By 90Min
September 29, 2018

A Gylfi Sigurdsson double and a Cenk Tosun header handed Everton victory in their Premier League clash at Goodison Park, as Fulham fell to another tough defeat on Saturday afternoon. 

Fulham suffered an immediate setback as first-choice right-back Timothy Fosu-Mensah went off with a suspected broken arm inside the first four minutes. That set the tone for much of the first half in a stop, start encounter where both sides threatened so much but delivered so little. 

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Richarlison was an obvious target for an aggressive Fulham team and proved the bane of his own side as well being consistently caught offside in the first half. They went in level at the break after 50 minutes of football that produced 14 fouls but just one shot on target between the two sides.

It seemed fitting that the breakthrough would come from the penalty spot as Denis Odoi foolish shoved Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the area. The usually composed Sigurdsson stepped up but hit the crossbar; he cleared himself just four minutes later though when he curled in a first time shot from the edge of the area to put his side ahead. 

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Tosun added the second meeting Theo Walcott's cross 10 minutes later to all but put the game beyond Fulham. Struck by one last bit of ill fortune as Joe Bryan was also forcibly withdrawn through injury, Fulham were reduced to 10-men side conceding once more to round off a frustrating afternoon for the London side. 

Here's our breakdown of this one:


Key Talking Point

Everton got the points they required today but are still not perhaps where they'd like to be under Marco Silva. After a lacklustre first half, it took an error in the Fulham backline to hand Everton the ascendency. They grew in confidence after taking the lead but really struggle to get going up until that point. 

Fulham also suffered a maligned fixture, not least of all seeing both first-choice full-backs withdrawn through injury. 

With the opponents down to 10 men towards the end, the result flattered Everton somewhat.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Pickford (6), Kenny (6), Keane (7), Zouma (8), Digne (8), Davies (6) Gueye (6), Walcott (8), Sigurdsson (8), Richarlison (7), Calvert-Lewin (6)

Substitutes: Tosun (8*), Bernard (n/a), Schniederlin (n/a)

STAR MAN - Tosun had struggled to replicate his form from last season but he came on and changed the game today. Replacing Calvert-Lewin in early into the second half he offered a focal point to Everton's attack that had been lacking all game.

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The target man was a present menace throughout and that impact was shown immediately as Everton scored just a minute after his introduction. That new threat in the area put pressure on the centre-halves and forced Odoi into a clumsy clearance that lead to the opener. Tosun compounded his impact further by adding Everton's second and putting the game beyond their opponents.

WORST PLAYER - There wasn't really a bad performer in Everton's side as such for this fixture, a somewhat stable midfield and a steady defence perhaps produced the fewest thrills. Probably the biggest disappointment of the starting lineup was Calvert Lewin though who really struggled to impose himself on the game. 

Aside from failing to watch his line, Richarlison had an excellent first half and was easily the best player in blue. Likewise, Walcott offered some tricky runs and some probing balls forward to tie the Fulham back line in knots at times. Calvert-Lewin just couldn't manage to do anything with the ball, failing to register a decent shot or even hold the ball up for the oncoming wingers. 


Key Talking Point

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For Slavisa Jokanovic the biggest concern will be his defence and whether or not they have enough quality throughout the squad to survive the campaign. This was a winnable game for the Cottagers though against an Everton side that had only won once in their first six games. 

Fulham have only kept one clean sheet so far this season against Exeter in the Carabao Cup. A few individual players were a little aggressive and quick to ground which resulted in needless fouls. The penalty, in particular, will be disappointing for the manager as well as the clumsy manner of the breakthrough. 

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Bettinelli (7), Bryan (6), Ream (7), Odoi (4), Fosu-Mensah (n/a), Sessegnon (7), Seri (9)*, Zambo Anguissa (6), Schurrle (5), Vietto (8), Mitrovic (6)

Substitutes: Christie (7), Cairney (6), Ayite (6)

STAR MAN - Jean Micheal Seri ran the show for Fulham this afternoon, he and Luciano Vietto had a hand in everything the Cottagers produced in the final third. He looked certain to have produced a goal out of nothing when his inch-perfect through ball split the Everton defence in two and found Ryan Sessegnon but the young winger cannoned his effort off the crossbar.

Rarely misplaced a pass throughout the game and put in a shift tracking back to keep Richarlison frustrated. He was everywhere for his side and it made it very difficult for Silva's men to create anything. 

WORST PLAYER - Denis Odoi actually performed admirably in the first half, clearing up the ball well against Everton's talented front line. He really let himself down as the game went on though, giving away a needless penalty early into the second half.

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He got a big let off when Sigurdsson fired his effort against the crossbar but Odoi was at fault again just moments later this time to hand Everton the lead. A tame wayward clearance fell nicely for the encroaching Sigurdsson who made up for his earlier miss, curling his shot past Marcus Bettinelli.  

Looking Ahead

Silva will want to see more creativity from his side going forward they face Southampton in the Carabao Cup next before a trip to Leicester.

Everton didn't pose much threat in this fixture but ended the game as comfortable winners and that will be a concern for Fulham as they continue to search for a winning combination. It's a tough trip to Arsenal up next followed by a home tie against fellow newcomers Cardiff.

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