Dempsey's goal means Fulham are unbeaten in the league
By Nabil Hassan
Fulham's unbeaten start to the season continued as Clint Dempsey's second-half header rescued a point for boss Mark Hughes at his old club Blackburn.
Blackburn had taken a controversial lead through a Chris Samba header when El-Hadji Diouf appeared to impede keeper Mark Schwarzer in the build-up.
Paul Robinson then produced a wonderful save to deny Fulham defender Carlos Salcido from the angle of the box.
But Fulham levelled after Dempsey headed home Salcido's floated cross.
Blackburn began the game, which started slowly, the better of the two sides with Fulham defender Brede Hangeland forced to head Morten Gamst Pedersen's delightful 20-yard chip off the line after Schwarzer had dropped a long ball from Robinson on the edge of the area.
Replays later showed that Schwarzer was lucky to escape punishment with the Australian handling outside of the box during the scramble that followed his fumble, with the keeper also later touching Pedersen's chip.
Fulham's first chance of the half came from Moussa Dembele who ran from halfway unchallenged before unleashing a low 20-yard shot wide of the post, but it was Blackburn who were having the better of the game.
Allardyce bemoans ref errors
The lively Mame Biram Diouf, on loan from Manchester United, was denied by a last gasp Hangeland tackle, but two minutes later Blackburn were in front, albeit in controversial circumstances.
Robinson sent forward a long free-kick which Schwarzer came to collect but his path was intentionally blocked by winger Diouf 12-yards-out and Samba rose highest in the resulting melee to glance a header into the empty net.
The goal was met with fury by Fulham boss Hughes who made the point that Diouf had earlier done exactly the same thing in blocking Schwarzer and again escaped punishment.
Chris Samba's goal came in controversial circumstances
Fulham's protests were waved away but soon after they were unlucky not to be level.
Debutant Salcido forced a splendid save from Robinson with his low, right footed, curling strike from the angle of the penalty box tipped around the post by the Blackburn keeper.
Fulham started the second half brightly, dominating possession, and within 11 minutes they were level.
Dempsey scored it, powerfully heading home from close range, following a fine floated cross from Salcido, who was enjoying a good start to his Fulham career, on the left.
Schwarzer then dropped the ball under pressure from Samba as Blackburn tried to respond but this time referee Anthony Taylor awarded a free-kick when replays showed clearly there had been no foul.
Hughes disputes Blackburn goal
But it was largely all Fulham following the goal so Blackburn introduced Brett Emerton for Pedersen and debutant Benjani for Nikola Kalinic in an attempt to break up the flow of their play.
The substitutions seemed to work for Blackburn with Schwarzer's difficult afternoon continuing as he dropped another cross, this time under pressure from Mame Biram Diouf, but his namesake El-Hadji was unable to find the net as a result.
Danny Murphy went close with a free-kick for Fulham late on while there was also more trouble for Schwarzer but ultimately the game ended level with few chances to report.
93:33 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
93:33 The referee blows for the end of the match.
90:00+2:42 Unfair challenge on Eddie Johnson by Christopher Samba results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
88:12 Substitution Zoltan Gera on for Danny Murphy.
87:52 Benjani Mwaruwari produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
85:20 Stephen Kelly challenges El-Hadji Diouf unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Brett
Emerton, save made by Mark Schwarzer.
82:32 Michel Salgado gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Murphy. Danny Murphy has an effort direct from the
80:48 Unfair challenge on Moussa Dembele by Phil Jones results in a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
80:25 The ball is delivered by Michel Salgado, clearance by Brede Hangeland.
79:56 El-Hadji Diouf takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.
76:53 Substitution Eddie Johnson on for Clinton Dempsey.
75:27 Substitution Steven Nzonzi on for Vincenzo Grella.
74:52 The ball is swung over by Damien Duff.
71:29 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by El-Hadji Diouf.
68:56 Brett Emerton takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
65:02 Free kick awarded for a foul by Clinton Dempsey on Vincenzo Grella. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
64:19 Substitution Benjani Mwaruwari on for Nikola Kalinic.
63:08 Damien Duff takes a shot. Gael Givet gets a block in.
62:45 Short corner taken by Simon Davies from the left by-line.
61:27 Handball decision goes against Brett Emerton. Brede Hangeland takes the direct free kick. Stephen Kelly challenges El-Hadji
Diouf unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gael Givet.
59:28 Substitution Brett Emerton joins the action as a substitute, replacing Morten Gamst Pedersen.
59:28 Corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the left by-line, Mark Schwarzer fouled by Christopher Samba, the ref
awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
58:32 The official flags El-Hadji Diouf offside. Indirect free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
57:43 Corner taken by Moussa Dembele from the right by-line.
56:59 Damien Duff fouled by Vincenzo Grella, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
55:06 Assist by Carlos Salcido.
55:06 GOAL - Clinton Dempsey:Blackburn 1 - 1 Fulham Clinton Dempsey finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Blackburn 1-1 Fulham.
54:54 Ryan Nelsen challenges Moussa Dembele unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Murphy produces a cross,
53:24 Simon Davies has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.
50:46 Damien Duff fouled by Ryan Nelsen, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
48:53 Vincenzo Grella gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Moussa Dembele. Aaron Hughes restarts play with the free
46:38 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Moussa Dembele by Vincenzo Grella. Simon Davies produces a shot on goal direct
from the free kick.
45:14 Nikola Kalinic has an effort at goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
45:00+0:42 The assistant referee signals for offside against Carlos Salcido. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.
45:00 The referee blows for half time.
43:22 Stephen Kelly fouled by Nikola Kalinic, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
42:40 Unfair challenge on Moussa Dembele by Vincenzo Grella results in a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
41:05 The assistant referee flags for offside against Nikola Kalinic. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
Correction - 39:22 Damien Duff takes a shot. Blocked by Phil Jones.
39:22 Damien Duff takes a shot. Phil Jones gets a block in.
39:02 Moussa Dembele fouled by Morten Gamst Pedersen, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.
38:25 El-Hadji Diouf is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Carlos Salcido.
37:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by Moussa Dembele on Michel Salgado. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
36:54 Carlos Salcido fouled by Nikola Kalinic, the ref awards a free kick. Brede Hangeland takes the direct free kick.
35:36 Carlos Salcido takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson. Corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff.
31:11 Christopher Samba fouled by Moussa Dembele, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Morten Gamst
Pedersen from right channel.
29:28 Assist on the goal came from Paul Robinson.
29:28 GOAL - Christopher Samba:Blackburn 1 - 0 Fulham Christopher Samba finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Blackburn 1-0 Fulham.
28:46 Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
28:46 Booking Brede Hangeland goes into the referee's book.
28:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Brede Hangeland on Mame Diouf.
27:55 Mame Diouf has an effort at goal. Brede Hangeland gets a block in.
22:52 Nikola Kalinic is ruled offside. Mark Schwarzer takes the indirect free kick.
21:29 Moussa Dembele has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the target.
17:38 Shot from outside the penalty box by Gael Givet goes wide right of the goal.
15:00 El-Hadji Diouf takes a shot. Blocked by Carlos Salcido.
14:08 Free kick awarded for a foul by Clinton Dempsey on Christopher Samba. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
13:22 The assistant referee signals for offside against Mame Diouf. Mark Schwarzer takes the indirect free kick.
10:40 Unfair challenge on Simon Davies by Vincenzo Grella results in a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Clinton Dempsey from
the free kick.
7:35 Effort on goal by Phil Jones from just inside the penalty area goes over the target.
7:03 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a shot from 20 yards. Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.
6:20 Unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen by Danny Murphy results in a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
Correction - 5:50 Unfair challenge on Danny Murphy by Mame Diouf results in a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
5:50 Vincenzo Grella concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Murphy. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
4:17 Free kick awarded for a foul by Clinton Dempsey on Ryan Nelsen. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
1:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Kelly on Nikola Kalinic. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball in from the free kick,
Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.
0:18 Free kick awarded for a foul by Vincenzo Grella on Dickson Etuhu. Direct free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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