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Wisła off the mark against ten-man Fulham

Wisła Kraków 1-0 Fulham FC
David Biton earned the Polish champions their first Group K points at the expense of a Fulham side who played over an hour with ten men.

David Biton (left) takes the plaudits from Júnior Díaz
David Biton (left) takes the plaudits from Júnior Díaz ©Cyfrasport

David Biton scored the only goal as Wisła Kraków recorded their first points in UEFA Europa League Group K against Fulham FC.

The Premier League side played a man down for over an hour following the dismissal of Moussa Dembélé for an altercation with Gervasio Núñez. Despite their numerical advantage, the Polish champions found Fulham a difficult proposition to break down until the in-form Biton took matters into his own hands with a long-range drive on the hour, his eighth goal in seven games.

Playing their 20th match of the season, Fulham breathed a sigh of relief inside ten minutes, when a powerful effort from Ivica Iliev deflected off Brede Hangeland and onto the crossbar.

Having been booked early on for a high challenge on Hangeland and then bringing a full-stretch save out of Mark Schwarzer, Iliev was making his presence felt. On Wisła's next attack, the former Serbian international twisted Stephen Kelly inside out only to drag his shot wide of the near post.

Without the rested Bobby Zamora and Clint Dempsey, not to mention the injured Danny Murphy, Fulham's creative edge was somewhat blunted. Their only effort of substance in the opening 25 minutes was a tame shot from Dembélé, the Belgium striker's last significant act before he was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident.

A man down, Martin Jol's side were more than holding their own until Biton broke their resistance 15 minutes into the second half, advancing unopposed and rifling a low shot beyond Schwarzer.

The Fulham goalkeeper had previously been extended by Cezary Wilk's rasping drive, and two minutes after picking the ball out of the net he had to be alert to pluck Andraž Kirm's firm strike from the air. A second booking for Osman Chávez late on did little to quell the hosts' joy at moving to within a point of their second-placed opponents.

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