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
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
Jennifer Lawrence at the Vanity Fair Academy Awards party in February 2014
people12 undisclosed female victims are seeking $100m in damages
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
News
Bear and hare woodland scene from John Lewis Christmas advert
newsRetailer breaks with tradition, selling real festive fir trees online for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015
News
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
people
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
Voices
4 May 2013: The sun rises over Tower Bridge in London. Temperatures across the UK could be higher than several European holiday destinations by Monday, including parts of Italy and France (Andy Hepburn/PA)
voices
News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
Extras
indybest
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

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?