Wednesday 11 March 2009, 8:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Dempsey 2'
Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers
Santa Cruz 69'; Roberts 85'

2' Goal

Clint Dempsey

52' Yellow Card

Danny Murphy Card was given for a foul

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Toni Kallio
Off:John Pantsil

80' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Diomansy Kamara
Off:Zoltán Gera

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:Simon Davies

69' Goal

Roque Santa Cruz

85' Goal

Jason Roberts

45' Yellow Card

Roque Santa Cruz Card was given for a foul

56' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Benni McCarthy
Off:Keith Andrews

82' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Aaron Mokoena
Off:Kerimoglou Tugay

Blackburn Rovers came from behind to take all three points at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening. Fulham took the lead through Clint Dempsey but two second half goals from El-Hadji Diouf and Jason Roberts ensured a vital win for the visitors.

Blackburn Rovers came from behind to take all three points at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening. Fulham took the lead through Clint Dempsey but two second half goals from El-Hadji Diouf and Jason Roberts ensured a vital win for the visitors.

Roy Hodgson made one change to the side that played Manchester United in the FA Cup Quarter Final, with Zoltan Gera replacing Bobby Zamora in the starting line-up. The change meant a place up front for Clint Dempsey. Following the sad passing away of Eddie Lowe a moment’s silence was held prior to Kick Off. 

The Fulham faithful didn’t have long to wait for the opening goal of the match as Fulham took the lead throughClint Dempsey with their very first attack. The American international showed good strength to shrug off the attentions of Ryan Nelson and was able to poke the ball past Paul Robinson in the second minute.

The Whites were denied a second goal soon after when fine counter-attacking play from Johnson, Dempsey and Davies crafted a great opportunity for Johnson. The striker was able to get his shot away but the lunging block of Stephen Warnock saved Rovers.

Fulham’s attack was certainly on form in the early stages and a wonderfully creative pass from Dempsey found Davies in acres of space in the penalty area on 11 minutes. Even though the ball fell on Davies’ wrong foot, the winger was able to test Robinson with a strong volley. 

Fulham were lucky to hold on to their lead in the 17th minute when Stephen Warnock struck the foot of the post with a curling shot. Jason Roberts was able to get the wrong side of Brede Hangeland out wide and threaded a pass to Warnock. Although Aaron Hughes was in the way, Warnock dummied well to create some space before clattering the woodwork.

 The game continued at a frantic pace and although a fierce battle for possession was being fought in the centre of the park, both sides were also finding space to play their way through the opposition. That did not last long however.

 As the first half progressed defences took the upper hand as the game descended into something of a war of attrition with the ball spending more time in the air than on the ground. The passage of play seemed to suit Brede Hangeland down to the ground as he won header after header in the heart of Fulham’s defence.

 The first half ended with El-Hadji Diouf receiving a booking after the whistle for dissent.

The Whites started the second period looking to avoid the aerial battle that consumed the first half. Hoping to stretch their opponents, Fulham were using the full width of the pitch whilst Rovers steadfastly maintained their direct approach.

 A series of Fulham corners early in the second half had Rovers on the back foot. It was enough to convince Sam Allardyce to introduce Benni McCarthy to the action on 55 minutes as Rovers switched to a 4-4-2 formation.

 In the play immediately following the substitution, Mark Schwarzer produced a wonderful save to deny Warnock’s swerving volley from the angle of the area.

 A lively forward run and cross from Paul Konchesky on 60 minutes created a good opportunity for Fulham. The left back exchanged passes with Dempsey before delivering a low cross into the box just beyond the advancing Johnson and Gera.

 Blackburn eventually took the upper hand, putting the Fulham back line under pressure from a series of high balls. El-Hadji Diouf scored the equaliser on 70 minutes amid heavy suggestions of offside. The goal scorer was certainly beyond the final Fulham defender when Rovers played the initial ball into the box, however the winger had moved back onside for the second phase of play and was on hand to touch home Christopher Samba’s header.

 Blackburn continued to press and Schwarzer again denied Warnock with a world class save on 70 minutes.

 Aaron Hughes’ participation ended on 77 minutes when he was replaced by Toni Kallio after picking up a knock. Diomansy Kamara came on for Gera minutes later, joining Andy Johnson in attack.

Jason Roberts put Rovers in front with just five minutes remaining when he managed to turn past Kallio deep in to Fulham's area and fire past Schwarzer. There was nothing Fulham could do to get back on level terms before the final whistle.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Wednesday 11 March 2009
Kick-off: 8:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 22,259

Referee: Rob Styles


Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil (Kallio 77'), Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Davies (Nevland 90'), Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey; Gera (Kamara 80'); Johnson

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Stoor, Dacourt, Gray

Blackburn Rovers

Line-up: Robinson; Ooijer, Nelsen, Samba, Givet; Pedersen, Andrews (Benni McCarthy 56'), Tugay (Mokoena 82'), Warnock; Santa Cruz, Roberts

Unused substitutes: Bunn, Khizanishvili, Simpson, Dunn, Villanueva

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 27 65
2 Chelsea 28 58
3 Liverpool 28 58
4 Aston Villa 28 52
5 Arsenal 28 49
6 Everton 28 45
7 West Ham United 28 39
8 Manchester City 28 35
9 Wigan Athletic 28 35
10 Fulham 28 34
11 Bolton Wanderers 28 33
12 Tottenham Hotspur 28 32
13 Sunderland 28 32
14 Hull City 28 32
15 Blackburn Rovers 28 30
16 Stoke City 28 29
17 Newcastle United 28 28
18 Portsmouth 27 28
19 Middlesbrough 28 26
20 West Bromwich Albion 28 22
Fulham (4-4-1-1)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 8Andrew Johnson
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 22Fredrik Stoor
  • 33Toni Kallio
  • 16Olivier Dacourt
  • 17Julian Gray
  • 10Erik Nevland
  • 15Diomansy Kamara
Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2)
  • 1Paul Robinson
  • 2André Ooijer
  • 6Ryan Nelsen
  • 4Christopher Samba
  • 31Gaël Givet
  • 12Morten Gamst Pedersen
  • 17Keith Andrews
  • 5Kerimoglou Tugay
  • 3Stephen Warnock
  • 9Roque Santa Cruz
  • 30Jason Roberts
  • 22Mark Bunn
  • Zurab Khizanishvili
  • 22Danny Simpson
  • 8David Dunn
  • 15Aaron Mokoena
  • 19Carlos Villanueva
  • 10Benni McCarthy