Blackburn claw their way out relegation zone - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Blackburn claw their way out relegation zone

Blackburn 3 Fulham 1

Ten-man Blackburn brilliantly clawed their way out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone for the first time in four months.

The first red card of Ayegbeni Yakubu's nine-year career in English football midway through the first half seemed to add to beleaguered manager Steve Kean's woes.

But Morten Gamst Pedersen and David Dunn struck either side of the interval, and despite Damien Duff pulling one back, substitute Mauro Formica sealed only Rovers' fourth league win of the season.

QPR and Wigan still have to play this weekend, but the fact Rovers sit 17th after today's games will at least give Kean encouragement.

The latest fans' protest against owners Venky's outside the ground before kick off was but a sideshow, and completely forgotten about come the final whistle.

The fans, though, are having their say with their feet as just 18,003 turned up at Ewood Park, the worst league crowd for many years.

Those that stayed away, however, missed a rousing performance from Kean's side, who were spurred into action after Yakubu's dismissal.

Bobby Zamora had just planted a header on to the angle of bar and post from a Damien Duff right-wing cross when the complexion of the game changed, albeit in Rovers' favour.

Kean could be seen mouthing 'That's a disgrace' towards referee Anthony Taylor, but the Cheshire official brandished the red card.

In going for a loose ball with Danny Murphy, Yakubu was high with his right boot, and to add to his indiscretion his studs were showing, catching the Fulham midfielder on his right knee.

It means Rovers will be without their leading scorer for the next three matches, all in the league against Everton, Newcastle and Arsenal, with the middle fixture of those on home soil.

Despite that, it was Rovers who went into the break with the lead, and perhaps rightly so as Fulham showed little invention with the extra man.

Zamora did come within inches of turning home a low ball into the six-yard box from Moussa Dembele, and Paul Robinson made a superb save six minutes from the break.

That saw the England international at his best in clawing away a goal-bound header from Philippe Senderos after the defender was allowed to rise unchecked on to a free-kick from Murphy.

But in the fourth minute of injury time Pedersen stroked home his third goal of the season, curling a low 20-yard free-kick beyond the outstretched grasp of David Stockdale after Bryan Ruiz had brought down Dunn.

If Martin Jol had given his players a roasting during the break, it had virtually no time to sink in because just 56 seconds into the second half Blackburn doubled their lead.

Steven Nzonzi's initial drive inside the area was blocked by John Arne Riise, however, the rebound fell to Dunn who struck a piledriver of a shot beyond Stockdale for his first goal since February 5 last year.

Fulham were finally roused, and four minutes later they thought they had pulled one back, only for Clint Dempsey to be narrowly flagged offside in heading home a save from Robinson who had initially palmed away a stinging effort from Riise.

Less than six minutes later, though, they were back in the game, and all too easily at that.

When Murphy played a pass out towards Duff, who was outside the area and 20 yards from goal at that point, there appeared to be no danger.

Duff, however, eased his way into the box and from an acute angle stroked a right-foot drive beyond a static Robinson for his fifth goal of the season, and second in successive games.

Rovers, though, should have restored their two-goal cushion in the 65th minute, only for Stockdale to beat away Junior Hoilett's 12-yard effort after being teed up by Pedersen.

With less than 20 minutes remaining Jol threw on Blackburn target Andrew Johnson for Riise, sacrificing a defender for a striker in a bid to salvage something from the game.

But in the 79th minute it was Rovers who grabbed the next goal with 69th-minute sub Mauro Formica beating Stockdale with aplomb from 12 yards after being played in by Nzonzi.

PA

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week