Fulham 1 - 1 Blackburn
Blackburn picked up their first point of the Premier League season by hanging on to draw with Fulham.
Ruben Rochina brought a tame opening to life when he smashed into the top corner to put Blackburn ahead on 32 minutes after Junior Hoilett's cutback.
But the visitors could not retain the lead as Bobby Zamora equalised soon after when he curled in from the angle.
In a better second period Danny Murphy and Clint Dempsey had shots saved as Fulham searched for the winner.
Gael Givet also denied Zamora with a timely interception and towards the end the visitors had to defend stoutly to keep the home side out.
They had a chance to pinch it in stoppage time, but as Hoilett attempted to nod a through ball past Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer, the pair clashed heads and the winger was stretchered off in a neck brace.
Fears of a serious injury were allayed by Blackburn boss Steve Kean, who said Hoilett was concussed and need three or four stitches but was back on his feet after the game.
With West Brom earlier beating Norwich , the game matched the Premier League's two bottom sides and at times it showed, with plenty of endeavour but little quality to make further breakthroughs.
But by drawing, Kean's side avoided the embarrassment of being the first Blackburn side to lose its first four league games since helping found the Football League in 1888.
Blackburn boss Steve Kean on Junior Hoilett's injury after colliding with Mark Schwarzer
“He's going to have three or four stiches on the side of his head. He is concussed but back on his feet now”
And although the point will not dispel the doubters, who have rounded on Kean this week , it represents a step forward and proved that their defence is in good shape as they were under pressure for much of the second half.
They were far more positive in the first period with Hoilett a danger to the Fulham defence early on, first setting up Rochina and then David Goodwillie.
While at the other end, Scott Dann almost punctuated his Blackburn debut with an error when his attempted back pass was intercepted by Zamora.
But though the Fulham striker was knocked to the floor by Michel Salgado, referee Howard Webb waved penalty appeals away.
Despite their lack of goal threat, Fulham enjoyed early possession, but just as they were getting a firmer grip on the game Blackburn took the lead with a great strike.
There did not appear to be too much threat as Hoilett collected the ball wide left, but when he passed to Rochina on the edge of the area, the Spanish striker fired left-footed into the top corner.
Any hopes of Kean's team using that as a platform were wiped out six minutes later when Fulham equalised with what looked like a preventable goal.
Murphy guided the ball into Zamora on the right side of the penalty area, and once he cut inside to evade Givet's poor challenge, he steered the ball home.
New Fulham signing Bryan Ruiz failed to make an impact in the first half and was replaced at the break, and his team showed a greater willingness to attack in the second period.
Givet atoned for his first-half error to deny Zamora a good chance at the back post following John Arne Riise's teasing cross.
Then Fulham's chief orchestrator Murphy stepped over Dempsey's through ball but Paul Robinson palmed his effort away.
Dempsey was also denied as Martin Jol's side applied more pressure, but Blackburn were up to the task and Goodwillie went close late on after a rare counter attack before Hoilett clashed heads with Schwarzer.
However, with Fulham having lost only once at Craven Cottage in 2011, Kean will no doubt accentuate the positives in denying their opponents and getting Blackburn's Premier League season up and running.
