Saturday 11 May 2002, 3:00pm at Ewood Park, Blackburn
Barclays Premier League
Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers
3
Cole 52', 82'; Duff 66'
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
Fulham don't end the season in the best of fashions as they lose their final game 3-0 at Ewood Park; but the Whites can be hugely proud of their first season back in England's top division as they finish a very respectable 13th.

52' Goal

Andrew Cole

66' Goal

Damien Duff

82' Goal

Andrew Cole

57' Yellow Card

Kerimoglou Tugay Card was given for a foul

76' Yellow Card

Lucas Neill Card was given for a foul

88' Yellow Card

David Dunn Card was given for a foul

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Mark Hughes
Off:Matt Jansen

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Hakan Ünsal
Off:Nils-Eric Johansson

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Yordi
Off:Kerimoglou Tugay

46' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Zat Knight
Off:Abdeslam Ouaddou

82' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Andrejs Stolcers
Off:Sylvain Legwinski

82' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Callum Willock
Off:Jon Harley

0
15
30
45
60
75
90
Victory saw Rovers finish in the top half of the table, and with European football beckoning after their Worthington Cup success, manager Graeme Souness could be forgiven for a smile of self-satisfaction.

Duff received Blackburn's player of the season award before kick-off and crowned a sensational season with a superbly-worked goal.

Cole scored equally good efforts, and created and missed a hatful of other chances in an eventful game to highlight his own contribution to Blackburn's season after his £7million move from Manchester United at the turn of the year.

This may have been the end of the season but there was still plenty to play for at Ewood Park - whoever won would finish 10th if Middlesbrough lost at Leeds.

Cole should have started the party with a goal in the second minute.

David Dunn had already fooled Sylvain Legwinski with one exquisite dummy when he then beat the same player to the ball and found Keith Gillespie. His cross dropped perfectly for Cole, but somehow he headed wide.

After 17 minutes, Cole fluffed what was if anything an easier chance.

Matt Jansen, so disappointed to miss out on England's World Cup squad, was the provider, earning himself space on the left and picking out his strike partner with a delicious cross at the perfect height.

From six yards out, Cole again headed wide and then Jansen caught the bug, completely missing his kick when Duff had presented him with an excellent shooting chance.

Gillespie nearly committed a howler when his back-pass was intercepted by Steve Marlet, but the Blackburn winger atoned by blocking the shot when the

French striker attempted to curl the ball from a tight angle into an empty goal.

Fulham's patient build-up play was becoming more decisive and Louis Saha was inches wide with a low drive from 25 yards.

It was third time and unlucky for Cole after a glorious charge down the left wing by Nils-Eric Johansson.

The Swede's low ball found Cole who shot first-time, on target this time but Maik Taylor saved with his legs.

Some lovely link-up play between Duff and Cole saw the Irish winger sprint down the left and then try a return cross.

Cole had made an excellent run but this time the fault was not his, as Duff's ball was two feet too high for the striker.

Seven minutes into the second half and Cole finally got onto the scoresheet with an extraordinary goal which left Taylor red-faced with embarrassment.

Taylor received a routine back-pass from Harley, but when Cole closed him down the Fulham goalkeeper attempted to take the ball past him.

Cole executed a perfect sliding tackle and then regained his feet to roll the ball into an empty net.

Five chances, one goal. Perhaps Glenn Hoddle was right all along about that ratio.

After 65 minutes, a superb move was finished with aplomb by Duff.

Cole turned Andy Melville and sent Jansen through, and although Zat Knight slid into to force him wide, he poked a pass between two defenders for Duff to fire left-footed across Taylor and low into the corner.

It was the winger's eighth goal of a richly-rewarding season, and his seventh in the Premiership.

Cole then laid a chance on a plate for Jansen, holding off Steve Finnan before sliding a pass to his striker but Taylor was off his line to block.

A lightning dart to the near-post by Cole nearly led to a third, as he made contact with Lucas Neill's pass but could not get it on target.

With 10 minutes to go it was 3-0, thanks to Cole. Tugay's perfectly-weighted through-ball sent Cole sprinting towards goal but there was still plenty to do, and he turned Melville inside out before stabbing past Taylor to make it 13 goals for Rovers since January 1.

Lewis almost surprised Kelly from distance, before Taylor made a double save, first denying Cole his hat-trick and then blocking out Yordi.

 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 11 May 2002
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Ewood Park, Blackburn
Attendance: 30,487

Referee: Chris Foy

Blackburn Rovers

Line-up: Kelly; Neill, Taylor, Berg, Johansson (Ünsal 75'); Gillespie, Tugay (Yordi 83'), Dunn, Duff; Jansen (Hughes 75'), Cole

Unused substitutes: Miller, Curtis

Fulham

Line-up: Taylor; Finnan, Melville, Ouaddou (Knight 46'), Harley (Willock 82'); Goldbaek, Davis, Legwinski (Stolcers 82'), Lewis; Saha, Marlet

Unused substitutes: Hahnemann, Collins

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 38 87
2 Liverpool 38 80
3 Manchester United 38 77
4 Newcastle United 38 71
5 Leeds United 38 66
6 Chelsea 38 64
7 West Ham United 38 53
8 Aston Villa 38 50
9 Tottenham Hotspur 38 50
10 Blackburn Rovers 38 46
11 Southampton 38 45
12 Middlesbrough 38 45
13 Fulham 38 44
14 Charlton Athletic 38 44
15 Everton 38 43
16 Bolton Wanderers 38 40
17 Sunderland 38 40
18 Ipswich Town 38 36
19 Derby County 38 30
20 Leicester City 38 28
Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2)
  • Alan Kelly
  • 2Lucas Neill
  • 5Martin Taylor
  • Henning Berg
  • Nils-Eric Johansson
  • 19Keith Gillespie
  • 5Kerimoglou Tugay
  • 19David Dunn
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 17Matt Jansen
  • 8Andrew Cole
Substitutes
  • Alan Miller
  • John Curtis
  • Hakan Ünsal
  • Yordi
  • Mark Hughes
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 12Maik Taylor
  • 2Steve Finnan
  • 4Andy Melville
  • 25Abdeslam Ouaddou
  • 7Jon Harley
  • 19Bjarne Goldbaek
  • 23Sean Davis
  • 18Sylvain Legwinski
  • 31Eddie Lewis
  • 20Louis Saha
  • 7Steve Marlet
Substitutes
  • 32Marcus Hahnemann
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 10John Collins
  • 40Andrejs Stolcers
  • 33Callum Willock