Free-scoring Fulham thrashed 10-man Blackburn to make it 20 goals in five straight wins as they narrowed the gap on Championship leaders Bournemouth to two points.
Rovers came into the game buoyed by back-to-back wins but were ruthlessly unpicked by a Fulham side in rich form since the return from the international break.
It only took six minutes for the Cottagers to take the lead after Neeskens Kebano slammed in Bobby Decordova-Reid’s cut-back from the by-line after a teasing run down the right.
Aleksandar Mitrovic met a near-post corner to power in his 19th league goal of the season to double the lead and the dismissal of Jan Paul van Hecke for a reckless challenge on Harry Wilson soon after was a further blow to the hosts.
Rovers goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski made smart saves to palm away Harrison Reed’s effort and deny Mitrovic on the angle to keep the score down, but it was only a temporary reprieve.
Wilson scored two quickfire goals as Fulham made the man advantage count, driving into the box after being picked out on the right by a wonderful cross-field pass before beautifully curling in the fourth.
Despite Blackburn’s best efforts to fight back, the visitors added further misery when Kebano hammered in a fifth from the right of the area to grab his second and Rodrigo Muniz’s late double brought more boos from the home fans.
In Ben Brereton Diaz and Mitrovic this game pitted two of the division’s most prolific scorers against each other, and it was the latter who benefitted from his side’s dominance to come out on top in their duel.
At times, Marco Silva’s side were mesmerising in their movement and passing, and ruthlessly clinical in front of goal with it to take their season’s tally to 43.
They have also added defensive steel to their relentless attack too, and this was their fourth clean sheet in a row. It is now 395 minutes since they conceded a goal in the league.
For Rovers boss Tony Mowbray the boos will have hurt as his players left the field because despite the scoreline they were committed throughout despite few genuine opportunities to trouble Marek Rodak.
Tyrhys Dolan did test the Slovakia keeper with a low drive in the first half having cut in off the right, while Brereton Diaz blazed an effort over the top on the angle from the right.
But Van Hecke’s red card left Blackburn at a numerical disadvantage and, in their bid to keep the game alive, they allowed Fulham the space to run up a huge win.
Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Lancashire:
“We found it very difficult to stop their flow, they took their chances as they came. I know the first two goals were very poor to concede, it’s a very long time since I’ve seen us concede one like the first one from a corner at the near post.
“I don’t think tonight is a time to pore over it, we’ll pore over it tomorrow with the team. That’s not the team you see when you support Blackburn Rovers and it’s only the second time in a year we’ve lost by more than one goal.
“If it was a common theme that we were losing by three, four or five on a regular basis you would see a soft underbelly of the team but I don’t think that’s the case. But tonight we have to take it on the chin.”
Fulham boss Marco Silva told BBC Radio London:
“It was a fantastic win for us, but we know it’s just three points. We have to be humble enough to know that we did fantastic in scoring seven goals in this competition away from home and keeping a clean sheet, but it is just three points.
“We have to be happy, to congratulate the players who have fantastic momentum but we have to keep our feet on the floor, we have to be humble and start to prepare for the next game.
“We have to keep going, we know we won’t win all the games, but I don’t want to see the stats we had last month, because a winning mentality is what we’re trying to achieve.
“What we did in the second half was to keep doing good things and it’s compulsory for us to want to keep the clean sheet.”
- 25from HeckeBooked at 30mins
- 20EdunBooked at 74mins
- 8RothwellSubstituted forRankin-Costelloat 62′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 10DolanSubstituted forButterworthat 63′minutes
- 21BuckleySubstituted forCarterat 32′minutes
- 1A native
- 24SeriesSubstituted forCairneyat 59′minutes
- 14De Cordova-ReidSubstituted forCarvalhoat 73′minutes
- 9MitrovicSubstituted forMuniz Carvalhoat 67′minutes
- 19Muniz Carvalho
- Jarred Gillett
Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 0, Fulham 7.
Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 0, Fulham 7.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Joe Rankin-Costello.
Goal! Blackburn Rovers 0, Fulham 7. Rodrigo Muniz (Fulham) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Antonee Robinson with a cross.
Joe Rankin-Costello (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Antonee Robinson (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Joe Rankin-Costello (Blackburn Rovers).
Attempt missed. Fabio Carvalho (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Harry Wilson.
Foul by Fabio Carvalho (Fulham).
Bradley Johnson (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Fabio Carvalho (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Lewis Travis (Blackburn Rovers).
Goal! Blackburn Rovers 0, Fulham 6. Rodrigo Muniz (Fulham) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Neeskens Kebano with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Darragh Lenihan.
Goal! Blackburn Rovers 0, Fulham 5. Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Tom Cairney following a set piece situation.
Fabio Carvalho (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Tayo Edun (Blackburn Rovers).
Attempt missed. Rodrigo Muniz (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Tom Cairney.
Tayo Edun (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Harry Wilson (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.