- 01 Schwarzer Booked
- 03 JA Riise (Johnson - 80' )
- 05 Hangeland Booked
- 14 Senderos
- 18 Hughes (Kelly - 20' )
- 04 Sidwell
- 13 Murphy Booked
- 16 Duff
- 23 Dempsey
- 11 Ruiz (Dembele - 46' )
- 25 Zamora
- 38 Etheridge
- 02 Kelly
- 26 Grygera
- 10 Kasami
- 15 Gecov
- 08 Johnson
- 30 Dembele
- 01 Robinson
- 02 Salgado Booked
- 04 Samba (Olsson - 46' )
- 05 Givet
- 16 Dann
- 08 Dunn (Petrovic - 52' )
- 10 Formica
- 15 Nzonzi
- 20 Rochina (Lowe - 70' )
- 23 Hoilett
- 25 Goodwillie
- 13 Bunn
- 03 Olsson
- 14 Petrovic
- 29 Vukcevic
- 35 Lowe
- 24 Yakubu
- 30 Roberts
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.90:00 +10:50
Centre by Stephen Kelly, Bobby Zamora gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michel Salgado. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.90:00 +10:37
Damien Duff delivers the ball, clearance made by Martin Olsson.90:00 +10:15
The ball is crossed by Moussa Dembele, Gael Givet manages to make a clearance.90:00 +2:23
Shot comes in from Martin Olsson from the free kick, Mark Schwarzer makes a save.90:00 +2:23 Booking
Booking Mark Schwarzer receives a yellow card.90:00 +2:16
Unfair challenge on David Hoilett by Mark Schwarzer results in a free kick.90:00 +0:25
Bobby Zamora decides to take a short corner.90:00 +0:13
Clint Dempsey takes a shot. Fantastic save by Paul Robinson.89:46
A cross is delivered by Moussa Dembele, Gael Givet manages to make a clearance.88:14
Michel Salgado crosses the ball.86:04
Danny Murphy crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Gael Givet.86:04 Booking
Booking Michel Salgado booked for unsporting behaviour.86:00
Unfair challenge on Andrew Johnson by Michel Salgado results in a free kick.84:49
Bobby Zamora is ruled offside. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.83:57
Effort from the edge of the box by David Goodwillie goes wide of the right-hand upright.83:45
Andrew Johnson delivers the ball, Jason Lowe manages to make a clearance.81:28
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Danny Murphy from the right by-line, Headed effort from inside the area by Brede Hangeland misses to the left of the goal.81:21
Damien Duff crosses the ball, Martin Olsson manages to make a clearance.78:49
Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution Andrew Johnson joins the action as a substitute, replacing John Arne Riise.78:49
Foul by Damien Duff on Martin Olsson, free kick awarded.78:34
The ball is swung over by David Hoilett, Mark Schwarzer makes a comfortable save.78:09
Inswinging corner taken by Damien Duff from the right by-line, Steven Nzonzi manages to make a clearance.77:50
The ball is crossed by John Arne Riise, clearance by Gael Givet.77:30
Damien Duff sends in a cross, Scott Dann makes a clearance.75:28
Steven Nzonzi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Bobby Zamora. Bobby Zamora fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick. Bobby Zamora takes a shot.72:55
Damien Duff sends in a cross, save made by Paul Robinson.72:24
Centre by John Arne Riise, clearance by Scott Dann.72:04
Danny Murphy takes a shot. Brilliant save by Paul Robinson.71:52
Radosav Petrovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Damien Duff. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.71:04
Damien Duff takes a shot. Blocked by Gael Givet.70:47
Mauro Formica gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steve Sidwell. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.69:58 Substitution
Substitution Jason Lowe joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ruben Rochina.69:36 Booking
Booking The referee books Brede Hangeland for unsporting behaviour.67:37
Mauro Formica challenges Moussa Dembele unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick. John Arne Riise takes a shot.65:17
The ball is delivered by Steve Sidwell, Paul Robinson makes a brilliant save.65:12
The ball is crossed by Steve Sidwell, clearance by Gael Givet.64:03
Outswinging corner taken by John Arne Riise, Header from deep inside the area by Steve Sidwell goes over the bar.63:11
John Arne Riise takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Scott Dann.63:06
Bobby Zamora crosses the ball, clearance made by Scott Dann.60:06
Corner taken by Danny Murphy from the left by-line, Paul Robinson makes a save.59:49
A cross is delivered by John Arne Riise, Michel Salgado gets a block in.57:10
Inswinging corner taken by Damien Duff, clearance by Radosav Petrovic.56:40
Centre by John Arne Riise, Gael Givet manages to make a clearance.54:54
David Goodwillie is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Philippe Senderos.54:21
Centre by Steve Sidwell, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.54:09
Ruben Rochina takes a shot. Steve Sidwell gets a block in.51:34 Substitution
Substitution Radosav Petrovic joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Dunn.50:42
Corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff from the left by-line to the near post, David Goodwillie makes a clearance.48:58
