Football

Lessons to be learned in disappointing defeat

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Wolves' unbeaten run came to an abrupt end at the weekend; and Mick McCarthy will be fuming.

His side were so much on the front foot in the first half that it felt as if they were, in fact, the home side. But, through poor decision making, they squandered three valuable points to walk away empty handed. 

The away side got off to the perfect start, dominating the early exchanges and getting just reward when new boy Jelle Van Damme capitalised on John Pantsil's error to tap in at the far post.

The home fans were incensed, as the goal came only seconds after a decent penalty shout when Jody Craddock brought down Simon Davies in the box. Fortunately for Wolves, Phil Dowd saw nothing going. 

The next major part of the game was something every fan, manager and player hates to see.

Zamora's injury was definitely horrific - but the suggestion that there was intent behind Karl Henry's challenge is, in my opinion, harsh.

Henry has always been a tough tackler, committed to the challenge and you only have to look at his battle with Barton a few weeks ago to see that this is the way he plays his game. The fact that such a bad injury was suffered is more bad luck than bad tackling. 

This event signalled a significant turning point in the game; but in a direction no-one could have seen coming.

History would have us believe that a team's performance will suffer when a team-mate is injured in such a way; but, if anything, the Fulham players were galvanised; determined to get something from a match that seemed to be escaping them - for Bobby.

They got in at half-time still only 0-1 down; still in the game 

Their comeback was, of course, aided by some pretty average football from Wolves. 

In the 49th minute, Stephen Kelly crossed towards Zoltan Gera, who failed to make any meaningful connection.

The ball fell to the Belgian Moussa Dembele who managed to shift the ball onto his right foot before burying his shot in the bottom left hand corner.

Maybe there was a slight deflection, but Fulham's spirit deserved the equaliser. Now they pushed on for a winner. 

Wolves panicked and Christophe Berra, usually reliable at the back, decided to make two awful challenges which left referee Dowd with no choice but to give him his marching orders.

Neither tackle made an attempt to play the ball and no-one can say he didn't deserve it. His second yellow was for a foul on Eddie Johnson and from this free kick Dembele scored his second, Fulham's second and the winner. 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers
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