Sunday 17 November 2019

Duff on mark to lift Fulham


Eleanor Crooks

Hugo Rodallega earned the praise of both managers as he helped Fulham to their first away win of the season against his former club.

The Colombian left the Latics in the summer after refusing to sign a new contract and scored his first goal for his new club at the DW Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Rodallega is Wigan's all-time leading goalscorer in the Premier League with 24 and, after a few boos early in the game, he was applauded by the home fans when he chose not to celebrate his bullet header. The striker was then applauded by all sides of the ground when he was substituted late in the game.

"I knew Rodallega would be very eager and motivated to do something nice, to score his goal and that was exactly what he did, so that was ever so pleasing for us," said Fulham boss Martin Jol. "He showed respect to the people and they showed him respect as well."

Rodallega's goal came in the 31st minute and Damien Duff added a second for the visitors in the 68th minute, before Arouna Kone pulled one back in injury-time.

"Hugo showed real respect to the fans. It could have been easy for him to celebrate the goal. It was a nice gesture from him and the fans recognised that," said Wigan manager Roberto Martinez of his former player."

Although Rodallega was the headline maker, his goal owed much to the talents of Dimitar Berbatov, who again showed what a great signing he looks set to be.

The former Manchester United man was a class above all afternoon and picked out the head of Rodallega with a peach of a cross, while he was denied three times by Ali Al Habsi as he came close to adding to his two goals against West Brom last weekend. "I always thought he was a fantastic player," said Jol. "The only thing I see now is he can play in a different position as well.

"I made the gamble to play with Hugo up top and Dimitar, and he was probably the best No 10 you can imagine."

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