Saturday 8 March 2008, 3:00pm at Ewood Park, Blackburn
Barclays Premier League
Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers
1
Pedersen 59'
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Bullard 89'
A wonderful 89th minute free-kick from Jimmy Bullard gave Fulham an away point at Ewood Park as the fight against relegation continues.

59' Goal

Morten Gamst Pedersen

45' Yellow Card

Kerimoglou Tugay Card was given for a foul

69' Yellow Card

Stephen Warnock Card was given for a foul

56' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Matt Derbyshire
Off:Benni McCarthy

57' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jason Roberts
Off:Kerimoglou Tugay

89' Goal

Jimmy Bullard

82' Yellow Card

Paul Stalteri Card was given for a foul

90' Yellow Card

David Healy Card was given for a foul

66' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Brian McBride
Off:Clint Dempsey

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:David Healy
Off:Danny Murphy

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90

First Half Action

Torrential conditions accompanied the first period of play at Ewood Park on Saturday. A swirling wind and a heavy downpour made for testing conditions for both sets of players. Fulham’s travelling supporters deserve a special mention. After severe travels disruptions on Saturday morning Fulham's army of fans made it in time for kick-off and were in fine voice throughout the game.

Blackburn got the game underway and it was a quiet first period by all accounts. Neither side created any clear cut opportunities but the Whites matches Rovers in all areas of the field.

11 min Simon Davies opened up Rovers defence for the first time with a sweet through ball which sent Eddie Johnson clean through on goal. The US striker raced past Khiszanishvili and looked to be pulled back as he bore through on goal. Referee Mike Riley was unmoved and waved play on. Fulham earned their first corner of the game on 15 minutes and Friedel was forced to save as Hangelaand snuck in at the far post.

17 min Blackburn created a superb opportunity from the left flank through Warnock and breached Fulham’s defence for the first time. The left back created the overlap and a cute ball deep down the left set the defender free. Warnock’s cross flashed across goal, evading both sets of players.

22 min Simon Davies was once again supplying the ammunition from midfield for Fulham. Playing on the left hand side of midfield the Welshman set Konchesky free down the left, opening up Rovers defence. Konchesky turned his marker on the by-line and sent in a fine cross. Unfortunately for Fulham the ball was just behind Dempsey, racing into the six yard box.

27 min The heavens opened at Ewood Park as the game became a scrap for possession with neither side creating any opportunities of note. Steven Warnock once again showed his pedigree going forward from defence on the half hour mark, supplying another dangerous ball onto the box which forced Hangelaand to use all his height to head the ball clear to safety.

33 min Simon Davies was enraged following an aerial collision with Bentley. The Rovers winger caught Davies with his flailing arm and Riley was forced to intervene as the Fulham midfielder remonstrated. The wind was causing problems

35 min Eddie Jonhson was disposed in Rovers half Santa Cruz was set free, through on goal, down the right channel. Konchesky tracked back and put in a superb tackle before Cruz could pull the trigger. From Rovers’ second phase of pressure moments later Aaron Hughes put in a superb block tackle following a cute Rovers one-two inside the Fulham area.

40 min Fulham earned several corners from the forays upfield during the first period but could not capitalise on their set pieces. A free-kick seconds before the break, left of centre from 25 yards, offered the Whites their last opportunity of the half. Jimmy Bullard stepped up but crashed his right footed shot against the wall. Seconds later Mike Riley called time on the first half at Ewood Park.

Second Half Action

45 min Fulham got the second half underway and Rovers won the first corner of the half after three minutes. Steven Reid met the set piece on the far post but sent his effort back across goal wide.

54 min Steven Reid almost broke the deadlock. The midfielder chased a through ball into Fulham’s area and under pressure from Konchesky’s challenge sent his effort looping over Kasey Keller and onto the crossbar. Rovers were increasing the pressure and Pedersen sent in a speculative shot from distance moments later.

57 min Mark Hughes made a double substitution before the hour mark, revising his attacking options. Matt Derbyshire came on for McCartney and Jason Roberts replaced Tugay.

58 min Despite Rovers making the changes in attack it was Fulham’s Eddie Johnson who was the rattled the crossbar with a superb right footed drive from the edge of the area.

59 min Pedersen broke the deadlock right on the hour mark to give Rovers the lead. The home side broke down Fulham’s left flank and a delivery from out wide was sent into the middle of the area. Pedersen appeared to bundle over Stalteri as he raced into the area before heading in from 15 yards.

