Blackburn out of relegation

2009-03-12 06:55

London - Jason Roberts scored in the 85th minute Wednesday to give Blackburn a 2-1 win over Fulham in the Premier League that lifted the Rovers out of the relegation zone.

Clint Dempsey had given Fulham the lead in just the second minute with a left-footed shot after taking a high pass from Danny Murphy. But El-Hadji Diouf equalised in the 69th after having been in an apparent offside position, taking a headed pass from Christopher Samba and scoring from close range. Roberts then sealed the comeback win by spinning past Tony Kallio in the penalty area and unleashing a powerful shot into the net.

The win lifts Blackburn to 15th place on 30 points, two clear of the relegation zone. Fulham is 10th on 34 points.

"It's a huge relief from a mental point of view," Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce said. "People are talking about relegation all the time when you're in that position. So we're relieved to be out of that position for a bit. Relegation is not something we're out of but victory today has made life much easier to get out of it."

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson said the visitors had earned the win.

"I've got to say I thought Blackburn played with a lot of energy. We were struggling to match that energy," Hodgson said. "They've played the long-ball game very well and forced us back."

It was the only Premier League game played on Wednesday, with Arsenal and Manchester United both playing in the Champions League. Both teams advanced, with United beating Inter Milan 2-0 to win by the same score on aggregate, and Arsenal edging AS Roma 7-6 in a penalty shootout in Rome.