Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday November 1 2008
Louis Saha, with a late goal, killed off any Fulham hopes of any points at Goodison Park this lunchtime with a clinical headed finish from an Osman cross.
Roy Hodgson, as expected, decided to go with the same starting eleven for the fourth consecutive game whilst David Moyes recalled Tim Cahill at the expense of ex-Fulham favourite, Louis Saha.
The opening exchanges of the first half were quite tame. The only time Schwarzer looked to be in any danger was when Cahill almost latched onto a dangerous downward header into the six yard box.
Slowly, Everton began to get the upper hand though. Schwarzer had to produce a good catch to claim a dangerous looking cross after some good work from Pienaar and then the keeper had to save a Pienaar header after Pantsil wasn`t quite strong enough in the tackle.
Just before the twenty minute mark, Bullard was penalised for a foul thirty yards out. Arteta tried his luck from thirty yards and Schwarzer had to react smartly to scoop the deflected shot around for a corner.
Fulham were being restricted to occasional long range shots. Bullard fired high and wide from twenty five yards and then repeated the feat when Johnson laid the ball back for him.
As the half hour mark approached Everton had their best spell of the half. Fallaini hit the post with a snap shot from eighteen yards and the hosts forced three corners in quick succession, the last of which saw Lescott head over the bar.
The Everton increase in temp saw Fulham also up the ante. Bullard put a dangerous cross into the box but Zamora and Johnson couldn`t quite get an effort on target. Murphy then saw a shot blocked by Jagielka before Everton supporters believed they should have had a penalty when Hangeland climbed all over Fallaini in the area.
0-0 at half time and all was well.
Everton started the second half the better of the two teams and Cahill had two headed chances both of which went wide, the second, from an Arteta cross, was probably the better of the two.
Fulham were then presented with a golden opportunity to take the lead. A corner was drifted in and when Davies original kick was fed back into the danger area by Zamora, Gera headed powerfully against the bar.
Schwarzer was then forced to rush and bravely deny Yakuba as Everton pushed up before Moyes made his first change of the half bring on Louis Saha in place of Fallaini.
Another glorious chance fell Fulham`s way in the seventy second minute. Yobo fouled Johnson in a central area some twenty-two yards out. Bullard took the free kick and forced a fine save out of Howard, the ball fell invitingly to Zamora but his scuffed shot hit the inside of the post and came out.
Perhaps it was not to be Fulham`s day!
Murphy then raced on to loose ball in midfield but shot wide with his good foot when it was crying out for a left footed drive. Bullard saw a shot saved by Howard before Lescott conceded a needless corner that saw Howard save a Gera header.
Then with three minutes to go Fulham were undone by the Fulham old-boy Saha. He rose majestically to power a header past Schwarzer from an Osman cross and suddenly things looked far from rosy for Fulham.
Hodgson threw on Dempsey and Nevland but to no avail, Fulham`s dreadful record at Goodison Park continues.
Date:Saturday November 1 2008
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