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Fulham move up the table

last updated Sunday 25th November 2007, 8:53 PM

Fulham 2 Blackburn 2

Danny Murphy
Danny Murphy converted
a penalty for the first
Stephen Warnock rescued a point for Blackburn with a late equaliser that keeps the pressure on Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez

A dismal first half was quickly forgotten after the interval as the rivals produced a pulsating 45 minutes that accounted for all four goals.

Danny Murphy fired Fulham into the lead from the spot - Ryan Nelsen was at fault for the penalty - but Emerton responded in emphatic fashion.

A well-worked move saw Diomansy Kamara nudge the Cottagers ahead for a second time but once again Sanchez's side were undone by their slack defending.

The impressive Warnock was the beneficiary this time, grabbing a share of the spoils with a routine strike 12 minutes from time.

Fulham will complain about the offside in the build-up to Emerton's goal but Sanchez's time would be better spent addressing his side's defensive frailties.

Once again they crumbled late on and Sanchez needs to start turning the club's flurry of draws into wins if he is to silence speculation over his future.

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes opted to rest Roque Santa Cruz after the Paraguay striker returned late from international duty, leaving Benni McCarthy to spearhead the attack.

But the move backfired when McCarthy was caught by a lunging challenge from Dejan Stefanovic that struck the South African marksman.

Antti Niemi
Diomansy Kamara getsĀ 
the second goal
After lengthy treatment, McCarthy was helped from the pitch in the sixth minute and he looked in considerable discomfort as Jason Roberts came on to replace him.

The damage was not as bad as first feared, however, with a cut knee the diagnosis for his injury.

As soon as play resumed, Fulham created a magnificent chance with Clint Dempsey sending Kamara racing into space.

But Kamara took an extra touch to set himself up, giving Brad Friedel the time to advance and save the shot, when he should have hit it first time

Several players then arrived late and could not connect with a crafty Simon Davies pass, letting Rovers off the hook.

Blackburn suffered from the same failing in the 19th minute when a superb cross from Stephen Warnock went unrewarded and a poor backpass to Antti Niemi put Fulham under further pressure.

The visitors' promising spell had taken the sting out of Fulham's impressive opening and the match settled down into a more even contest.

The teams struggled to fashion any clear-cut chances and the fans were becoming restless at the lack of entertainment.

Fulham were getting plenty of bodies forward - there were five in or around the box for one attack - but could not produce the telling pass.

They almost broke the deadlock in first-half injury-time when Kamara pounced on a mistake by Christopher Samba and charged into space.

Unopposed, he sprinted into the area only for Friedel to get his hands to a well-struck shot.

The game desperately needed a goal and it arrived five minutes after the interval through Murphy from the spot.

Rovers skipper Nelsen made a clumsy tackle on Kamara on the edge of the area and referee Mike Dean signalled for a penalty which Murphy stroked home.

Match Stats Fulham Blackburn
Goals 2 2
Possession 65% 35%
Goal attempts 5 13
On Target 2 10
Corners 3 6
Off-sides 2 4
Saves 7 4
Fouls 19 10
Yellows 2 1
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet
Murphy could have been on spot-kick duty again shortly after but Dean was unimpressed by appeals for Andre Ooijer's handball.

Blackburn should have equalised when Pedersen escaped Fulham's defence and enjoyed a free header from six yards out, but amazingly the Norwegian winger nodded wide.

Emerton succeeded where Pedersen had failed in the 57th minute, however, to level the score.

The menacing Warnock picked out Roberts whose header flew backwards and straight to the feet of Emerton who fired his first Premier League goal of the season.

Replays showed Roberts was offside when Pedersen crossed but the anger of Fulham fans did not last long as six minutes later their side were back in front.

Murphy picked out Davies on the right of the area and the Wales midfielder had time to feed Kamara, who had floated in unmarked to the far post.

The Senegal hitman made no mistake from close range, stabbing the ball home for his third Cottagers goal.

Emerton almost caught Fulham napping after Pedersen had forced a great save from Niemi before Cottagers substitute Shefki Kuqi was kept out by Friedel at the other end.

Kuqi was left to rue Friedel's reactions as in the 79th minute Blackburn equalised for a second time, Roberts finding Warnock who took full advantage of some dire defending to find the net.

Both sides pushed for the winner, setting up a dramatic finale to an entertaining second half, but the breakthrough never came.

Fulham Niemi, Baird, Stefanovic, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies,Davis, Murphy (Healy 83), Bouazza (Kuqi 67),Kamara (Ki-Hyeon 83), Dempsey.
Subs Not Used: Warner, Bocanegra.

Booked: Murphy (33,f), Stefanovic (54,f).

Murphy 51 pen (Foul by Ryan Nelsen on Diomansy Kamara in the penelty area. Danny Murphy put the ball on the spot penalty and slotted it right-footed into the bottom-right of goal)

Kamara 63 (Placed the ball left-footed into the low centre of goal from the centre of the penalty area from 6 yards out. The assist, a cross, came from Simon Davies from the right wing.)

Blackburn Friedel, Ooijer, Nelsen, Samba, Warnock, Bentley,Mokoena (Reid 89), Kerimoglu, Emerton, Pedersen,McCarthy (Roberts 8).
Subs Not Used: Brown, Savage, Khizanishvili.

Booked: Bentley.

Goals: Emerton 57, Warnock 79.

Att: 22,826

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).

Source Duncan Bech at PA Sport
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