Everton overcome Fulham fight

Fulham put in a much-improved display at home to top-four hopefuls Everton, but remain rooted to the foot of the division after slipping to a 3-1 defeat.

Last Updated: 30/03/14 at 18:06 Post Comment

Steven Naismith: Half-time introduction swung the game Everton's way

Steven Naismith: Half-time introduction swung the game Everton's way

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Felix Magath's side, with just one win since New Year's Day, showed signs that have the stomach for a relegation scrap, but are five points adrift of safety after an own goal from David Stockdale and efforts from Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith sandwiched an equaliser from Ashkan Dejagah.

After a goalless first half, Everton were forced to withdraw the in-form Ross Barkley at the interval, but his replacement helped to break the deadlock six minutes after the re-start as a corner dropped to Naismith on the edge of the box and his hopeful drive through a crowd of players flicked off William Kvist, onto the unfortunate Stockdale and into the back of the net.

Fulham's response was impressive, with Dejagah stepping off the bench to lash home a leveller on 71 minutes as he cut inside off the left flank and arrowed into the top corner.

Everton's substitutes were to be the game-changers, though, and Mirallas restored their lead after latching onto a threaded pass from Aiden McGeady and Naismith wrapped up the points three minutes from time as the ball broke his way off Leighton Baines and he steered into the bottom corner from close range.

Gamble

Magath took the gamble of starting 17-year-old French striker Moussa Dembele and the teenager showed enough promise to suggest he was worthy of the German's faith.

Dembele was little more than a spectator as Fulham made a lively start, Everton clearing a dangerous ball from John Arne Riise before Brede Hangeland sent a looping header narrowly wide.

A glimpse of the ability that convinced Magath to start Dembele was evident in the 22nd minute when the French teenager raced clear and supplied a perfect pass to Kieran Richardson.

The vision he showed deserved a better outcome than Richardson's weak shot that meant the best move of the half went unrewarded.

A rare moment of panic in Fulham's defence came when Deulofeu crossed but the ball sped to safety with no Everton player able to reach it in time.

The final chance of the first half arrived just seconds before the interval, but Dembele was unable to convert Lewis Holtby's delicate chip.

Fulham were left to rue the missed opportunity as just six minutes into the second half Everton edged ahead with a large slice of luck forcing the opener.

Deceived

A corner reached Naismith and he drilled a low shot towards goal from the edge of the penalty area. The ball struck Fulham midfielder Kvist before being diverted into the net by the blameless Stockdale, who had been deceived by its sudden change in direction.

Everton went within a whisker of extending the lead when Romelu Lukaku narrowly missed Leighton Baines' cross.

Just as Fulham looked to be in danger, they responded with Dejagah's superbly taken goal that saw the Iranian cut inside two defenders from the left flank and beat Tim Howard at the near post with a powerful 20-yard effort.

Inspired by Dejagah's brilliant intervention, the Cottagers pressed for a second goal with Johnny Heitinga and Pajtim Kasami denied by successive saves from Howard.

Instead, the next goal came from Everton with Howard pumping the ball upfield to McGeady, who released Mirallas with a precise pass.

There was still plenty of work for the Belgian forward to do, but he held off Hangeland and planted the ball into the bottom left corner.

Fulham's defence was in disarray and could have conceded a penalty when Heitinga hacked down Mirallas, but the ball still squirted to Naismith who put the result beyond doubt.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Monday, 18 August 2014
20:00
Burnley 1-3 Chelsea Report
Sunday, 17 August 2014
16:00
Newcastle 0-2 Man City Report
13:30
Liverpool 2-1 Southampton Report
Saturday, 16 August 2014
17:30
Arsenal 2-1 C Palace Report
15:00
Leicester 2-2 Everton Report
QPR 0-1 Hull City Report
Stoke 0-1 A Villa Report
West Brom 2-2 S'land Report
West Ham 0-1 Tottenham Report
12:45
Man Utd 1-2 Swansea Report

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 1 2 3
2 Man City 1 2 3
3 Arsenal 1 1 3
4 Liverpool 1 1 3
5 Swansea 1 1 3
6 A Villa 1 1 3
7 Hull City 1 1 3
8 Tottenham 1 1 3
9 Everton 1 0 1
10 Leicester 1 0 1
11 S'land 1 0 1
12 West Brom 1 0 1
13 C Palace 1 -1 0
14 Man Utd 1 -1 0
15 Southampton 1 -1 0
16 QPR 1 -1 0
17 Stoke 1 -1 0
18 West Ham 1 -1 0
19 Burnley 1 -2 0
20 Newcastle 1 -2 0

Updated Tue, 19 Aug 2014

Footer 365

Premier League: West Brom boss Alan Irvine feels Southampton are still dangerous

Alan Irvine will take his West Brom side to Southampton fully aware their much-changed side still has plenty of threats.

Hillsborough Justice Campaign sceptical of Lib Dems' pledge to introduce safe standing

The Lib Dems' pledge for safe standing in England has been met with scepticism from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

Premier League: Leicester boss Nigel Pearson vows to attack Chelsea on Saturday

Leicester boss Nigel Pearson has no intention of playing defensive football when his side takes on Chelsea on Saturday.

Mail Box

Man United: One Game To Save Season

They have one match to convince decent players that they are worth joining - over to you, Louis. We also have mails on Malky Mackay, Mario Balotelli and Tim...

Man United Fans Clutching At Straws

While the focus is on Liverpool's move for Mario Balotelli, one Man United fan tries to convince the mailbox with nine reasons why Angel Di Maria would prefer them to PSG...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property