Friday, 27 November 2009

Fulham 3 - 0 Blackburn Rovers

What a strange little match this one was. The first half saw Blackburn's pressure game played high up the pitch and caused Fulham all kinds of problems. The harried midfield misplaced pass after pass and the physical Rovers simply bullied the home team in their own half, helped by the long kicks of Paul Robinson. Jason Roberts was on a mission, it seemed, and was a ridiculous handful. He was by far Blackburn's most dangerous player without really threatening the goal.
Fulham were so awful that many of the fans went for a drink on 35 minutes and those who didn't, wanted to. Then, just before half-time, Erik Nevland picked up a pass from Hangeland played a one to with Zamora and almost a one two with Duff before hammering the ball past Robinson's feet. 1-0 and a team that would likely have been booed off at half time were instead now getting cheers!
The second half was a far different story. Whether Fulham improved, Blackburn tired or their heads dropped, I don't know but Fulham were suddenly in the driving seat. Blackburn were spent. Zamora worryingly limped off to be replaced by Gera, which transformed the whites' attacking zest. Gera had a bit more life than Dempsey on the left, yet Deuce showed a bit more guile than Zamora had up front. Dempsey plundered two goals, could have had another and laid a clear opportunity on the plate for Nevland, who contrived to push the ball wide with Robinson at his mercy.
On another day, Blackburn would have made their early pressure pay, but not on this occasion. Fulham once again improved in the second half of a match and Hodgson must be pleased at the selection dilemma that his players are giving him, regardless of the seemingly endless injury list up front. I am still surprised that Eddie Johnson and David Elm have been nowhere near the bench during this period though. It suggests that Hodgson thinks they might not make it.

EDIT - Forget to mention the incredible second half performance by Chris Baird in central midfield. Creative and beguiling, Baird put in an incredible and surprising shift. Top marks for the former centre half.

Attending: Me, Jarrod, Ish & Col.

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