Blackburn off the drop zone
© AFP

Blackburn, battling for their English Premier League lives, bagged a precious three points with a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Fulham. The home side went into an early lead through American international Clint Dempsey only for El Hadji Diouf to level in the 69th minute with Jason Roberts producing the winner with five minutes left on the clock.

Blackburn's reward was to move up from third from bottom to the relative safety of sixth from the foot of the tightly congested table, two points above the drop zone. Fulham are five places and four points above them.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson named a virtually unchanged side to the one that had lost 4-0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals last weekend with only Bobby Zamora losing his place to Zoltan Gera. Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce made three changes from the team that had drawn 0-0 with Everton. Keeper Paul Robinson, fit after a shoulder injury, took over from Jason brown in goal; Morten Gamst Pedersen was called up to fill the void left by injured Roque Santa Cruz, while Vince Grella ceded his place to Kerimoglu Tugay.

Fulham got a dream start when in the second minute poor defending from Blackburn helped them into an early lead as Ryan Nelson was guilty of failing to keep tabs on Dempsey who latched on to a Danny Murphy cross to shoot past Robinson. Blackburn stepped up the pressure and it deservedly paid off after the hour mark with Diouf prodding in from close range although he appeared to be offside before he scored.

Then, with five minutes remaining, Pedersen, back from suspension, knocked the ball into the box for Roberts to lash past Australian keeper Mark Schwarzer after fending off the challenge of Toni Kallio. A minute's silence was held prior to kick-off to mark the passing of former Fulham star Eddie Low, who made more than 500 appearances for the club.