookings (7) & Substitutions (6)

Wigan Athletic

  • 26 Al Habsi
  • 03 Alcaraz Booked
  • 05 Caldwell Booked
  • 17 Boyce (Stam - 71' )
  • 31 Figueroa
  • 07 Crusat (Di Santo - 63' )
  • 08 Watson
  • 11 Moses
  • 19 Jones
  • 21 Diame (McArthur - 13' )
  • 20 Rodallega

Substitutes

  • 12 Pollitt
  • 23 Stam
  • 10 Maloney
  • 14 Gomez
  • 16 McArthur
  • 09 Di Santo
  • 18 Sammon

Fulham

  • 01 Schwarzer
  • 03 JA Riise
  • 05 Hangeland Booked
  • 06 Baird
  • 26 Grygera Booked
  • 04 Sidwell
  • 13 Murphy (Etuhu - 70' Booked )
  • 23 Dempsey
  • 08 Johnson
  • 25 Zamora (Ruiz - 80' )
  • 30 Dembele Booked (Duff - 90' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 38 Etheridge
  • 02 Kelly
  • 28 Briggs
  • 10 Kasami
  • 16 Duff
  • 20 Etuhu
  • 11 Ruiz
Ref: Jones
Att: 15,796

Match Stats

Shots

18 7

On target

9 5

Corners

9 0

Fouls

17 14

Live Text Commentary

95:38 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +5:01

Effort from the edge of the area by Gary Caldwell goes wide of the right-hand upright.

90:00 +4:38

Corner taken by Hugo Rodallega from the left by-line played to the near post, John Arne Riise makes a clearance.

90:00 +3:49

Andrew Johnson is caught offside. Gary Caldwell takes the free kick.

90:00 +2:25

Gary Caldwell concedes a free kick for a foul on Andrew Johnson. Free kick taken by John Arne Riise.

90:00 +1:54 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Damien Duff for unsporting behaviour.

89:23 Substitution

Substitution Damien Duff replaces Moussa Dembele.

89:23 Booking

Booking Antolin Alcaraz is given a yellow card.

89:11

Antolin Alcaraz challenges Moussa Dembele unfairly and gives away a free kick.

88:00 +3:33

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hugo Rodallega by Damien Duff. Free kick taken by Victor Moses.

87:56

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Victor Moses.

86:00

Steve Sidwell provided the assist for the goal.

86:00 Goal scored

Goal! - Moussa Dembele - Wigan 0 - 2 Fulham A goal is scored by Moussa Dembele from just inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wigan 0-2 Fulham.

85:09

The referee penalises Hugo Rodallega for handball. Chris Baird restarts play with the free kick.

84:26

The ball is crossed by Maynor Figueroa, Victor Moses takes a shot. Fantastic save by Mark Schwarzer.

83:53

David Jones decides to take the corner short, Ronnie Stam delivers the ball, clearance by Chris Baird.

83:11

Effort from 35 yards by Maynor Figueroa went wide right of the target.

81:59

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Johnson by James McArthur. Steve Sidwell takes the free kick.

80:57

Victor Moses produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.

79:57 Substitution

Substitution Bobby Zamora leaves the field to be replaced by Bryan Ruiz.

79:22

Dickson Etuhu concedes a free kick for a foul on David Jones.

79:16

Free kick taken by Ben Watson.

79:16 Booking

Booking Dickson Etuhu receives a caution.

78:10

Corner taken left-footed by David Jones from the left by-line, Moussa Dembele makes a clearance.

77:58

Ronnie Stam produces a cross, Zdenek Grygera makes a clearance.

76:29

Free kick awarded for a foul by Dickson Etuhu on Franco Di Santo. Shot comes in from Hugo Rodallega from the free kick, save made by Mark Schwarzer.

75:35

Andrew Johnson produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.

74:39

Indirect free kick taken by Steve Sidwell.

74:39 Booking

Booking Gary Caldwell receives a caution.

74:29

Gary Caldwell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey.

71:32

Dickson Etuhu concedes a free kick for a foul on Victor Moses. Free kick taken by Ronnie Stam.

70:10 Substitution

Substitution (Wigan) makes a substitution, with Ronnie Stam coming on for Emmerson Boyce.

69:26 Substitution

Substitution Danny Murphy leaves the field to be replaced by Dickson Etuhu.

67:26

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Jones by Moussa Dembele. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.

66:52

Free kick awarded for a foul by James McArthur on Moussa Dembele. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.

65:54

Unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey by James McArthur results in a free kick. Brede Hangeland takes the indirect free kick.

