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Venue: Craven Cottage, West London
Premier League
 Sunday 16 March 2008; 1:30pm
FULHAM 
1-0
 EVERTON
McBride (67')
Half Time: 0-0
  
Attendance: 25,262
Fixture 30
Referee: Steve Bennett

Match Summary

Cahill missed the game, as expected; Fernandes still absent, presumed injured.  Anichebe was lined up as a sub but failed to make the bench, failing a late fitness test due to a jarred hip, meaning a goalie and four defenders as substitutes!  No space for Gravesen, Gardner or Van der Meyde. What was that about the size of the squad...!?! 

Fairly lively end-to-end stuff to begin with. Some good crosses from Neville and neat work by Pienaar but no advantage taken.  Ex-Blues Davies and McBride combined well for the American to lash a ball dangerously across goal but it was well off-target.

After just 14 mins, Johnson developed a limp and came off, to be replaced by Tony Hibbert, the side reverting to 4-5-1 with Neville moving into midfield plenty of players to Feed the Yak!  It was 25 mins before first Pienaar and then Yakubu fired shots in on the Fulham goal.

It was turgid stuff for the most part, Arteta's dead-ball deliveries still leaving a lot to be desired, but Yakubu did get a little closer with a run from the right only to fire his shot straight at Keller.  Osman thought he had won a penalty but he had no chance of retaining the ball as a he fell under pressure.  Fulham kept probing while Everton's attacks were far too ponderous and laboured, Jagielka perfecting the aimless hoof forward into space.  No added time at the end of the half, despite the substitution.

Arteta did better with the first free-kick after the break but it even beat Lescott, who was the first to break from the pack.  Fulham cranked it up a bit and won their first corner, delivered in dangerously by Bullard, Johnson heading over.  Osman, who had been imperious on Wednesday, was being pushed off the ball far too easily again by the burly Fulham players.

As Fulham threatened, another Bullard corner was headed over by Davies. In response, Everton won their first corner as Neville's shot from wide was blocked.  Arteta fired the corner high and well beyond everyone.  Moyes acted by pulling off Pienaar, and giving Leighton Baines a chance.

Finally, some nice interchange passing down the right saw Hibbert cross well, but straight at Keller.  A fast break saw Simon Davies scampering down the Fulham left wing and crossing well, Yobo touching it on nicely for Brian McBride to head home strongly past Howard his first Premier League goal since August.

Yobo had a glorious chance from another Arteta corner, far better delivered, but he headed wide unchallenged.  The goal had definitely changed the game, with both teams now fighting for something, but Everton looking tired and lacking in ideas going forward.

Davies could have sealed it for Fulham, but simply failed to connect when he had only Howard to beat.  Everton got worse as they seemed unable to break out of midfield, Fulham snapping and blocking.  Bullard went off with 5 mins to go, while Davey dithered over his final substitution, Rodwell chomping at the bit to get on.  Meanwhile, Hodgson made his final change, as Fulham continued to surge forward.

A poor display really from the Blues, a definite Euro-hangover.  To be brutally honest, the Blues never looked like winning this.  Boggy team?  Or a failure of mental strength when required just as in the penalty shoot-out.  So much for that valiant battle for fourth place... 

Happy Anniversary, David Moyes.

Michael Kenrick

Match Report

The last time Everton were eliminated from Europe, it took them three months to recover and a season of promise was reduced to rubble before it had even begun. That was three years ago after the Blues were knocked out of the Champions League and Uefa Cup in quick succession and the psychological effect was devastating.

David Moyes's side have already proved that they're an entirely different proposition now to the more one-dimensional outfit they were in 2005 but the performance they put in today bore all the hallmarks of a team reeling from the heartbreak of a devastating loss on penalties, a rising injury count and just plain old tired legs.

The less said about this game the better, really, except to say that it was so much like the same fixture last season it was uncanny. Forget the "hoodoo" this ground has over us, this wasn't down to bad luck — we just never got going.

One rapidly flowing move that ended with Brian McBride flicking wide of Tim Howard's post was pretty much all Fulham managed by way of attacking threat between the first kick off and when McBride headed home arguably the best move of the game in the 67th minute.

In between, Everton dominated without really getting into any sort of rhythm but, like the recent victories over Reading and Sunderland, you figured they'd get the one goal they needed by kicking things up a gear when needed. Sadly, they never did and, if anything, they got worse the game went on as both Steven Pienaar, Leon Osman and Mikel Arteta singularly failed to provide the inspiration needed.

In the absense of service and, for the last 75 minutes, his strike partner after Andy Johnson was withdrawn because of injury, Yakubu had to create all his own chances. In the final reckoning, his three shots, all saved by Kasey Keller, were the Blues' best chances outside one free header for Joseph Yobo that he really should have done better with.

