Roberts lifts Rovers clear of drop zone

Fulham 1 Blackburn Rovers 2

Some Blackburn Rovers players are carrying a little too much weight, according to their manager Sam Allardyce, but on this showing, coming from behind to win, they at least have the backbone to support it.

Of course, dropping out of the Premier League is the ultimate slimming device for any club. The worrying prospect of a few pounds off the players' pay slips might lead to a few pounds off the waistline before May. To judge by this, their minds already look firmly concentrated.

The visitors deserved to win, something Allardyce's opposite number, Roy Hodgson, quickly conceded. Stephen Warnock alone could have had a hat-trick, but Rovers' goals ultimately came from more traditional sources, with El Hadji Diouf equalising from six yards, having come back from an offside position, and Jason Roberts grabbing the winner five minutes from time, turning Toni Kallio, the substitute centre-half, and beating Mark Schwarzer from close range.

This win took Rovers from the relegation zone to 15th, dropping Portsmouth into the bottom three in their place. Rovers, of course, have a long struggle ahead of them to ensure their safety, and Hodgson said Fulham were still looking over their shoulder.

But Allardyce admitted to huge relief in climbing the table, and claimed they are the form team of those in trouble. "We're out of the bottom three and that takes a little bit of pressure off us," he said. "This is my most important win since I've taken over here. We've secured a very important three points. It's our second away win on the trot and we're on good form. We've only lost two out of 11 league games since I've been here. We put in a very good performance in the second half and it's a huge mental relief to be out of the bottom three. But relegation is something we're not out of by a long way."

Not that it seemed Allardyce would have that post-match glow after fewer than two minutes: 97 seconds to be precise. A simple header through the middle of the Rovers defence by Danny Murphy split them asunder and Clint Dempsey took advantage, muscling past Ryan Nelsen before poking his shot past Paul Robinson.

The hosts, six points off the bottom three, should have doubled their lead soon after. In fact, they would have, but for Warnock, blocking Andy Johnson's shot eight yards out. Not that Warnock restricts himself to defensive duties and, having joined Roberts in attack, he curled a shot that hit the inside of the post. He was denied twice more by Schwarzer in the second half.

Their first goal came after 69 minutes when Tugay headed the ball in to Samba, who headed on to Diouf. The Senegal forward had been offside but retreating when Tugay headed it, but was onside when Samba touched it and Diouf's finish was easy from six yards.

Goals: Dempsey (2) 1-0; Diouf (69) 1-1; Roberts (85) 1-2.

Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hughes (Kallio, 77), Hangeland, Konchesky; Gera (Kamara, 80), Murphy, Etuhu, Davies (Nevland, 90); Johnson, Dempsey. Substitutes not used: Zuberbühler (gk), Dacourt, Gray, Stoor.

Blackburn (4-1-4-1): Robinson; Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Givet; Tugay (Mokoena, 82); Diouf, Andrews (McCarthy, 56), Warnock, Pedersen (Dunn, 86); Roberts. Substitutes not used: Bunn (gk), Khizanishvili, Villanueva, Simpson.

Referee: R Styles (Hampshire).

Booked: Fulham Murphy; Blackburn Diouf.

Man of the match: Roberts.

Attendance: 22,259.

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas