Yakubu sent off in the first half, Samba missing. What more could we ask for?
Made a right horlicks of this one. Blackburn are a half-decent side in the middle of a horrible season but we’re good enough to win in these circumstances. Should have done, comfortably.
Blackburn scored the first with a Pedersen free-kick just on half-time, then the second from Dunn just after the break. Those two moments defined the game, and while we dominated possession, Paul Robinson really didn’t have enough to do.
For the millionth time, attacking football is about creating space, and when playing a team with ten men who are packing their defences in you need to do everything you can to make space. That doesn’t mean doing what we always seem to do, work the ball through the crowded bit of the pitch and hope that something happens, because it won’t more often than not. With only Blackburn forward Fulham should have been more decisive sooner, withdrawing one of the full-backs (Riise eventually made way) and stationing two players wide. We had some width but the wrong-sided attackers kept cutting in towards the massed defence and getting nowhere. Where were the crosses exploiting Samba’s absence? No combination play on the flanks either: we kept doing the wrong thing over and over, like the drunkard bashing on the door of the wrong (empty) house all night wondering why it wouldn’t open. Width, space, pace. Bah.
We got one back when Damian Duff scored with a right footed shot across Robinson, but then allowed another on the break and despite subbing the sub (Frei) with five minutes left (needless humiliation of a young player) still couldn’t find a way through.