Saturday 2 December 2006, 3:00pm at Ewood Park, Blackburn
Barclays Premier League
Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers
2
Nonda 6'; Benni McCarthy 24'
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
A disappointing time for Fulham on their travels ends in a 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

6' Goal

Shabani Nonda

24' Goal

Benni McCarthy

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Sergio Peter
Off:Shabani Nonda

85' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Aaron Mokoena
Off:David Bentley

89' Substitution

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

57' Yellow Card

Heidar Helguson Card was given for a foul

72' Yellow Card

Papa Bouba Diop Card was given for a foul

64' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Tomasz Radzinski
Off:Luis Boa Morte

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Brian McBride
Off:Heidar Helguson

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Wayne Routledge
Off:Collins John

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

After a superb mid-week triumph over Arsenal, Fulham were beaten by two first half goals at Ewood Park as Mark Hughes' Blackburn Rovers claimed all three points.

Coleman reverted to a 4-4-2 formation to face Rovers and consequently a number of changes were made from Wednesday night's victorious starting eleven. Czech goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka was handed his Premiership debut for Fulham in the absence of Antti Niemi.

In defence Ian Pearce resumed his partnership with Zat Knight in place of Philippe Christanval. The versatile Liam Rosenior occupied the left back berth in the absence of Franck Queudrue (injured) and Moritz Volz started his second consecutive game at right back.

Fulham's midfield quartet, from left to right, featured captain Luis Boa Morte, Claus Jensen, Papa Bouba Diop and Michael Brown.

In attack Dutch striker Collins John partnered Heidar Helguson whilst Wednesday night's goal heroes, Brian McBride and Tomasz Radzinski, were named on the subs bench alongside keeper Batista, Christanval and Routledge.

Blackburn entered the contest without a win in their previous six games, having last won in the Premiership on the 1st October against Wigan Athletic. Hughes welcomed back captain Lucas Neill to the Rovers starting eleven but was without the instrumental Tugay who was serving a one match ban.

Referee Steve Bennett got the game underway in front of a crowd of 16,799 and within seven minutes Hughes' side were a goal to the good.

Stephane Henchoz' speculative long ball reached Shabani Nonda 12 yards from goal. The Blackburn striker stretched towards the ball and connected with the outside of his boot to send his effort past debutant keeper, Jan Lastuvka.

Four minutes later Blackburn threatened to increase their lead when Pedersen reached Neill's cross into the area but the midfielder could only send his header wide of Fulham's goal.

Fulham looked off the pace during the opening exchange at Ewood Park and failed to find their passing rhythm.

Blackburn midfielder Robbie Savage was booked by referee Bennett on 16 minutes for unsporting behaviour after a challenge on Michael Brown.

Blackburn increased their lead on 23 minutes when Lucas Neill's long ball found Benni McCarthy whose shot on goal deflected off Ian Pearce and looped beyond Lastuvka, putting Blackburn two goals to the good.

Fulham's defence were under pressure once again on 30 minutes when Liam Rosenior attempted to play the ball back to his keeper following a long ball upfield from Gray. The ball found Pedersen but fortunately for Fulham the Norwegian sent his effort wide of the post with only the keeper to beat.

Fulham's only opportunity of the first half came five minutes before the interval and fell to reinstated striker, Heidar Helguson. Finding himself with space on the left from a Claus Jensen cross, the Icelandic striker could only send his strike across the face of the area and wide of the goal.

After three minutes of injury time following treatment to Ian Pearce and Heidar Helguson during the first period, referee Steve Bennett blew the whistle on a disappointing 45 minutes for the Whites.

Both sides remained unchanged for the second half with Fulham's travelling support hoping their side could replicate the second half comebacks witnessed at Vicarage Road and St. James Park earlier in the season.

Fulham posed a greater threat during the second period but despite putting Blackburn under pressure it was 87 minutes before Friedel was seriously tested.

