Tuesday 24 October 2017

Fulham sneak win with late penalty

Fulham 3 Blackburn 2

Duncan Bech

Blackburn boss Steve Kean refused to condemn referee Mark Clattenburg following yesterday's Premier League defeat to Fulham.

A series of controversial decisions at Craven Cottage thrust Clattenburg back under the spotlight, with his decision to award a match-winning penalty the most contentious.

Bobby Zamora rifled home the 90th-minute spot-kick after Clattenburg decided that Grant Hanley had held back Aaron Hughes at a corner. Fulham manager Mark Hughes felt the official could have awarded his side a penalty moments earlier and also in the first half, when Christopher Samba hacked down Andy Johnson.

Clattenburg's latest performance comes just a week after he was heavily criticised for failing to show Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney a red card against Wigan.

"I've asked Mark for his take on the penalty incident and he said that Grant Hanley had both hands around Aaron Hughes," said Kean. "He felt it was an aggressive bit of play and that's why he gave the penalty. It's his interpretation of the initial incident and I have to respect that. Referees have the hardest job in the world."

Blackburn full-back Gael Givet was also shown a red card after the final whistle following a fractious finish to the match. Twice Damien Duff had given Fulham the lead with a pair of sweetly-struck goals, lifting his tally for the season to five, but twice Blackburn struck back -- through Hanley and then Junior Hoillet -- before Zamora clinched victory from the penalty spot.

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