62:28 Substitution

Substitution Albert Crusat leaves the field to be replaced by Franco Di Santo.

62:28

Corner taken by David Jones, clearance by Moussa Dembele.

62:01

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Jones by Danny Murphy. Ben Watson takes the free kick.

61:34

Bobby Zamora takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.

59:59

Victor Moses is ruled offside. Chris Baird restarts play with the free kick.

58:33

David Jones restarts play with the free kick.

58:33 Booking

Booking Brede Hangeland is booked.

58:15

Free kick awarded for a foul by Brede Hangeland on Hugo Rodallega.

56:06

Clint Dempsey fouled by Antolin Alcaraz, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.

55:11

Centre by Victor Moses, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mark Schwarzer by Hugo Rodallega. Mark Schwarzer restarts play with the free kick.

54:44

Free kick awarded for a foul by Steve Sidwell on David Jones. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.

53:48

Shot from just outside the box by Victor Moses hits the post.

52:35

Victor Moses takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.

52:01

The ball is sent over by Maynor Figueroa, Chris Baird manages to make a clearance.

50:55

Ben Watson fouled by Moussa Dembele, the ref awards a free kick.

50:44

Gary Caldwell takes the indirect free kick.

50:44 Booking

Booking Moussa Dembele is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

49:43

Victor Moses delivers the ball, Headed effort from the edge of the area by Ben Watson goes wide of the right-hand post.

49:24

The ball is sent over by Albert Crusat, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.

48:53

Brede Hangeland fouled by Hugo Rodallega, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by John Arne Riise.

48:07

The assistant referee flags for offside against Albert Crusat. Indirect free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.

47:26

Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.

46:23

Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:00 +2:55

Danny Murphy takes a shot. Save made by Ali Al Habsi.

45:00 +2:24 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

45:00 +2:18

Ben Watson challenges Moussa Dembele unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.

45:00 +1:56

David Jones takes a short corner.

44:22

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ben Watson on Clint Dempsey. Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.

43:45

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.

42:56

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Jones by Steve Sidwell. David Jones takes the free kick.

41:00

Bobby Zamora provided the assist for the goal.

41:00 Goal scored

Goal! - Clint Dempsey - Wigan 0 - 1 Fulham Clint Dempsey finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box high into the middle of the goal. Wigan 0-1 Fulham.

40:26

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Jones, save made by Mark Schwarzer.

40:05

The ball is sent over by Victor Moses, save by Mark Schwarzer.

38:07

David Jones crosses the ball, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.

37:31

Unfair challenge on Moussa Dembele by Ben Watson results in a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.

35:48

Free kick awarded for a foul by Brede Hangeland on Emmerson Boyce. Shot comes in from David Jones from the free kick.

35:29

Centre by Albert Crusat, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.

34:20

Foul by Moussa Dembele on Emmerson Boyce, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in left-footed by David Jones, clearance by Steve Sidwell.

32:55

Andrew Johnson takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi.

29:21

Corner from the right by-line taken by David Jones, Header on goal by Gary Caldwell from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

29:03

Ben Watson takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.

28:44

Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in.

27:49

Emmerson Boyce delivers the ball, Effort from deep inside the area by Hugo Rodallega misses to the right of the goal.

27:08

David Jones sends in a cross, Steve Sidwell makes a clearance.

26:29

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by David Jones from the right by-line, Steve Sidwell makes a clearance.

25:20

Foul by Ben Watson on Danny Murphy, free kick awarded. Steve Sidwell restarts play with the free kick.

24:31

Emmerson Boyce sends in a cross, David Jones produces a volleyed left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.

21:19

The ball is swung over by Ben Watson.

18:58

Albert Crusat fouled by Moussa Dembele, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.

18:22

James McArthur gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andrew Johnson. Zdenek Grygera takes the free kick.

16:34

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Moussa Dembele by Ben Watson. Steve Sidwell takes the direct free kick.

16:05

Effort on goal by Victor Moses from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.

14:14

David Jones takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.

12:03 Substitution

Substitution James McArthur is brought on as a substitute for Mohamed Diame.

9:13

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey by Mohamed Diame. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.

7:28

Hugo Rodallega challenges Chris Baird unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Schwarzer takes the direct free kick.

1:53

Zdenek Grygera challenges Mohamed Diame unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mohamed Diame.

1:53 Booking

Booking Zdenek Grygera goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.

1:39

Moussa Dembele takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Caldwell.

1:09

The ball is sent over by Zdenek Grygera, clearance made by Antolin Alcaraz.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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