Cairney’s strike seals much-needed Fulham win

Fulham 2 Wigan 0

Second-half goals from Joe Bryan and Tom Cairney sealed a first victory in four Championship matches for Fulham in a chippy encounter at Craven Cottage.

The hosts were dominant throughout but seemed to be making life difficult for themselves once more, having previously lacked the clinical edge in the final third to kill games off earlier.

Several crosses failed to find a man in white during the opening period, though Alfie Mawson went close with a near-post flick, before efforts from Harrison Reed, Aleksandar Mitrović and Anthony Knockaert went straight at goalkeeper David Marshall.

Mitrović had arguably the best chance of the first half five minutes from the break, knocking a teasing cross from Knockaert marginally over, but it took Fulham just two minutes to open the scoring after the restart.

Bryan, who last found the net against Millwall in the Carabao Cup 12 months ago, had his initial volley blocked, but put the ball away with his weaker right foot expertly at the second time of asking.

Wigan remained a threat at set pieces as Lee Evans came closest to an equaliser with a first-time shot dipping over the bar, while Marcus Bettinelli was on the end of several physical battles in the air.

The impressive Knockaert almost doubled Fulham’s lead, having drawn a smart save from Marshall after some nifty footwork, but his pace was key in the closing stages to finally secure maximum points for the Whites.

The Frenchman led a counter-attack and fed Cairney on the edge of the box, as the captain sent another of his trademark curlers into the top-right corner at the Hammersmith End to extend Fulham’s unbeaten run to four matches.

Fulham: Bettinelli, Sessegnon, Mawson, Ream, Bryan, Reed, Johansen (Arter 79), Cairney, Knockaert (Onomah 86), Cavaleiro (Decordova-Reid 69), Mitrović.
Subs not used: Rodák, Odoi, Le Marchand, Kamara.