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

These teams have bucked their recent trends, though this was still a stalemate greeted with howls of frustration from each. While Fulham would have expected to have triumphed here, their superiority was undermined by gumminess in front of goal. Blackburn Rover, meanwhile, were left livid as Mark Schwarzer clattered Junior Hoilett in stoppage time at the end, and concerned as the young midfielder departed in a neck brace on a stretcher.

Steve Kean, so beleaguered as this club endured their worst start to a campaign since 1947, had led the calls for Howard Webb to dismiss the Australian goalkeeper. Hoilett, excellent throughout, was motionless as he was carried from the turf, although he appeared to be conscious, with Rovers’ free-kick coming to nothing. In the circumstances, a first point of Blackburn’s season felt like scant consolation.

This game had flared just after the half-hour. Bryan Ruiz, having laboured to make a positive impact on his debut following his £10.6m arrival from Twente on transfer deadline day, was caught in possession by the energetic Ruben Rochina near the halfway line. Fulham still should have repelled the threat, but Hoilett was permitted to pull the ball back for Rochina, allowed space by an uncertain Ruiz on the edge of the area, who belted in a first Premier League goal via the underside of the crossbar. The Spaniard, signed from Barcelona’s reserves in January, showed flashes of quality here. Ruiz, denied any time on the ball and peripheral to the play, was replaced at the interval.

The goal should have pepped Rovers’ confidence, though it actually served to sting Fulham into an immediate riposte. Bobby Zamora, earlier denied a penalty when he appeared to be barged from the ball by Michel Salgado, was found by Damien Duff and teased space from Gaël Givet in the left-back berth. Having eked out a few yards in which to conjure an effort, his finish was superbly placed beyond Paul Robinson and the hosts had hauled themselves level.

The spark remained after the interval, urgency driving both teams in search of a winner, but clear-cut chances were rare for all the busy approach play. Danny Murphy was denied by Paul Robinson but Givet, shifted into the centre following Christopher Samba’s half-time withdrawal, excelled to frustrate the hosts. The nearest Fulham came was arguably in the dying seconds, when Robinson leapt to turn away Clint Dempsey’s curled attempt. A point left these sides in the relegation zone in the formative Premier League table, with confidence still brittle at both.

Tags: ,

Related Posts

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.