Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Blackburn 3 Fulham 1

Blackburn Rovers again silenced their vociferous critics with another unlikely and memorable victory, defeating Fulham despite playing 70 minutes with 10 men after key man Yakubu had been sent off.

Despite unsettled Chris Samba being left out of the squad and Yakubu’s deserved exit for a high challenge on Danny Murphy, they went 2-0 ahead after a Morten Gamst Pedersen free kick and David Dunn strike. Damien Duff reduced the deficit but Blackburn – incredibly – kept attacking and Mauro Formica scored the clincher.

Blackburn’s influential captain and centre-back Samba had phoned in sick for training on Friday – at a time when he is angling for a move – and was left out of the squad with illness being cited as the reason.

On the pitch, the team immediately worked hard to bring some feel-good factor to the place as Junior Hoilett’s swerving strike was held by David Stockdale.

But their early promise soon dissipated after a couple of momentum-changing moments, midway through the first half. First, Fulham rattled them as Duff’s cross from the right was headed on to the bar by crouching Zamora.

Then things took another turn for the worse as Yakubu produced a dangerously high challenge on Murphy’s knee as they went for a loose ball, leading to a justified red card.

Fulham were unlucky not to score in the 38th minute as returning Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson produced an outstanding, stretching save to push away Phillipe Senderos’s powerful header from Murphy’s free kick.

The home team then snatched the lead just before the interval from a free kick that was won by Dunn as he made a fleet-footed run forward and was impeded by Bryan Ruiz. Pedersen curled a low, 20-yard effort round the wall and beyond the grasp of Stockdale.

A protective approach seemed likely from Blackburn in the second half but, instead, they scored again within a minute. David Goodwillie made a purposeful run forward then watched his shot being charged down before Dunn followed up by driving in.

Fulham’s response though was positive and they were soon denied a goal by a tight offside call as Clint Dempsey headed in after Duff’s initial effort had been parried by Robinson. After that disappointment, they ventured forward again and this time scored as Murphy picked out Duff in the penalty area and he fired into the far corner, through the legs of Martin Olsson and beyond Robinson.

The game still remained open with Blackburn looking the likeliest scorers and their positive approach was vindicated as Steven Nzonzi chipped forward to Mauro Formica, who struck confidently.

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