Fulham 0 Blackburn 4

Last updated : 07 April 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Although Tugay and Hakan Sukur were roundly booed throughout the night, it was the latter who grabbed his first Premiership goals, not that there was any sign of that for the first half hour.

The match had limped up to the 30-minute mark before the first shot.

Steve Marlet chested the ball into the path of Steed Malbranque and the Frenchman let fly with a low drive from 16 yards which was too hot to handle for Brad Friedel.

The keeper parried to his right and it needed the combined efforts of Craig Short and Henning Berg to scramble the ball to safety.

Up until then the game had been a dull affair with neither side looking remotely likely to score.

That all changed when Lee Clark handled from a cross by Garry Flitcroft. David Dunn sent Maik Taylor the wrong way from the penalty spot, and just before that Andy Cole saw his six-yard effort cannon off Martin Djetou's leg and the Fulham crossbar.

The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Fulham and Rovers' second was a combination of Sukur's cool head and some sloppy defending.

Dunn's cross seemed innocuous but Zat Knight ducked under it and Sukur rounded Steve Finnan to slide the ball under Taylor.

Any pretensions Fulham had of rescuing a point disappeared when Cole got the better of Finnan seven minutes into the second half and set up Damien Duff to smash home a left-foot drive.

The home defence was all over the place a minute later when Sukur was allowed to pick his spot in a crowded box and slot home his second.

Jean Tigana rang the changes with a double substitution, but it was Malbranque who came closest on 58 minutes for the home side.

He ran through to fire a left-foot shot, but it was typical of his and Fulham's luck that the ball was far too close to Friedel to cause the keeper any discomfort.

Despite the fact there was still a full half hour left, a fair number of Fulham fans had already started to make for the exit wondering where their next win was going to come from.