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BBC Radio 5 Live
Ron Jones reports from Craven Cottage
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Graeme Souness
"We're in a period where nothing seems to be happening for us"
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John Collins
Post match analysis
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Sunday, 15 October, 2000, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Fulham 2-1 Blackburn Rovers
Louis Saha
Louis Saha slotted home the winner from the spot
Fulham 2-1 Blackburn

Fulham's 10th successive league win from the start of the season edged them closer to Reading's Football League record of 13 and took them back to the top of Division One, as they came from behind against Blackburn.

Fulham started the game with a defensive record that boasted just three goals conceded at home all season, but that record did not last long.

In just the fourth minute of the game, and despite Fulham enjoying almost total posession, Blackburn took the lead with their first venture into the Fulham half.

John Collins lost the ball deep in his own half to Matt Jansen, who ghosted past Andy Melville and fired a low drive into the bottom right corner of the goal, beyond Maik Taylor's despairing dive.

And it could have been worse for the home side, as five minutes later, Nathan Blake had an excellent chance to score the visitors' second.

Blake timed a superb run, latching on to a through-ball by Jansen, but ran too wide as he rounded the keeper and took the ball out of play.

Boa Morte and Curtis
Boa Morte goes past Curtis

But if Fulham were shaken by Blackburn's surprise lead, it did not show and they continued to enjoy nearly all of the play, as the visitors sat back and invited pressure on their increasingly vulnerable looking defence.

Inevitable

The inevitable equaliser came in the 16th minute when Fernandes found space in the area, after cutting inside Jeff Kenna, and hit a right-foot shot past Filan from a difficult angle.

Blackburn continued to allow Fulham plenty of time on the ball to pick their passes and exploit the space behind the defence, and the home side carved numerous chances to take the lead.

The best came from a great cross from Goldbaeck, which found Hayles unmarked in the box, but the striker headed over the bar from six yards.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, Boa Morte raced into the box from the left and appeared to have been tripped by Gary Flitcroft, but referee Uriah Rennie turned down his penalty appeals.

Blackburn took the game to Fulham after the interval and David Dunn twisted his way past the Fulham defence, whipping a cross on to the head of Nathan Blake who contrived to miss the target when it seemed easier to score.

Penalty

But it was Fulham who went ahead when susbstitute Luis Saha, on for Boa Morte, sped into the box and was upended by Henning Berg.

This time Rennie pointed to the spot and Saha duly dispatched the penalty.

Fulham's confidence grew and they began to pin Blackburn back - with the visitors looking resigned to defeat - and Hayles forced an outstanding save from Filan from another header mid-way through the second-half.

Fulham enjoyed most of the posession thereafter, but could not add to their lead, but they had already done enough to overtake Watford at the top of the table and maintain their perfect start to the season.


Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Melville, Coleman, Trollope, Clark, J. Collins, Hayles, Goldbaek, Boa Morte, Fernandes. Subs: Hahnemann, Symons, W. Collins, Saha, Lewis.

Blackburn: Filan, Curtis, Bjornebye, Short, Flitcroft, Dunn, Kenna, Blake, Jansen, Berg, Carsley. Subs: Kelly, Hignett, Duff, M. Taylor, Johnson.

Referee: U Rennie

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