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Fulham 3 Blackburn 2: Zamora's last minute penalty condemns Rovers to another defeat

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05 Mar 2011 23:02:35

Fulham 3 Blackburn 2: Zamora's last minute penalty condemns Rovers to another defeat

Bobby Zamora held his nerve to give Fulham a controversial win, while those around him seemed to lose their heads. He scored a late penalty after coming on as a substitute to take instant control of the home side's set-pieces. Zamora may be short of match practice, but he is certainly not short of confidence. On the spot: Zamora slots home Fulham's winner from the penalty spot Neither was Damien Duff, who putFulham ahead with a speculative shot after 37 minutes, which wentthrough Martin Olsson's legs and beat goalkeeper Paul Robinson, too. Grant Hanley unleashed a curlingeffort just before half-time that panicked Brede Hangeland intodeflecting past his own keeper, Mark Schwarzer. Off and running: Duff celebrates opening the scoring for Fulham But Duff rode to the rescue againafter 59 minutes and there was little Robinson could do this time asthe Irishman drilled the ball past him. You could not fault Rovers' fightingspirit and Jason Roberts set up David Hoilett for a crisp equalisermidway through the second half. That set up all the late controversy. Level pegging: Hanley pulls Blackburn level at Craven Cottage Of course, it helped Zamora thatreferee Mark Clattenburg was taking most of the heat as the finalseconds of this spicy encounter descended into chaos. MATCH FACTSFULHAM: Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes,Hangeland, Salcido; Duffy, Murphy (Zamora70min), Etuhu, Dempsey; Dembele (Kakuta78); Johnson. Subs (not used): Stockdale, Kelly,Gudjohnsen, Greening, Davies. Booked: Etuhu,Baird.BLACKBURN: Robinson; Salgado(Emerton 90), Hanley, Samba, Givet (Pedersen76); Hoilett (Rochina 82), Nzonzi, Jones, Olsson;Roberts, Diouf. Subs (not used): Bunn, Kalinic,Andrews, Santa Cruz. Booked: Roberts, Hanley,Jones. Clattenburg had spotted Hanley's attempt to impede Aaron Hughes as Duff swung in a last-gasp corner and he pointed to the spot. He was correct. But as Blackburnmanager Steve Kean pointed out, you would have to give multiplepenalties every match if you were to award this sort of decisionhabitually. Of more concern was Clattenburg's failure to spot Steven N'Zonzi's elbow in the back of Duff's head earlier in the half. N'Zonzi should have been sent off,since Duff had been clean through. Many more of these errors ofjudgment and the official could be given the elbow himself. Some reports suggest that thebeleaguered Clattenburg was already prepared to consider his future,even before yesterday's fiasco. A red card for Gael Givet forprotesting too much over Clattenburg's performance will not silence thecritics.  Cardiff City make a drama out of crisis with goalkeeper gaffeWho will beat the drop and who's heading down? Sportsmail predicts the great Premier League relegation battleAll the latest Blackburn news, features and opinionAll the latest Fulham news, features and opinion  Explore more:People: Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff, Paul Robinson, Brede Hangeland, Christopher Samba, Martin Olsson, Jermaine Jones, Wayne Rooney, Jason Roberts Places: United Kingdom


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