Wednesday 25 November 2009, 8:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
3
Nevland 43'; Zamora 67'; Dempsey 88'
Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers
0
Goals from Erik Nevland and Clint Dempsey helped Fulham secure all three points on Wednesday evening in a tough encounter with Blackburn Rovers.

43' Goal

Erik Nevland

67' Goal

Bobby Zamora

88' Goal

Clint Dempsey

57' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Zoltán Gera
Off:Bobby Zamora

80' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dickson Etuhu
Off:Jonathan Greening

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Simon Davies
Off:Damien Duff

65' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Nikola Kalinic
Off:Franco Di Santo

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

There was little to separate the sides in the opening 45 minutes with Rovers working hard to limit Fulham’s time in possession. The Whites reached half-time a goal to the good thanks to Erik Nevland’s sharp finish. Fulham upped their play in the second-half and were able to control the game with greater ease. 
 
There was an early moment of danger for Fulham when Franco di Santo found himself in a one-on-one with Mark Schwarzer. Thankfully the Fulham keeper was alert to the danger and smothered the chance. It proved to be a rare opportunity in a hard-fought first-half.

Rovers continued to apply pressure, albeit without forcing Mark Schwarzer into any significant action. Indeed, the visitors looked to be trying to stifle Fulham’s passing game at source and it was as a result of the hard work of Jason Roberts and Franco Di Santo, Rovers' front pairing, that Fulham often found their options limited when passing from the back.

With neither side finding a way through their opposition’s defence, the opening half hour saw both sides fighting a battle of attrition. Opportunities, when they arose, were often the result of misplaced passes rather than creative play.

Whilst it was perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing display, few could argue that Rovers were not being effective in shutting Fulham down. From the Whites’ point of view, the first-half was one of frustration – which was finally broken in the 43rd minute by Erik Nevland.

The Norwegian striker ran on to a deft pass from Damien Duff, after good work from Zamora, and hit a low shot which whistled past Paul Robinson, beating the Rovers keeper at the near post.

The Whites got the second-half underway and immediately took a more attacking stance. Jonathan Greening picked out Clint Dempsey with a wonderfully flighted free kick in the 47th minute. Dempsey, who was in a good position at the back post, directed his header down but did not make enough contact to trouble Robinson.

The pace of the game soon slowed down but, in contrast to the first-half display, Fulham were looking more composed in possession and were able to pass their way through Rovers’ midfield with greater success.

Chris Baird showed good strength in the 56th minute to shrug off his marker and get a forceful low effort on target which Robinson did well to hold.

Bobby Zamora was soon replaced by Zoltan Gera in the 58th minute after picking up a knock. The switch saw Clint Dempsey move up front from his position on the left wing. 

Rovers Assistant Manager, Neil McDonald, took the bold step of replacing both members of his strike force on 65 minutes. Off went Jason Roberts and Di Santo and on came Nikola Kalinic and Benni McCarthy.

Fulham extended their lead soon after on 66 minutes. Damien Duff worked his way infield from the right wing and let fly with a low shot which looked to be curling inside the far post. Clint Dempsey was not willing to take a chance however, as he made sure by tapping the ball past Robinson from six yards out.

Wonderful play from Chris Baird on 73 minutes almost crafted another opportunity for Dempsey. John Pantsil fed the ball into Baird’s feet, and with three Blackburn players in close proximity, Baird showed exceptional close control to sprint free and play a pass into the space in front of Dempsey.

Baird was against in the thick of the action moment later when he almost guided Duff’s corner into the net. 

Jonathan Greening was replaced by Dickson Etuhu and Duff made way for Simon Davies as Fulham looked to close the game out.

Clint Dempsey rounded off the scoring in the 88th minute, holding off his marker in the six yard box before turning and drilling a low shot past Robinson.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Wednesday 25 November 2009
Kick-off: 8:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 21,414

Referee: Stuart Atwell

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Duff (Davies 84'), Baird, Greening (Etuhu 80'), Dempsey; Zamora (Gera 57'), Nevland

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Smalling, Seol Ki-Hyeon, Dikgacoi

Blackburn Rovers

Line-up: Robinson; Jacobsen, Samba, Nelsen, Chimbonda; Andrews, Dunn, Grella, Diouf; Roberts, Di Santo (Kalinic 65')

Unused substitutes: Brown, Míchel Salgado, Pedersen, N'Zonzi, Hoilett, Aley

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 13 33
2 Manchester United 13 28
3 Arsenal 12 25
4 Tottenham Hotspur 13 25
5 Aston Villa 13 22
6 Manchester City 12 21
7 Liverpool 13 20
8 Sunderland 13 20
9 Stoke City 13 19
10 Fulham 13 18
11 Burnley 13 17
12 Blackburn Rovers 13 16
13 Birmingham City 13 15
14 Everton 13 15
15 Hull City 14 15
16 Wigan Athletic 13 14
17 West Ham United 13 11
18 Bolton Wanderers 12 11
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 10
20 Portsmouth 13 7
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 6Chris Baird
  • 27Jonathan Greening
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 25Bobby Zamora
  • 10Erik Nevland
Substitutes
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 26Chris Smalling
  • 7Seol Ki-Hyeon
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 29Simon Davies
  • 34Kagisho Dikgacoi
Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2)
  • 1Paul Robinson
  • 2Lars Jacobsen
  • 4Christopher Samba
  • 6Ryan Nelsen
  • 39Pascal Chimbonda
  • 17Keith Andrews
  • 8David Dunn
  • 11Vince Grella
  • 42El Hadji Diouf
  • 30Jason Roberts
  • 26Franco Di Santo
Substitutes
  • 32Jason Brown
  • 2Míchel Salgado
  • 12Morten Gamst Pedersen
  • 15Steven N'Zonzi
  • 23Junior Hoilett
  • 9Nikola Kalinic
  • 37Zac Aley