Rovers deserved it

Saturday 11 May 2002

There was no sign of last season's jubilation at Ewood Park as Blackburn Rovers inflicted a 3-0 over Fulham.

There could be little argument over the result as Rovers were simply the better side on the day.

Despite a series of first half scares, Fulham reached the interval without conceding.

However, with Rovers looking very dangerous on the attack, the Whites had to produce a better display in the second period to avoid a defeat.

Unfortunately that didn't materialise and Rovers took the lead in the 52nd minute after Andy Cole tackled Maik Taylor to pass the ball into an empty net.

Looking back on Taylor's error, assistant manager Christian Damiano admitted that the former Saints goalkeeper approached the situation with a touch of over-confidence.

With Jean Tigana making a number of forced changes to the side, Damiano acknowledged that Fulham's current squad was not equipped to deal with extensive changes.

"It was a game Blackburn deserved to win, they had more chances," said Damiano. "It was difficult for us as we were missing five important players and the other players could not cope."

Summing up Fulham's first season in the Premiership, Christian was not overly disappointed but still recognised the areas of weakness.

"We have had a good season, our objective was to stay in the Premier League and we were also in the semi-final of the cup.

"If we had had one more striker we would have finished in the top eight but we were too weak up front, and in midfield only Steed Malbranque scored goals."