Blackburn 1 Fulham 0

61 min Fulham should have pulled the game level moments after conceding. A cross into the area found Dempsey unmarked on the far post but the American lost his footing and the ball drifted wide. The American was in the mix again seconds later when he was bundled over in the area but Referee Mike Riley was unmoved.

65 min Roy Hodgson revised his attacking line up, replacing Clint Dempsey with Brian McBride in attack. McBride was immediately in the thick of the action, his presence causing enough concern from Bullard’s deep free-kick for Rovers to concede a corner.

70 min Stephen Warnock was booked for a late challenge on Jimmy Bullard in the middle of the park. Bullard looked to have taken a knock to his left thigh but returned to the field moments later. Andreasen was given a verbal ticking off by Riley minutes later when he went in hard on Warnock in front of the Rovers dug out.

73 min Pedersen almost doubled the home side's lead with a superb left footed free kick from 25 yards. Keller looked beaten but fortunately the ball flew just wide of the keeper's near post. Two minutes later Keller was forced to save as Pedersen fired in, low and hard, from exactly the same position.

79 min Rovers were enjoying some strong attacking play down Fulham's right flank and the home side's attacks were becoming ever more dangerous as the game wore on. Bentley broke through down the left and burst into the box, but instead of crossing, went for goal and smashed the ball against the side netting.

83 min Fulham attacked from the flanks with Konchesky and Andreasen supplying crosses from deep but Fulham could not find a flourish in the final third. Blackburn countered a Fulham corner and Stalteri was booked by Mike Riley for holding back Roberts as the striker broke through on the half way line. The striker should have put the game beyond doubt seconds later but Keller made a superb diving save at the striker's feet in a one-on-one 8 yards from goal.

84 min Roy Hodgson sent on David Healy to reinforce his attack as the game entered its final phase. The striker replaced Danny Murphy with Simon Davies tucking into central midfield.

88 min Two minutes before time Eddie Johnson earned a free-kick in a central position, 20 yards from goal. Bullard stepped up and once again produced a moment of magic. A superb right footed free-kick had Friedel beaten all ends up and the Bulldog turned on his heels and raced to the touchline to celebrate with Danny Murphy.

Blackburn 1 Fulham 1

90 min The Fourth Official indicated three minutes of added time and Fulham attacked with the greater purpose. David Healy was booked for blocking Friedel taking a free-kick seconds before Mike Riley blew for fultime. It was a crucial point for Fulham on Saturday and Roy Hodgson and his side will now look towards making up further ground in the Premier League table against Everton at Craven Cottage next Sunday. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 8 March 2008
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Ewood Park, Blackburn
Attendance: 20,362

Referee: Mike Riley

Blackburn Rovers

Line-up: Friedel; Ooijer, Khizanishvili, Samba, Warnock; Bentley, Tugay (Roberts 57'), Reid, Santa Cruz; Benni McCarthy (Derbyshire 56'), Pedersen

Unused substitutes: Brown, Dunn, Mokoena

Fulham

Line-up: Keller; Stalteri, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Davies, Bullard, Andreasen, Murphy (Healy 90'), Dempsey (McBride 66'); Johnson

Unused substitutes: Niemi, Volz, Bocanegra

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 28 65
2 Manchester United 28 64
3 Chelsea 27 58
4 Liverpool 29 56
5 Everton 28 53
6 Aston Villa 28 48
7 Blackburn Rovers 29 46
8 Manchester City 29 45
9 Portsmouth 28 44
10 West Ham United 28 40
11 Tottenham Hotspur 27 32
12 Middlesbrough 28 29
13 Reading 29 28
14 Newcastle United 29 28
15 Wigan Athletic 28 27
16 Sunderland 28 27
17 Birmingham City 28 26
18 Bolton Wanderers 28 25
19 Fulham 29 20
20 Derby County 28 10
Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2)
  • 1Brad Friedel
  • 2André Ooijer
  • Zurab Khizanishvili
  • 4Christopher Samba
  • 3Stephen Warnock
  • 11David Bentley
  • 5Kerimoglou Tugay
  • 16Steven Reid
  • 9Roque Santa Cruz
  • 10Benni McCarthy
  • 12Morten Gamst Pedersen
Substitutes
  • 32Jason Brown
  • 8David Dunn
  • 15Aaron Mokoena
  • 27Matt Derbyshire
  • 30Jason Roberts
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 1Kasey Keller
  • 17Paul Stalteri
  • 32Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 4Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 26Leon Andreasen
  • 27Danny Murphy
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 14Eddie Johnson
Substitutes
  • 29Antti Niemi
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 20Brian McBride
  • 31David Healy