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Rovers 0 ?Fulham 2


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Many a parent this afternoon took advantage of the kids for free offer, and the on site store was a hive of activity with many a child getting their parents to purchase mementoes of their first visit to Ewood Park.

As the fans entered Ewood Park this afternoon in their newly acquired limited edition European replica shirts the sun shone down Bolton Road and across the ground, however within 5 minutes of the kick-off the clouds were moving in across the Jack Walker Stand.

Former Rover’s defender Chris Coleman returning as manager of Fulham must have had a broader smile than normal when Blackburn’s defence fell apart allowing Boa Morte free access to the Rover’s goal mouth. Malbranque had the beating of Gresko for pace down the left, and making his way into the penalty area he avoided Amoruso to cross past the diving Friedel to Boa Morte coming in on the right hand side who simply had to tap the ball in to the back of an unguarded net.

With the advantage of an early goal, Fulham were content to put all eleven players behind the ball and rely on breakaways by the pacey Boa Morte and Saha, which to their credit they did to good effect, as was their and the line mans use of the off side rule.

Rovers were forced to make a change on the half hour mark, when Babbel went off injured and was replaced by Johassen. This resulted in Nissa playing in the centre of the defence and Taylor moving to Babbel’s right back spot.

As the first half progressed neither side threatened, the nearest Blackburn got to equalising was shortly before half time when Gresko free kick was saved by Van der Sar when the Fulham keeper went down and caught the shot near his right hand post.

Any cup throwing or tactical coaching at half time quickly went out the window as Fulham extended their lead with Saha collected a long ball pass from his own half to outpace Amoruso and shoot low past the diving Friedel, giving the Rover’s keeper no chance. With in minutes the Rover’s manager made tactical changes, playing with a back 3 instead of 4, he replaced Ferguson and Gresko with Tugay and Grabbi.

With Grabbi playing a left wing role a couple of fine moves developed and although Rover’s went close, the writing was on the wall when Cole hit the bar with about 20 minutes left.

As the game wound down supporters drifted away and as the players left the field on the final whistle there was isolated pockets of booing from the fans. The players must now regroup before storm clouds engulf and prior to their next game away at Leeds next Saturday. As for the supporters they must get behind the players and build up their confidence prior to their next home game which is the second leg of the UEFA Cup, when Rovers must keep a clean sheet and score twice if they are to progress to the next round of the competition.

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player review by den


        Pretty quiet afternoon. Maybe should have cut out the cross for Fulhams first goal.


        [injured early on]


           Looks like a bag of nerves at the moment. Clearly struggles when exposed to the ball over the top, but where was the other central defender, shouldn't they be working closer together? Got to say, at the moment, not up to it.


      His pace is desperately needed at the moment, he has ANOTHER chance to stake a claim. Not easy for him to come into the side at the moment, as he needs a steadier centre back alongside him.


        Not the same player as last season. Definately needs more help from the midfield. Missing Duffer more than anyone.


          Difficult one this. On Sunday, got drawn inside every time. Would like to see him go round the outside and get some quality crosses in, that's what Cole and Jansen need.


            Having very little effect at the moment. Plays too deep, and with Flitty playing deep as well, there isn't enough support for the strikers. No one in central midfield who is going to go past the strikers, ala Paul Scholes. Not sure there is any more to be seen, than what has been seen.


           Walks into that side, at the present. A bit more of his passion wouldn't go amiss for the other players.


           Never a left winger. There's no future in the Thomo-Gresko partnership. Tries hard, but isn't able to go on the outside. A different player on the right/centre midfield.


      Felt sorry for the guy. He looked like the confidence had come back, but suffered terribly from the barrage of high balls that the fulham centre halves were made for. Don't remember one quality cross all afternoon.


          Still not quite there in my opinion. Doesn't have that pace at the moment, second to anything put behind the defenders. Ran his socks off though, but I never felt as though he had the beating of the Fulham lads.



        Can't be left out of that side. He has the ability to unlock any defence, he is the only one that can do that.


        Did OK, but he wont be the answer to any of rovers' present problems.


                Did as well as anyone. At least he looked in control of his own game. There were few of those on the day.

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