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Saturday, 30 November, 2002, 16:53 GMT
Friedel heroics halt Fulham
Dwight Yorke fends off challenges from Andy Melville (left) and Sean Davis
Yorke found the target in the 35th minute
Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Fulham

Dwight Yorke and Brad Friedel produced stunning displays to spearhead Rovers' sixth Premiership win of the season.

Yorke scored in the first half and triggered a Rufus Brevett own goal 20 minutes from time in a miserable 100th league match in charge for Fulham boss Jean Tigana.

At the other end, Friedel made a superb penalty save and displayed his agility to twice keep out Steve Marlet.

I'm not going to tell you how good Brad is but he did his bit

Blackburn boss Graeme Souness

Torrential rain looked likely to ruin the contest, producing a scrappy first half dominated by Rovers.

They nearly scored in the first minute when David Dunn's shot from distance forced Edwin van der Sar to save.

The Dutch international kept the scores level 15 minutes later, scrambling to hold on to another Dunn shot.

Andy Cole should have beaten him midway through the half, but he failed to convert David Thompson's cross.

Key incidents
35mins: Yorke tap-in puts Rovers ahead
60mins: Marlet finds top corner to equalise
67mins: Freidel saves Marlet penalty
78mins: Brevett own goal
88mins: Friedel blocks late Marlet effort

It was left to Yorke to give Rovers a deserved lead 10 minutes from the break as Dunn made another inspired run.

He clipped the ball to Damien Duff who glided it to the feet of Yorke at the near post for a simple tap-in.

Sylvain Legwinski should have equalised after Fulham's only true passing move of the game but he shot over.

Both sides began the second half in blistering fashion.

Luis Boa Morte was the first man in front of goal but a 70-yard charge by Duff took the sting out of his shot.

That boosted Fulham confidence, and Marlet deservedly levelled on the hour, passing two defenders to slot the ball into the top right-hand corner.

I think this is a bad season for us - Steve Marlet scored an own goal, Facundo Sava scored one in the UEFA Cup, and now Rufus has

Fulham assistant manager Christian Damiano

A pacey Boa Morte counter attack then forced Craig Short into conceding a penalty.

But Marlet's spot kick was stunningly saved by Friedel.

Fulham were left ruing another missed opportunity when a well-timed Lucas Neill tackle halted Morte.

Their misery was compounded after 78 minutes when Yorke's strike was saved by van der Sar before bouncing off Brevett and into Fulham's net for an own goal.

Friedel ensuring victory in the dying minutes, blocking a close-range Marlet effort.


Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Todd, Short, Johansson, Thompson, Tugay, Dunn (Douglas 89), Duff, Yorke, Cole.
Subs Not Used: Jansen, Grabbi, Ostenstad, Kelly.

Booked: Dunn.

Fulham: Van der Sar, Finnan, Brevett, Goma, Melville, Malbranque, Clark (Inamoto 59), Davis, Legwinski, Boa Morte, Marlet.
Subs Not Used: Sava, Djetou, Goldbaek, Taylor.

Booked: Finnan, Davis.

Attendance: 21,096.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Jimmy Armfield
"Fulham had Blackburn hanging on at the end"
Blackburn's Brad Friedel
"We've been playing good football of late"
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