Match ends, Fulham 2, Blackburn Rovers 0.
Fulham 2-0 Blackburn Rovers: Fulham get first win since Premier League relegation
Fulham claimed their first win since being relegated from the Premier League despite the best efforts of Blackburn Rovers.
Tom Cairney spectacularly opened the scoring against his former club as his left-footed effort from 25 yards nestled into the top corner.
Adam Armstrong almost levelled early in the second half, but his low, long-distance effort flashed past the post.
But Aleksandar Mitrovic sealed the win when he tapped in from close range late on after great work by Joe Bryan.
Having brought in four players before the transfer deadline, Fulham boss Scott Parker opted to start just one in Harry Arter, but his decision was vindicated when he put in a great sliding block to deny Bradley Johnson after 14 minutes.
It was one of a number of Rovers chances as Fulham looked shaky to start with - Mitrovic almost scored an own goal with a sliced clearance, while Armstrong also went close.
But the Serbian forward galvanised his side midway through the half as he created a chance for Anthony Knockaert before going close himself.
Elliott Bennett produced a great block to deny Ivan Cavaleiro's goalbound effort, and Knockaert also went close for Fulham in the second half.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Sam Gallagher's header just went wide for Blackburn five minutes before Mitrovic's clinching goal as Rovers tried to get an equaliser that their efforts probably deserved.
The win ended a three-game run without scoring or getting a point for Fulham, who last tasted success when they beat Cardiff 1-0 at Craven Cottage in the Premier League in mid-April.
Blackburn have now lost their opening two league games for the second time in three seasons - although when they last had such a start in 2017 they went on to win automatic promotion from League One.
Fulham boss Scott Parker told BBC London:
"It was a big game for us and the result was key. We were disappointed after last week as a group, but today we gave ourselves an opportunity to win the match. We did the basics well.
"Last week I felt we took the easy option at times and these players can't play that way. As much as it looks a little pedestrian at times, there's a reason behind it and I felt the boys were really brave in that instance.
"The first 15-20 minutes, I sensed a nervousness. The (first) goal changes the game - it's a world-class strike and it does settle nerves. But there's plenty more to come from us."
Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray told BBC Lancashire:
"I think there wasn't much in the game - it could easily have been a game that we won 2-0. The frustration is that we weren't clinical. We had plenty of opportunities to work their goalkeeper and score goals, but it didn't happen and ultimately we got punished.
"We know Cairney's left foot can be magical at times and he put one in the top corner. I'm not sure how much we could have done about it, to be honest. The second goal was very frustrating because the game was very scrappy and there was nothing in it.
"First half I thought we were the dominant team and probably deserved to score and come in ahead - and yet we've found ourselves 1-0 down. People who haven't seen the game might think 2-0 was a pretty academic home victory, but it was never that easy."
- 24KnockaertSubstituted forLe Marchandat 84'minutes
- 8JohansenSubstituted forDe Cordova-Reidat 62'minutes
- 19CavaleiroSubstituted forReedat 79'minutes
- 14De Cordova-Reid
- 20Le Marchand
- 31BennettBooked at 86mins
- 17BellSubstituted forDowningat 71'minutes
- 27TravisSubstituted forGrahamat 74'minutes
- 4JohnsonBooked at 61mins
- 8RothwellSubstituted forBreretonat 65'minutes
- Keith Stroud
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Fulham 2, Blackburn Rovers 0.
Foul by Alfie Mawson (Fulham).
Sam Gallagher (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Tom Cairney (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Ben Brereton (Blackburn Rovers).
Offside, Fulham. Joe Bryan tries a through ball, but Aleksandar Mitrovic is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ben Brereton.
Attempt missed. Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Aleksandar Mitrovic with a headed pass.
Attempt blocked. Joe Bryan (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Harry Arter.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Stewart Downing.
Elliott Bennett (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Elliott Bennett (Blackburn Rovers).
Attempt missed. Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross following a corner.
Substitution, Fulham. Maxime Le Marchand replaces Anthony Knockaert.
Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Alfie Mawson.
Goal! Fulham 2, Blackburn Rovers 0. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joe Bryan.
Tim Ream (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Danny Graham (Blackburn Rovers).
Foul by Harry Arter (Fulham).
Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Fulham. Harrison Reed replaces Ivan Cavaleiro.
Attempt missed. Sam Gallagher (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Elliott Bennett with a cross.
Offside, Fulham. Tom Cairney tries a through ball, but Anthony Knockaert is caught offside.
Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Danny Graham replaces Lewis Travis.
Attempt missed. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers).
Offside, Blackburn Rovers. Lewis Travis tries a through ball, but Bradley Dack is caught offside.
Foul by Harry Arter (Fulham).
Bradley Dack (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Stewart Downing replaces Amari'i Bell.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Tosin Adarabioyo.
Attempt missed. Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Bobby De Cordova-Reid.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Ben Brereton replaces Joe Rothwell because of an injury.
Delay in match because of an injury Denis Odoi (Fulham).
Delay in match because of an injury Joe Rothwell (Blackburn Rovers).
Substitution, Fulham. Bobby De Cordova-Reid replaces Stefan Johansen.