Fulham tightened their grip at the top of the Championship with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Blackburn at Craven Cottage. Blackburn were hoping to gain some revenge for the humiliating 7-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of Marco Silva’s side at Ewood Park in November.
But first-half goals from Neeskens Kebano and Harry Wilson ensured Fulham secured a fifth win in six games. The hosts almost capped the victory in style when full-back Neco Williams struck the bar with a spectacular shot from halfway in the final stages of the game.
Fulham started the day eight points clear at the head of the table while Blackburn had revived their own promotion ambitions by beating QPR in midweek to end a five-game winless streak. That victory initially appeared to have given Tony Mowbray’s side a lift and they quickly threatened when Ryan Giles shot over after a positive run from inside his own half.
The scare appeared to spark Fulham into life and Aleksandar Mitrovic was convinced he should have won a penalty when he went to ground under a challenge from Darragh Lenihan, although replays suggested the striker appeared to loose his footing. Fulham had a more convincing claim turned down when Williams was pushed by Harry Pickering.
By then, though, Fulham had taken the lead in the 25th minute when they took full advantage of an error by keeper Thomas Kaminski. The visitors created their own problems when Jan Paul van Hecke needlessly kept the ball in play, gifting possession to Harrison Reed. When the ball was worked to Williams, his low shot was spilled by Kaminski, gifting Kebano the chance to follow up from close range.
Blackburn felt hard done by when Tyrhys Dolan was booked for diving following a challenge by Tosin Adarabioyo inside the Fulham area in the 34th minute. And a minute later Fulham piled on the misery when Wilson lifted a first-time finish over the advancing Kaminski after Adarabioyo’s ball inside Pickering carved open the Blackburn backline.
That strike prompted chants of “we want seven” inside Craven Cottage and Fulham almost moved one step closer to that target when Fabio Carvalho’s 47th-minute shot was deflected onto the post.
Mowbray introduced Sam Gallagher at the break and the striker gave Blackburn more of an attacking threat during the opening stages of the second period.
Gallagher thought he had had brought his side back into the game in the 65th minute when he followed up from Bradley Johnson’s header, but the effort was ruled out for offside. But Blackburn continued to look vulnerable at the back and were fortunate to escape when Mitrovic directed a far-post header into the side netting.