Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his excellent scoring form with two goals as Everton returned to winning ways in an absorbing encounter with Fulham.
Richarlison made an immediate impact on his return from a three-match suspension by providing the cross for Calvert-Lewin to bundle in after just 42 seconds.
In a dramatic game, Bobby Decordova-Reid equalised for the hosts with a clean right-foot finish before England forward Calvert-Lewin went top of the Premier League scoring charts with his 10th of the season from Lucas Digne’s cross.
France defender Digne provided another assist before half-time, this time for Abdoulaye Doucoure to head home unchallenged for Everton’s third – and his first since joining from Watford.
Fulham missed their third penalty of the season, awarded for Ben Godfrey’s foul on Ruben Loftus-Cheek, when Ivan Cavaleiro slipped, hit the ball against his wrong foot and sent it over the bar.
Substitute Loftus-Cheek’s deflected finish from Ademola Lookman’s pass set up a grandstand finish but it was not enough to prevent Fulham from sinking to a seventh defeat in nine games.
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Everton back on track
This was much harder than it should have been for Everton – so much so that their players greeted the final whistle with evident relief.
After coasting into a 3-1 lead, they were left hanging on as they allowed Fulham a lifeline before finally securing a first win for seven weeks to reignite their campaign.
After a tough run of results, there were many positives for Carlo Ancelotti to take back to Merseyside.
Alex Iwobi has struggled to nail down a regular slot in the side but was dynamic in south-west London.
With Brazil forward Richarlison eager to make up for lost time in his first club game since 17 October and Digne providing a couple of quality assists, Everton dominated Fulham for long periods.
In addition, Calvert-Lewin continues to impress and now has 15 goals in 16 appearances for club and country this season.
“He is doing really well, honestly I didn’t expect him to have the consistency he has in this period,” said Ancelotti, who was asked about Calvert-Lewin’s chances of winning the Golden Boot.
“To win the Golden Boot, it would mean he is scoring lots of goals and good also for the club, but I don’t know.
“The target is not this for him – the target is to score goals to help the team be at the top of the table.”
Ancelotti will be annoyed at his side’s falure to keep a first clean sheet in the league since the opening weekend, Tom Cairney’s pass splitting the defence for Decordova-Reid to score before Loftus-Cheek netted moments after Fulham’s latest penalty mishap.
With a tough December looming, which includes games against Chelsea, Leicester, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United, Everton’s season is at least back on the right track.
Fulham’s spot-kick nightmare continues
After a poor start to life back in the Premier League, there have been signs that Fulham could be turning a corner following a hard-earned point against Sheffield United and victory over West Brom.
Against Everton, they were once again authors of their own misfortune.
They gave away possession for the visitors’ opening goal, failed to mark Doucoure who made it 3-1 and suffered their third straight failure from the spot.
In their previous game on 7 November, Lookman missed a Panenka-style penalty with the last kick of the game against West Ham.
With Aleksandar Mitrovic also having missed from the spot against Sheffield United on 18 October, Portuguese forward Cavaleiro took responsibility after Godfrey’s foul with Fulham trailing 3-1.
The former Wolves player stepped forward – and was penalised for double hitting the ball after slipping and kicking it against his non-kicking foot, sending his effort flying high over the bar.
“You couldn’t have written it,” said Fulham boss Scott Parker.
“Ivan is an exceptional penalty taker and last time I was in this situation with Ademola Lookman, I was angry and disappointed with the way we missed it, but today these things can happen.”
Although substitute Loftus-Cheek managed to pull a goal back, Fulham could not find an equaliser and now face daunting games at Leicester and Manchester City before hosting Liverpool on 12 December.
‘Lack of intensity’ – what they said
Fulham boss Scott Parker: “There needs to be an intensity about us. A reaction in the second half should not have to come from a rollicking at half-time.
“What I cannot accept from my team is that at times, certainly in the first half, we were second best to the 50-50 challenges.”
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti: “Every game will be a test but our target is to fight for the top of the table, not the bottom.
“We started the season really well and had a difficult period, now the difficult period is gone and we need to have consistency in our results.”
Three points but defensive worries continue – the stats
- Everton have conceded two or more goals in six consecutive Premier League games for the first time since October 2008.
- Fulham’s Bobby Decordova-Reid scored in back-to-back home league games for the first time since April 2018 for Bristol City.
- Only Chelsea (12) have scored more goals in the first minute of Premier League games than Everton (10 – level with Tottenham).
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s opener after just 42 seconds was the earliest Premier League goal Everton have scored since April 2017 against Leicester (30 seconds).
- Since making his Premier League debut in August 2018, only Trent Alexander-Arnold (26) and Andrew Robertson (25) have provided more assists in the competition among defenders than Everton’s Lucas Digne (15).
Fulham have more than a week to prepare for their next Premier League game at Leicester on 30 November (17:30 GMT), while Everton host Leeds at Goodison Park on Saturday (17:30).
Player of the match
with an average of 8.10
Squad number15Player nameLoftus-Cheek
Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid
Squad number19Player nameLookman
Squad number29Player nameZambo Anguissa
Squad number33Player nameRobinson
Squad number1Player nameAreola
Squad number10Player nameCairney
Squad number9Player nameMitrovic
Squad number21Player nameReed
Squad number34Player nameAina
Squad number16Player nameAdarabioyo
Squad number18Player nameLemina
Squad number5Player nameAndersen
Squad number17Player nameCavaleiro
Squad number9Player nameCalvert-Lewin
Squad number12Player nameDigne
Squad number7Player nameRicharlison
Squad number17Player nameIwobi
Squad number16Player nameDoucouré
Squad number6Player nameAllan
Squad number19Player nameRodríguez
Squad number26Player nameDavies
Squad number5Player nameKeane
Squad number22Player nameGodfrey
Squad number1Player namePickford
Squad number10Player nameG Sigurdsson
Squad number13Player nameMina
- 33RobinsonBooked at 56mins
- 18LeminaSubstituted forZambo Anguissaat 69′minutes
- 14De Cordova-ReidBooked at 29minsSubstituted forLoftus-Cheekat 58′minutes
- 10CairneySubstituted forMitrovicat 58′minutes
- 29Zambo Anguissa
- 19RodríguezSubstituted forDaviesat 74′minutes
- 7RicharlisonSubstituted forG Sigurdssonat 76′minutes
- 10G Sigurdsson
- 21André Gomes
Match ends, Fulham 2, Everton 3.
Second Half ends, Fulham 2, Everton 3.
Foul by Harrison Reed (Fulham).
Abdoulaye Doucouré (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Fulham).
Lucas Digne (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Ola Aina (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton).
Foul by Joachim Andersen (Fulham).
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ola Aina.
Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ola Aina.
Foul by Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Fulham).
Tom Davies (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Ademola Lookman (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Hand ball by Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton).
Foul by André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Fulham).
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Everton. Gylfi Sigurdsson replaces Richarlison.
Substitution, Everton. Tom Davies replaces James Rodríguez.
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