Everton 2 Fulham 1
Our horrible run of results, against Everton at Goodison Park, continued as, despite a spirited display, Fulham slipped to a loss that has the relegation alarm bells ringing again.
Looking for a first win at Goodison Park for the first time in my living memory, Mark Hughes opted for the same starting eleven that had started in the previous game against Blackburn.
After the minutes silence had been observed for the Japan victims, the game started at a slow pace, although Everton were looking slightly the sharper.
The first decent effort on goal came when Leighton Baines saw a volley fly wide. Fulham responded with a free-kick from Danny Murphy that Clint Dempsey somehow managed to head away from the Everton goal.
The game, to be honest, was still struggling to get going and it really only jumped into life when our old-boy, Louis Saha, saw his header hacked off the line.
Baines was having the better of his battle with Baird and his good work was to see Everton open the scoring. Baines provided Osman with a pass and when it was delivered towards the back post there was Seamus Coleman to head home.
As half time approached, Fulham tried to get back into things but when Salcido put a great ball into the area nobody was there. On the stroke of half-time Fulham should have equalised when Andrew Johnson provided a chance for Dempsey only for his shot to fly just over the bar.
Fulham would have been hoping to start the second half well but, unfortunately, didn`t. With only a matter of minutes played Everton had doubled their lead with our ex-striker, Saha, being the man to do the damage.
The goal came after a free kick had been conceded some twenty-five yards out, Baines laid it into the path of Saha who smashed it through the wall to beat Schwarzer.
Fulham now had it all to do and suddenly began to enjoy a spell of pressure. Etuhu had a shot blocked and Duff saw the rebound saved. Hughes decided to throw Bobby Zamora into the fray with Etuhu coming off and Dempsey dropping back into midfield.
The move paid almost instant dividends with Dempsey reducing the arrears with Zamora providing the assist. Dempsey`s strike was his eleventh of the season; his best ever haul in English football.
The goal saw Fulham start to boss the half and Hughes tried t keep the impetus going by bringing on young Gael Kakuta in place of Duff. Trying to force the issue, Dembele sliced an effort wide.
With some eight minutes to go Carlos Salcido produced a great piece of defending to clear a Jagielka header off the line, to keep Fulham in the game.
A last change was made in throwing on Eidur Gudjohnsen for Andrew Johnson. As time became of the essence Kakuta delivered a great cross but Zamora couldn`t quite direct his headed effort.
The game was to finish with the sad sight of Saha being carried away on a stretcher, having injured an ankle badly.
With five minutes of stoppage time though Fulham couldn`t get that crucial goal, a goal that would have seen them pick up their first point, at Goodison Park, since 1959.
Vital Fulham on:
Vital Fulham on:
Join Vital Fulham
It's easy to REGISTER HERE, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.