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Fulham 3-2 Wigan Cham 30 1617 - GetWestLondon

last updated Sunday 12th February 2017, 7:24 PM


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Dimitri Kondonis at GetWestLondon


Fulham (1) 3-2 (2) Wigan Athletic


A late Neeskens Kebano debut goal stole victory for Fulham at the death against a resilient Wigan.

Returning to the starting line-up for the first time in more than a month, Floyd Ayite got the Whites started when he tapped home from Sone Aluko’s jinking run.

But the lead didn’t last long, as full-back Scott Malone horrifically sliced into his own net from Stephen Warnock’s cross.

And Michael Jacobs slotted into an empty net in first-half injury time to turn the tables on the hosts, after a fine Max Powers cross.

But full-back Denis Odoi slammed home an outrageous 35 yard effort past substitute goalkeeper Matt Gilks to leave the hosts with hope, and the returning forward from the Africa Cup of Nations stole the headlines.

It ended well when Neeskens Kebano snatched a final-minute goal to lead Fulham to victory.

But what about the game as a whole? A few points to consider here.

Ayite’s return is welcome
Fulham’s Togo international winger has been lighting up the Cottage in glimpses this season only to be foiled by injury, or away on African Cup of Nations duty.

He was reinstalled in the starting line up for the first time since the Whites’ 2-0 win at Ipswich in December.

And the 28-year-old, signed from Bastia in the summer, made an immediate impact, scoring from close range after a fine ball into the box by Sone Aluko.

He also looked a threat, nearly setting up new boy Cyriac to head home.

Defensive shuffling left Fulham vulnerable
Slavisa Jokanovic was forced into a defensive double change - with Ryan Fredericks on a three-match ban against Birmingham last time out, and Tomas Kalas out with a hip problem.

It meant having to throw Michael Madl and Denis Odoi into what has been a fragile defence this season.

And the inexperience showed, with the Whites defensively a mess in the first half - conceding twice from self-inflicted situations.

Frustrating inconsistency
Whites have outshone plenty of sides this season, only to be undone by a lack of concentration.

As a result, their ninth place position in the Championship does not lie, but it will be a source of great frustration that they have not been able to string some wins together.

They have only managed to win back-to-back in the league twice all season, and that inconsistency could well cost them a place in the play-offs come the season’s end.

And the manner of which they conceded against Wigan - an own goal and a simple tap in - will have set Jokanovic’s blood boiling.

Possession doesn’t always pay
Yes, it’s not new but it’s still as relevant to Fulham’s season as ever. Despite owning more than 70% of possession in the first half, the hosts went into the break 2-1 down.

And it could’ve been three, so it was hardly undeserved for Wigan. But while Jokanovic’s Fulham can play some scintillating football at times, they are still as fragile as ever defensively.

Kalas and Fredericks may well have been ruled out, but the Whites have been making similar sorts of errors throughout the season and must stop if they want to turn any remaining top six hopes into a reality.

It came good in the end but Fulham are their own worst enemy

At the start of the season, the Cottagers were surprisingly one of the worst home sides in the league - despite Craven Cottage historically being their fortress.























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