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Latics Catch a Cold

2 - 0
Wigan Athletic

Craven Cottage

29710/08 7:45pm

Attendance: 22,500


Two Andy Johnson goals sent Latics crashing to their fourth defeat in as many games with Fulham leap frogging above them in the table this was a pre-Halloween horror show.

Latics started the game with Melchiot and Valencia returning to the starting line-up and the surprise inclusion of Kilbane on the left, Bramble, DeRidder and Kapo missing out from Sundays side that lost to Aston Villa.

Fulham started the game the brightest with ex-Latic favourite Jimmy Bullard pulling the strings in midfield, but it was Latics summer transfer target Andy Johnson who opened the scoring on 10 minutes.

The ball was played down the left to Paul Konchesky and the left back crossed for an un-marked and offside looking Johnson to knock the ball home off his shin from 2 yards, but to be honest off-side or not there was some very poor defensive work being done by the Latics.

Fulham controlled the game for the next 25 minutes though they didn`t have any more scoring opportunities, indeed it was the Latics who came closest to scoring, a Maynor Figueroa effort flew inches wide on 35 minutes with Schwarzer in the Fulham goal grasping at air and with just one minute of the first half left Zaki broke down the left and crossed Scharner met the ball full on with his head a yard out and with the goal at his mercy ballooned it over the bar.

The second half saw Fulham continue to control the game and they should have gone two-nil up when Gera had the ball unmarked 6 yards from the Latics goal, his effort cannoned back off the post.

Johnson put the game to bed on the hour when he latched onto a quickly taken Jimmy Bullard free-kick and slotted home from a tight angle leaving the Latics defence catching a cold.

The Latics huffed and puffed but created very little once again and we now have a serious situation on our hands, the heads have dropped and it looks like it will take all Bruces motivational powers to raise them up again.

Portsmouth on Saturday will be a very tough match and if the players turn up with the same attitude of the last two games a good hiding may well be on the cards, something needs to happen and it needs to happen now to get the side back on track.

Star Player

Mario Melchiot

Player Ratings

Chris Kirkland - 6

Not at fault with either goal

Mario Melchiot - 7

Did nothing wrong and tried to rally his troops, some nice touches

Paul Scharner - 5

Caught cold for both goals, having a bad season

Emerson Boyce - 5

Doesnt look comfortable at the moment

Maynor Figueroa - 6

Got caught along with Scharner for the first goal

Valencia - 6

Didnt get in the game at all

Palacios - 6

Some tired performances of late from Wilson and this was another one

Cattermole - 7

Got frustrated and booked, Bruce took him off before he got sent off

Kilbane - 5

Looked way off the pace and was luck to escape with just a booking following a missed timed and rash challenge

Heskey - 5

Nothing go right for the big man

Zaki - 6

Put a bit of effort in and laid on Scharners chance but that was it

Koumas - 6

Came on for Figueroa and tried to make a difference

Camara - 5

Only contribution was getting caught off side

DeRidder - 4

Came on and carried on from where he left off on Sunday, had a shot and nearly hit the corner flag

Manager Rating

Steve Bruce - 5 Needed to change it earlier than he did

Opponent Rating

Roy Hodgson - 5 very uninspiring but still managed to beat us

Writer:Barry Worthington
Date:Wednesday October 29 2008
Time: 10:17PM


When are we going to get a break? Just ruddy depressing. Then again we've had runs like this before, haven't we... This is just plain sad. I think our best hope of points now is against Stoke at home. Fulham deserved their win tonight. Wouldn't be at all surprised if we got relegated or am I speaking too soon but these really poor performances are going to see us go that way. I'm beginning to get irked with Bruce as well to be blatantly honest. If this goes on, can't see Bruce staying for much longer at the JJB! When are we going to have a GOOD season without any relegation worries?
29/10/2008 22:24:00
worst display this season
29/10/2008 22:32:00
Chris Kirkland 6.5 Emmerson Boyce 5 Paul Scharner 5.5 Maynor Figueroa (61) 7 Wilson Palacios (80) 6.5 Lee Catermole (79) 6 Kevin Kilbane 5 Mario Melchiot 6 Antonio Valencia 6 Emile Heskey 5 Amr Zaki 6 Jason Koumas (61) 6 Daniel De Ridder (79) 6 Henri Camara(80) 6
30/10/2008 02:10:00
I just can't understand how, with such a talented bunch of players, we can play as badly as the last two games. Could it be true, as ther Birmingham fans told us, that Bruce just runs out of ideas?
30/10/2008 07:30:00
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