Johnson strikes his 100th goal as Fulham win

Fulham 2 Wigan 0

Andy Johnson opened his Fulham account with two goals to continue Wigan’s freefall down the Barclays Premier League.

The England striker, a £10.5million summer signing from Everton, struck in each half to condemn Wigan to their fourth successive defeat.

Controversy surrounded the opener – Johnson’s 100th league goal – as he looked a yard offside, but the second was well taken with Jimmy Bullard the provider.

Bullard’s astute free-kick created the space for Johnson and it was a welcome highlight for the 30-year-old, who otherwise endured a disappointing game against his former club.

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

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 Paul 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 Murphy summing up their frustration.

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

Securing a glut of possession, Fulham were able to gain early control with the pressure telling when they surged ahead through Andy Johnson in the 10th minute.

Bobby Zamora started the move by picking out left-back Paul Konchesky who whipped in a low cross to Johnson and the England marksman converted 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 Murphy summing up their frustration.

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

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

Bullard and Murphy were being outmuscled 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.

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

Johnson then trooped off to rapturous applause as Fulham eased to the final whistle.

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