Distribution was generally poor, not only from the usual suspects like Phil Neville and AJ's replacement, Tony Hibbert, but particularly from Phil Jagielka who looked for all the world like the return of David Unsworth, such was the frequency with which he pumped aimless balls into no-man's land.

It wouldn't really be fair to single out any one player for particular criticism, though, as apart perhaps from Yakubu, no one emerged with much credit. Instead, while Moyes threw Leighton Baines on and moved Joleon Lescott up front as an emergency — and, truth be told, next to useless — striker to chase the game, Fulham should and could have scored a second when Simon Davies found himself with just Howard to beat but made an absolute pig's dinner of it and side-footed horribly wide.

Bygones, though. Let's just forget a game that leaves us three points adrift of Liverpool, put a dire display down to nasty European hangover, and focus on the visit of West Ham next weekend. Hopefully a couple of the walking wounded will be back to save us from the Neville-Carsley axis in midfield.

Lyndon Lloyd

Match Preview

Life after the gut-wrenching Round of 16 second leg showdown against Fiorentina that ended Everton's thrilling run in the Uefa Cup begins this Sunday in West London as the Blues look to pick themselves up and begin the sprint down the home stretch of the Premier League season. The goal: a fourth place finish that would earn them a crack at the lucrative Champions League and many more nights like the one last Wednesday that saw David Moyes's side really come of age.

The manner in which Everton dominated La Viola and almost took their first big scalp of the season has only intensified the belief that the team that Moyes has built is on the threshold of the big time. By all accounts, if they play that way for the rest of the season, then fourth spot is more than just a real possibility.

Pending perhaps the outcome of the Merseyside cerby at the end of the month, the Blues will be pushed all the way by Liverpool, who once again moved three points clear in that coveted fourth spot by virtue of playing earlier this weekend than their Goodison rivals. So, not for the first time, the onus is on Everton to gain all three points to keep the pressure on as that mammoth clash at Anfield looms.

Moyes's boys have picked themselves up from cup disappointment on three previous occasions this season and there's nothing to suggest they won't do so again this weekend as they travel to Craven Cottage. Of all the current top flight sides, Fulham's boast the longest ubeaten stretch at home against Everton — the Blues haven't won there since the 1960s, but Moyes has put plenty of hoodoos to rest in recent seasons and this one is just begging to be consigned to history.

Certainly, if his side are in the mood, struggling Fulham will be there for the taking. Roy Hodgson's side are five points adrift in 19th place in the table with relegation a very real danger and the point they picked up at Blackburn — thanks to Jimmy Bullard's late free kick — was the only one they have collected out of the last 12 available. Their last win, however, was four games ago over Aston Villa — again thanks to a late Bullard special — so they are capable of knocking over a top-six side when the mood takes them.


Andy Johnson: has earned another start alongside the Yak

Possible fatigue aside, it wouldn't be surprising if Moyes fielded an unchanged line-up from the one that started against Fiorentina. Andy Johnson's two goals in the last two games could be enough to earn him another start alongside Yakubu, while Leon Osman's star turn midweek is sure to keep him in the midfield while Tim Cahill remains sidelined with a hip complaint.

Again, play the way they have in recent matches and Everton have nothing to fear from Fulham; a third successive away win is well within their grasp if they just keep in the same groove that has kept up this amazing run of form since the turn of the year.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Stats

After the fantastic performance against Fiorentina on Wednesday, which saw another penalty shoot out defeat, Everton will be looking to keep the pressure in their attempt to secure 4th place in the Premier League when they visit Fulham this Sunday, in the 47th match between the teams.
Ironically, Friday 14th March will see David Moyes reach the 6 year mark as Everton manager, and his first game after his appointment in 2002 was against — Fulham!!

Everton's record against Fulham:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

13

7

0

6

19

14

Division One

22

12

5

5

41

21

Division Two

4

0

3

1

5

8

FA Cup

7

0

3

4

5

9

TOTALS:

46

19

11

16

70

52

Our record at Fulham:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

6

0

0

6

1

10

Division One

11

3

3

5

16

16

Division Two

2

0

1

1

0

3

FA Cup

3

0

1

2

2

4

TOTALS:

22

3

5

14

19

33

Everton will be looking to buck the trend in this fixture, as every Premier League match between the sides so far has been won by the home team.

Everton’s last victory at Fulham was on 20 August 1966, when a goal from Alan Ball secured a 1:0 victory in the opening League match of the season.  Since then Everton have played 8 matches at Fulham, losing all 8, scoring just 3 goals in the process and conceding 14.

The last match between the sides was earlier this season on 8 December when a Yakubu hat-trick saw a comfortable 3:0 win for Everton.

