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Blackburn 2-0 Fulham: Fulham off the pace

last updated Sunday 03rd December 2006, 7:42 AM
Jan Lastuvka
Jan Lastuvka, making his
league debut for Fulham

Benni McCarthy re-discovered his scoring touch as Blackburn returned to winning ways against Fulham at Ewood Park.

While manager Mark Hughes has seen his team progress in the UEFA Cup they have tumbled down the league.

But thanks to McCarthy's first goal since October - the other came from Shabani Nonda - Blackburn chalked up their first league win in eight games.

Nonda put them ahead with only six minutes on the clock and Fulham could have few complaints about the result.

He got on the end of a long ball from Stephane Henchoz and with defender Zat Knight standing off him, he flicked it beyond Fulham goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka, making his league debut.

It was only Nonda's second goal of the season after he arrived on loan from Roma.

And it was just the boost Blackburn needed. Four minutes later Morten Gamst Pedersen got on the end of a cross from Lucas Neill only to head wide at the far post.

Fulham, after their superb victory against Arsenal, looked off the pace in the early stages of the game.

Blackburn went 2-0 ahead in the 23rd minute with the visitors again defending poorly.

McCarthy took up a good position in the penalty area and fired in a shot which took a deflection off Ian Pearce and left the unfortunate Lastuvka stranded.

Blackburn kept up the pressure and Brett Emerton's powerful effort was parried by Lastuvka in the 30th minute.

Match Stats Blackburn Fulham
Goals 2 0
Possession 49% 51%
Goal attempts 11 6
On Target 7 2
Corners 3 3
Off-sides 2 2
Fouls 19 13
Yellows 2 2
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet

Liam Rosenior put his own side under pressure when Michael Gray played a hopeful ball forward. Rosenior tried to cut it back to Lastuvka but instead found Pedersen of Blackburn. However, the Norway midfielder could not take advantage and sent his effort wide of the post.

Fulham went into the match with only one league win on the road and their lack of confidence was evident.

However there was a slight scare for Blackburn in the 42nd minute when Heidar Helguson was given room to manoeuvre down the left. It was a good opportunity but he failed to test goalkeeper Brad Friedel. Helguson snatched at the half chance and sent his effort across the face of the area and wide of the post.

Blackburn started the second half brightly and McCarthy found Gray on the left. However the full-back's delivery was poor and Fulham were able to breathe easily again.

Nonda then laid the ball into the path of McCarthy and Rosenior slipped but the striker's touch let him down.

Lastuvka came to Fulham's rescue in the 56th minute with a good block with his legs from Neill after he had released by his fellow Australian Emerton.

Blackburn looked dangerous every time they broke forward and McCarthy was proving a handful to the visiting defence.

Emerton was enjoying his role on the right and getting plenty of room. He tried to pick out Pedersen with a diagonal ball but over-hit the pass.

But this was a good spell of pressure by Blackburn and McCarthy rattled a shot into Lastuvka's body in the 62nd minute. The on-loan goalkeeper had his work cut out on his league debut.

Fulham manager Chris Coleman decided to change things around in the 65th minute bringing on Tomasz Radzinski for the ineffective Luis Boa Morte.

They were again forced to back-pedal in the 77th minute when McCarthy's header came off Knight following a good delivery from Emerton.

Three minutes later McCarthy again went close and it would have been just reward for the hard work he had put in.

Fulham almost pulled a goal back with three minutes late but Friedel stayed alert to block Claus Jensen's close-range effort.

Blackburn Friedel, Neill, Henchoz, Ooijer, Gray, Emerton,Savage, Bentley (Mokoena 85), Pedersen, Nonda (Peter 81),McCarthy (Derbyshire 89).
Subs Not Used: Brown, Gallagher.

Booked: Savage, Henchoz.

Goals: Nonda 6, McCarthy 24.

Fulham Lastuvka, Volz, Pearce, Knight, Rosenior, Brown, Diop,Claus Jensen, Boa Morte (Radzinski 64), Helguson (McBride 69),John (Routledge 75).
Subs Not Used: Batista, Christanval.

Booked: Helguson (57,f), Diop (72,f)

Att: 16,799

Ref: S Bennett (Kent).






Source Ken Gaunt at PA Sport
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