So it proved, and with his double strike proving the difference, it was great to finally see Damien back to his best of last season. Four goals from five now for the Dubliner. As for the big fella up top...what can I say? Look back to my preview and you'll see I predicted a goal for our talisman. Myself along with the whole of the Hammy End were on our feet to see him cooly despatch that penalty. Commendable composure as it all kicked off. THANK YOU Bobby! Just wish Clint had done the same v Chelsea...
Just shows what a different team we look when you have both Zamora and Duff back and performing at their best. With those two proving a handful in the weeks to come it will hopefully take the pressure off AJ a little. He worked his socks off as usual and had a solid shout for two penalties when Samba caught him. He's still missing that vital spark to take him clear of defences and gobble up half chances, but I'm certain it will be Dembele now heading for a spell of bench warming. For all his early promise and controlled dribbling I'm getting a tad frustrated with the lack of end product from the Belgian, but his time will come again.
Under the aerial bombardment our back four manfully stuck to their task, it wasn't a happy afternoon for our skipper and I point the finger at Etuhu for that goal in 1st half stoppage time. Totally preventable. With all those bodies around him, Dickson had the easy option of playing the ball the way he was facing. That should have been lashed over the stand into the Thames.
I've blogged it before and see others now posting on the forums. Schwarzer must improve his clearances, and his punching. Might be a little late at 38 mind. Goalkicks don't clear halfway. Rovers big men thundered headers straight back while flattening the man jumping in white. Do something about it before it costs us a goal.
To finish, I guess we have to return to some big moments for the unfortunate Mr. Clattenburg. Blackburn don't make it easy for referees, that must be said. I've been going on about the penalty box argy bargy at set plays that blights football from a time long before I started this blog. If it's shirt tugging, blatant obstruction, holding, barging, elbowing, sandwiching whatever, a foul is still a foul all over the pitch. Whether Clattenburg was still thinking about AJ's claim from a minute before is irrelevant. He saw illegal holding of Hughes from the corner and gave a penalty. It was the correct decision. Le Tissier said so on Sky, the MOTD muppets had to agree, even Kean agreed it was 'technically correct.' End of debate. If that means we have '10 penalties a game', as Kean moaned, so be it. Perhaps then players will get the message.
A week off now for the boys to nurse their bruises before a very winnable game at graveyard Goodison with our current momentum. Could this be our year at last to get something up there? Back to back wins would surely banish the spectre of relegation in this difficult season. Then we can sit back into spring and watch the other 'dogs of war' tearing each other apart. Great feeling this morning to look at the papers and see us sitting above Blackburn and Stoke.
Goal of the weekend by a Fulham man? Not Damien. Check out Dalla Valle's debut strike for Bournemouth. Get in there!
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