| Blackburn Roversí Hakan Sukur (centre) celebrates his goal against Fulham with Craig Short and Vratislav Gresko at Loftus Road in London Monday. (Reuters)
London: Hakan Sukur scored twice as Blackburn Rovers crushed a demoralised Fulham 4-0 in the Premier League on Monday.
The 31-year-old Turkish international had not scored for Blackburn since arriving on a short-term deal in December from Parma, but he put that right four minutes before halftime to add to David Dunnís opener from the penalty spot five minutes earlier.
Irish international Damien Duff rifled in the third in the 52nd minute and Sukur struck again a minute later to leave Jean Tiganaís side looking anxiously over its shoulders at the relegation zone.
Rovers manager Graeme Souness, who worked with Sukur while in charge of Turkish club Galatasaray, told Sky Sports afterwards that the best of Sukur was still to come.
ďHe is so aware of whatís going on around him and at times he linked up very well with Andy Cole,Ē said Souness. ďHe has had a hard time since coming here. He had a hernia and then he broke his leg in training one day, so thatís two operations heís had.
ďIt will only be in the last two or three games that you will see the real Hakan Sukur. Iíve worked with him before and Iíve got loads of faith in him, Iím sure heíll do very well in this league.Ē
Fulham were the better side in the first half but fell behind in unfortunate circumstances when midfielder Lee Clark was adjudged to have handled a deflected cross and Dunn calmly slotted in from the penalty spot.
Sukur, whose broken leg sidelined him until March, then showed exactly why Souness wants to keep him at the club next season with a clever piece of skill to wriggle past a Fulham defender before shooting past Maik Taylor.
After Duff put the game beyond Fulham, Sukur struck again with another sublime finish after wrong-footing the Fulham defence.
Blackburn remain in seventh place on 49 points but are now just three behind Liverpool in sixth. Fulham are 13th, seven points above third-from-bottom West Ham United but face a testing run-in to the season.
Meanwhile, Sheffield Unitedís slim hopes of automatic promotion from the first division all but evaporated on Monday with a 0-1 defeat by Wimbledon.
Neil Shipperley struck his 20th goal of the season in the 38th minute to give Wimbledon the points against a United side showing seven changes from their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
United, who take on Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, are 13 points behind second-placed Leicester City with only six games remaining.
Wimbledon were reduced to ten men after 83 minutes when Adam Nowland picked up his second booking for a foul on Paul Peschisolido.