The last match at Fulham was on 4 November 2006 which saw a 0:1 defeat in front of the Sky cameras.

The return match that season, on 6 April 2007, saw another live broadcast with Everton winning 4:1.  The goals that night came from Alan Stubbs, Lee Carsley, James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe.  Vaughan and Anichebe’s goals ensured that this is the only time two 18-year olds have scored in a live televised Top Flight match.

This will be Everton’s 18th match on 16 March:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

1

1

0

0

2

1

Division One

12

6

2

4

25

19

Division Two

1

0

0

1

0

1

FA Cup

2

0

1

1

0

1

League Cup

1

0

1

0

1

1

TOTALS:

17

7

4

6

28

23

Everton’s last match on this date was in 2002, which was David Moyes’ first match in charge and saw a 2:1 victory at Goodison Park over Fulham.  David Unsworth opened the scoring after 27 seconds as Everton went on to win 2:1 with the other goal coming from Duncan Ferguson.

The last time Everton played an away match on this date was back in 1991, when goals from Dave Watson, Mike Newell, Tony Cottee and a rarity fro Mike Milligan (one of the two goals he scored for the club) secured a 4:3 win at Southampton in the old Division One.

Milestones that can be reached this game:

  • If Everton win, then they will match the club record for the most matches won in a Premier League season, currently standing at 18 wins in the 2004-05 season when Everton finished in 4th place.
  • If he starts then this will be Tim Cahill’s 100th League start for Everton and would become the 151st Everton player to make 100 League starts and the 23rd to make 100 Premier League starts for the club.
  • If he plays, then Mikel Arteta will be making his 100th League appearance for Everton and would become the 163rd Everton player to make 100 League appearances and the 28th to make 100 Premier League appearances for the club.
  • If he starts, then Tony Hibbert will be making his 150th League start for Everton which would make him the 101st Everton player to make 150 League starts and the 8th player to make 150 Premier League starts for the club.
If he scores a hat trick, then Yakubu will become the seventh Everton player to score at least 3 first class hat tricks in a single season for the club.  The other six are Bill ‘Dixie’ Dean (who achieved the feat in 5 separate seasons, including the club record of 8 hat tricks in a single season in 1931-32), Bobby Parker, Bert Freeman, Tommy Lawton, John Willie Parker, and the last player to achieve this feat back in the 1985-86 season, Gary Lineker.

Steve Flanagan

* Unfortunately, we cannot control other sites' content policies and therefore cannot guarantee that links to external reports will remain active.

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FULHAM (4-4-2)
  Keller
  Stalteri
  Hughes
  Hangeland
  Konchesky
  Andreasen
  Bullard (85' Volz)
  Murphy :56' (74' Bocanegra)
  Davies
  Johnson
  McBride (88' Dempsey)
  Subs not used
  Batista
  Healy

EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Howard
  Neville
  Jagielka
  Yobo
  Lescott
  Carsley
  Osman
  Arteta
  Pienaar (72' Baines)
  Johnson (14' Hibbert)
  Yakubu
  Subs not used
  Wessels
  Valente
  Rodwell
  Unavailable
  Anichebe (injured)
  Cahill (injured)
  Fernandes (injured)
  Valente (injured)
  Vaughan (injured)
  Van der Meyde (injured)
  Turner (injured)
  Vidarsson (loan)
  Boyle (loan)
  Spencer (loan)
  Jutkiewicz (loan)
  Kissock (loan)
  Cahill (injured)

Premier League Scores
Saturday 15 March 2008
Arsenal 1-1 Middlesbro
Derby 0-1 Man Utd
Liverpool 2-1 Reading
Portsmouth 2-0 Aston Villa
Sunderland 0-1 Chelsea
West Ham 2-1 Blackburn
Sunday 16 March 2008
Fulham 1-0 Everton
Man City    2-1 Tottenham
Wigan 1-0 Bolton
Sunday 16 March 2008
Birmingham 1-1 Newcastle
Sunday 16 March 2008
Fulham 1-0 Everton
Wigan 1-0 Bolton
Wednesday 19 March 2008
Man Utd 2-0 Bolton
Tottenham 4-4 Chelsea

Premier League Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Man Utd 70
2 Arsenal 67
3 Chelsea 65
4 Liverpool 59
5 Everton 56
6 Portsmouth 50
7 Aston Villa 49
8 Man City 48
9 Blackburn 46
10 West Ham 43
11 Tottenham 36
12 Wigan 31
13 Middlesbro 31
14 Newcastle 29
15 Reading 28
16 Birmingham 27
17 Sunderland 27
18 Bolton 25
19 Fulham 23
20 Derby 10
After 19 Mar 2008


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