Steve Sidwell produces a cross.47:32
Centre by Steven Nzonzi, clearance by Philippe Senderos.46:21
Mauro Formica produces a drilled left-footed shot from 20 yards. Mark Schwarzer makes a comfortable save.46:05
The ball is sent over by Stephen Kelly, clearance made by Michel Salgado.45:13
Damien Duff has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Martin Olsson is brought on as a substitute for Christopher Samba.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Moussa Dembele replaces Bryan Ruiz.45:00 +2:26 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +1:38
Shot by Clint Dempsey from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.44:36
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff from the right by-line to the near post, David Goodwillie makes a clearance.43:46
The ball is crossed by Bobby Zamora.42:22
Ruben Rochina fouled by Danny Murphy, the ref awards a free kick. David Dunn delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, Mark Schwarzer makes a save. David Hoilett has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.41:24
Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.41:24 Booking
Booking Danny Murphy booked.41:16
Danny Murphy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ruben Rochina.41:00
John Arne Riise takes a shot.39:39
Michel Salgado gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.38:53
Bryan Ruiz fouled by David Dunn, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.37:03
Assist by Danny Murphy.37:03 Goal scored
Goal! - Bobby Zamora - Fulham 1 - 1 Blackburn Bobby Zamora scores a goal from just inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Fulham 1-1 Blackburn.36:14
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Bobby Zamora by David Dunn. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.35:18
Ruben Rochina takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, save made by Mark Schwarzer.34:19
Inswinging corner taken by Damien Duff from the right by-line played to the near post, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.34:14
Centre by Damien Duff, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.33:46
Ruben Rochina produces a cross, blocked by Philippe Senderos.31:13
David Hoilett provided the assist for the goal.31:13 Goal scored
Goal! - Ruben Rochina - Fulham 0 - 1 Blackburn Ruben Rochina grabs a fantastic goal from just outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Fulham 0-1 Blackburn.31:04
The ball is swung over by David Goodwillie.30:36
The ball is crossed by Bryan Ruiz, Scott Dann makes a clearance.30:16
Damien Duff fouled by Steven Nzonzi, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.28:30
Centre by Damien Duff, save made by Paul Robinson.28:06
Shot from long distance by Steven Nzonzi misses to the right of the target.27:25
A cross is delivered by Damien Duff, clearance made by Steven Nzonzi.26:51
Damien Duff produces a cross, Paul Robinson makes a comfortable save.26:18
Ruben Rochina challenges Steve Sidwell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.25:21
Outswinging corner taken by Ruben Rochina from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Philippe Senderos.25:16
The ball is crossed by David Dunn, clearance made by Stephen Kelly.24:47
The ball is crossed by Mauro Formica, Philippe Senderos makes a clearance.23:24
Stephen Kelly delivers the ball, Christopher Samba makes a clearance.21:49
Michel Salgado concedes a free kick for a foul on Clint Dempsey. Free kick taken by John Arne Riise.20:57
Bobby Zamora handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.19:01 Substitution
Substitution Aaron Hughes leaves the field to be replaced by Stephen Kelly.17:39
The referee blows for offside against Damien Duff. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.15:30
Corner from the right by-line taken by Damien Duff, Scott Dann makes a clearance.15:21
Centre by Damien Duff, Scott Dann gets a block in.14:03
David Hoilett crosses the ball, Philippe Senderos manages to make a clearance. David Goodwillie has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.13:33
Foul by Philippe Senderos on David Goodwillie, free kick awarded. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.11:35
Foul by David Dunn on Aaron Hughes, free kick awarded. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.10:34
Ruben Rochina takes a shot. Mark Schwarzer makes a save.10:13
Bobby Zamora delivers the ball, save made by Paul Robinson.9:24
Ruben Rochina takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in.7:48
A cross is delivered by Damien Duff, Effort on goal by Steve Sidwell from inside the box misses to the right of the target.4:09
David Goodwillie fouled by Philippe Senderos, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.4:04
The ball is swung over by Damien Duff, Scott Dann makes a clearance.2:38
Damien Duff sends in a cross, clearance by Christopher Samba.0:00
The game gets underway.
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