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Everton 3-0 Fulham: Cottagers wacked on Merseyside

last updated Saturday 08th December 2007, 5:36 PM

Everton 3 Fulham 0

Lawrie Sanchez
Lawrie Sanchez

Ayegbeni Yakubu grabbed a hat-trick to take his goals haul for Everton since his big-money move from Middlesbrough to nine from 16 matches.

Fulham offered precious little resistance after a drab, goalless first half, but after the break Everton found their form and made it 10 games unbeaten.

Yakubu steered home his first after 51 minutes, headed a second 10 minutes later and completed the scoring with a fine effort after 79 minutes after rounding Dejan Stefanovic.

Joseph Yobo returned to Everton's defence after recovering from an ankle problem, Phil Jagielka dropping to the bench.

Toffees boss David Moyes, looking for a 10th successive unbeaten match which would be his best run in five and a half years at Goodison Park, also recalled Leon Osman and Ayegbeni Yakubu with Andrew Johnson and James McFadden both on the bench.

Fulham made one change from the side that lost 2-0 at Manchester United, with Kamara coming in for Hameur Bouazza.

Fulham produced two corners in the opening minutes that could easily have seen them go ahead.

Firstly a Simon Davies set-piece was met by Diomansy Kamara whose flicked header flashed across goal.

Then Steve Davies produced a chip into the box that Tim Howard had to bravely punch off Dejan Stefanovic's head.

Everton were equally quick into action and Joleon Lescott saw a hook from Mikel Arteta's corner saved by Antti Niemi.

The Finnish goalkeeper then needed to be at his best to touch over a deflected Arteta free-kick.

Kamara got himself booked for failing to retreat 10 yards at a free-kick after 11 minutes.

Everton lost Leighton Baines on 22 minutes with what looked like a hamstring injury.

Match Stats Everton Fulham
Goals 3 0
Possession 61% 39%
Goal attempts 15 6
On Target 11 4
Corners 12 7
Off-sides 3 0
Saves 2 7
Fouls 9 9
Yellows 0 2
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet
Jagielka came on to initially fill the left-back slot before being moved to central defence, allowing Lescott on to the left.

In miserable cold and wet conditions, the pitch was far too slippery for anything approaching decent football. Referee Steve Bennett was being understanding over mis-timed sliding tackles, while good control and passing was at a premium.

Stefanovic mishit 15 yards out and Danny Murphy saw a first-time effort skid wide from further Fulham set-pieces.

Six minutes into the second half Everton's greater urgency saw them take the lead.

Lescott's lob into the box was misheaded by Stefanovic and the ball fell for Tim Cahill to hook goal wards from a difficult angle.

Niemi made a fine save, but the ball rolled out for a somewhat surprised Yakubu to steer it over the line from 10 yards.

Fulham hit back with a snap-shot from Clint Dempsey that Tim Howard pushed away, but this was hard work now for the West Londoners, Everton clearly responding to Moyes' half-time team talk.

And it got worse for the Cottagers in the 61st minutes when poor marking at an Arteta corner allowed Jagielka to flick the ball on, and Yakubu to rise unchallenged to head home from a yard out.

Fulham sent on David Healy for Dempsey three minutes later, but Everton were in full swing by now.

Elliot Omozusi was booked for dissent after running 50 yards to complain to a linesman over the lack of an offside decision when Arteta almost made it three.

Seol Ki-Hyeon took over from Danny Murphy but by now Sanchez was just re-arranging the deckchairs on a sinking ship.

And after 79 minutes Yakubu completed his hat-trick. He side-stepped Stefanovic with ease in the box to guide the ball past Niemi.

Eight minutes from the end Johnson and McFadden took over from Cahill and Yakubu, clearly with Wednesday's cup tie in mind.

  • Everton manager David Moyes:
    "Yakubu does what he does best - scored goals. He is getting better at the other things we want from him, but his strength is scoring goals and he's done it everywhere he has been.

    "He scored three in the second half, and I think if we had scored six no-one could have questioned it. Some of our football in the second half was as good as we have played."

  • Fulham manager Lawrie Sanchez:
    "It is difficult to cope with good quality players like Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta, and Yakubu made the most of his chances.

    "I know it sounds like whingeing again, but I thought the first goal was offside. It was another poor decision that went against us.

    "It gave Everton a lift and formed the bedrock of their second-half display.

    "We had to go forward from then, and that meant we could be opened up by a good side - and that is what Everton are."

  • Everton: Howard, Neville, Lescott, Yobo, Baines (Jagielka 23), Osman, Arteta, Cahill (Johnson 82), Carsley, Pienaar, Yakubu (McFadden 82).
    Subs Not Used: Wessels, Anichebe.

    Goals: Yakubu 51, 61, 79.

    Fulham: Niemi, Omozusi, Hughes, Stefanovic, Konchesky, Davies, Davis, Murphy (Ki-Hyeon 74), Kamara, Kuqi, Dempsey (Healy 64).
    Subs Not Used: Warner, Bocanegra, Baird.

    Booked: Kamara (11, not retreating) , Omozusi (71, dissent).

    Att: 32,743

    Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).

    Source Paul Walker at PA Sport
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