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Fulham 2, Wigan 0: Dempsey double

30 October 2010

Clint Dempsey lashes home his second to fuel an impressive Fulham win.

Finally, in the season’s 10th match, Fulham got what it and its supporters needed: a comprehensive, quality effort resulting in a very comfortable 2-0 win over Wigan. By finally grabbing three points in one fell swoop, Fulham rocketed from 16th to eighth in the table (pending four more matches in this round) and soothed concerns about their injury-wracked recent form.

The goals, both scored by American Clint Dempsey, were of substantial quality. Tidy buildups through the midfield were enhanced by excellent balls out wide that played in fullbacks Carlos Salcido and Chris Baird, and Dempsey displayed a surgeon’s precision with both finishes. In the 30th minute, Salcido’s curling left-footed delivery was met with a powerful angled header that left Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi no chance at all and then, 14 minutes later, Baird’s driven cross from the right was treated to a crisp, swiveling volley that flashed past Al-Habsi’s despairing dive.

In truth, a two-goal win was the least Fulham deserved; it easily could have been three or four had the Cottagers been in irresistible form. Nonetheless, getting Danny Murphy and Simon Davies back in the midfield helped transform Fulham back into the attacking, slick passing possession side that they had shown glimpses of earlier in the season before the injury list started to look like the first-choice team sheet. The lack of width that had handcuffed Fulham attacks in the last few matches was abundant today, especially down the left with the marauding Salcido making Fulham supporters quickly forget the contributions of Paul Konchesky.

Hopefully, this is the start of a settling period for the Cottagers. The schedule stiffens some now, but with better health and a handful of home matches coming up, expectations for this type of performance will become more of the norm.

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