The home side started brightly and Lastuvka came to Fulham's rescue on more than one occasion during the second period of the game.

Stephane Henchoz was booked for unsporting behaviour early in the second period after a foul on Fulham striker Heidar Helguson. Fulham's striker was also in the book after a challenge on David Bentley on 57 minutes.

Lastuvka came to Fulham's rescue in the 57th minute with a good block with his legs from Neill after he had released by his fellow Australian Emerton.

Coleman's first substitution of the game came on 63 minutes when Tomasz Radzinski replaced Luis Boa Morte on Fulham's left flank.

Seven minutes later Coleman introduced Wednesday night's goal hero Brian McBride in place of Heidar Helguson to add fresh impetus to Fulham's attack.

Papa Bouba Diop joined Helguson in the referee's book on 72 minutes after a late challenge on David Bentley.

Coleman's third and final substitution of the game saw Wayne Routledge replace Collins John on 74 minutes and Fulham reverted to a 4-5-1 formation with Brian McBride leading the line.

Benni McCarthy should have wrapped the game up ten minutes from time after Savage dispossessed Diop before feeding Emerton whose cross found McCarthy but the striker could only send his effort off target.

Mark Hughes made two substitutions in quick succession in the final ten minutes Goalscorer Nonda and midfielder Bentley were replaced by Peter and Mokoena respectively.

Fulham's first real threat on goal came after 87 minutes when Claus Jensen's superb curling free kick was well saved by Brad Friedel, who parried the ball away to his left.

Two minutes later Benni McCarthy was announced as Man of the Match and Hughes replaced the striker in the final minute, bringing on Derbyshire.

After three minutes of injury time Referee Steve Bennett blew the final whistle and Fulham faced the long journey home from Blackburn after a disappointing performance at Ewood Park.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 2 December 2006
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Ewood Park, Blackburn
Attendance: 16,799

Referee: Steve Bennett

Blackburn Rovers

Line-up: Friedel; Ooijer, Nelsen, Henchoz, Gray; Emerton, Savage, Bentley (Mokoena 85'), Pedersen; Benni McCarthy (Derbyshire 89'), Nonda (Peter 81')

Unused substitutes: Brown, Gallagher

Fulham

Line-up: Lastuvka; Volz, Knight, Pearce, Rosenior; Claus Jensen, Diop, Brown, Boa Morte (Radzinski 64'); John (Routledge 75'), Helguson (McBride 69')

Unused substitutes: Batista, Christanval

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 15 38
2 Chelsea 15 35
3 Arsenal 15 25
4 Portsmouth 16 25
5 Liverpool 16 25
6 Reading 15 25
7 Aston Villa 16 24
8 Bolton Wanderers 16 24
9 Everton 15 21
10 Fulham 16 20
11 Manchester City 15 19
12 Tottenham Hotspur 15 19
13 Wigan Athletic 14 18
14 Blackburn Rovers 14 16
15 Middlesbrough 14 16
16 Sheffield United 16 16
17 West Ham United 14 14
18 Newcastle United 14 13
19 Watford 14 9
20 Charlton Athletic 15 9
Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2)
  • 1Brad Friedel
  • 2André Ooijer
  • 6Ryan Nelsen
  • 16Stéphane Henchoz
  • 33Michael Gray
  • 7Brett Emerton
  • 8Robbie Savage
  • 11David Bentley
  • 12Morten Gamst Pedersen
  • 10Benni McCarthy
  • 9Shabani Nonda
Substitutes
  • 32Jason Brown
  • 15Aaron Mokoena
  • 21Sergio Peter
  • 14Paul Gallagher
  • 27Matt Derbyshire
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 12Jan Lastuvka
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 19Ian Pearce
  • 7Liam Rosenior
  • 16Claus Jensen
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 8Michael Brown
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 15Collins John
  • 9Heidar Helguson
Substitutes
  • 31Ricardo Batista
  • 5Philippe Christanval
  • 22Wayne Routledge
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
  • 20Brian McBride