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Everton 4-1 Fulham: Cottagers cut to shreds

last updated Friday 06th April 2007, 11:49 PM
Carlos Bocanegra
Carlos Bocanegra puts Fulham ahead

Everton 4-1 Fulham: Cottagers cut to shreds

Everton produced a stunning display of attacking football to bring their European dream a step nearer after battering relegation-haunted Fulham into submission with a 4-1 win at Goodison Park.

Everton have now lost just two of their last 14 Premiership games and produced their biggest league victory of the campaign.

And it was boss David Moyes' bright young strikers who stole the show. James Vaughan and substitute Victor Anichebe - both 18 - each scored in the rout and Vaughan won a standing ovation for his all-action display.

Unlucky Anichebe was forced to limp off with a calf problem, but that was the only blot on a powerful display by the Toffees who are now up to fifth place in the Premiership.

Lee Carsley and Alan Stubbs scored their first goals of the season before the youngsters got in on the act.

But for Fulham boss Chris Coleman it certainly was a long Good Friday as he saw his side cut to shreds.

It had all started so well for the west Londoners, Carlos Bocanegra putting them ahead early on before they were overpowered by Everton's onslaught.

Everton boss Moyes named an unchanged side from the one that drew at Aston Villa on Monday, as the increasingly impressive Vaughan got another run-out up front, while James McFadden returned to the bench after an eight game absence.

Fulham were without injured trio Franck Queudrue, Papa Bouba Diop and Ian Pearce. Moritz Volz, Zat Knight and Wayne Routledge came in.

And they started well in attack, even though they were soon to be conceding goals at regular intervals.

Early long-range efforts from Liam Rosenior and Alexey Smertin, both over the top, encouraged Fulham.

But Everton almost scored with their first effort, exposing gaping holes in the Fulham's back line.

Joseph Yobo's long ball found Mikel Arteta in yards of space on the left, and his fierce angled drive was only half stopped by Antti Niemi, the ball bouncing off his chest to safety.

Former Everton man Brian McBride then caught Carsley in the face with a stray arm. He apologised immediately, but the Irish midfielder was led away with blood pouring from a cut above an eye.

He returned heavily bandaged and with a completely clean kit. In his absence, Vaughan had turned on a Phil Neville long throw to fire in a shot that Niemi held.

Then on 22 minutes Fulham took the lead, following a curling corner from another ex-Everton man, Simon Davies. The ball swirled into the box and Bocanegra rose to head home unchallenged from the six yard line.

That was all the inspiration Everton needed, and they then scored three in 20 minutes.

They hit back three minutes later, that man Carsley arriving on the near post to stab home a Joleon Lescott low cross after Phil Neville had put the full-back clear on the left.

Match Stats Everton Fulham
Goals 4 1
Possession 49% 51%
Goal attempts 15 16
On Target 10 8
Blocked Shots 1 5
Corners 4 10
Off-sides 4 0
Fouls 18 12
Yellows 0 0
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet/SkySport

And on 34 minutes Everton were ahead. A rather fortunate free-kick after Michael Brown had put the ball out of play before colliding with Arteta, resulted in the Spanish midfielder curling the ball into the box for Stubbs to send a header just inside the far post.

Two minutes from the break another run and cross from Lescott saw Vaughan hit the post from six yards out. But a minute later the youngster was on the scoresheet when he hooked home an Arteta cross.

Vaughan continued to cause all sorts of problems for the Fulham defence with his determination and selfless running.

Almost two years ago he became Everton's youngster-ever player and scorer at 16 years and 271 days, now after losing 14 months of his career to a serious knee injury he is underlining that early potential.

But it was Fulham who almost pulled one back when Rosenior's cross was headed inches wide by McBride.

Then Knight sent a header fizzing just over from a Wayne Routledge free-kick on the left, before Davies saw a flicked header held by Tim Howard. There was still spirit in the Fulham ranks.

But Everton were not to be denied an emphatic victory. Andrew Johnson picked up a painful blow to his knee, but still managed to fire in a header that Niemi tipped over.

Then Johnson set up Vaughan for a fierce drive which was beaten away by the Fulham keeper.

Vaughan received a standing ovation as he was substituted with 12 minutes left by another of Everton's bright young strikers in Anichebe.

And he did not waste much time in getting on the scoresheet.

Two minutes after his arrival, and following a fine cross-field ball to Arteta, he was perfectly placed to drill home the low pass from the Spaniard, much to Vaughan's delight on the bench.

Joleon Lescott admitted Everton had their sights firmly set on qualifying for Europe after their 4-1 win over Fulham at Goodison Park moved them up to fifth in the Premiership.

Carlos Bocanegra put the Cottagers ahead before Lee Carsley brought the Toffees level just three minutes later with Alan Stubbs, James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe on target as the hosts claimed an emphatic win.

Asked if Everton were focused on Europe, Lescott told Sky Sports: 'Definitely. The pressure is on the teams playing tomorrow.

'We've got individual and team targets and if we get those we'll be in Europe.'

Striker Vaughan - the youngest scorer in Premiership history - insisted the victory was deserved although he admitted he had missed easier opportunities to score.

He said: 'It's a good one for the lads, we deserved it. We just ground them down in the end

'It was a brilliant feeling (the goal). I'd had two chances early on but kept on going. It has been a long time coming.'

Everton boss David Moyes praised his team's first-half performance although he admitted the game was only over once they had scored the fourth goal.

Asked if the game had thrilled him, Moyes said: 'The first half did but for the goal. I thought they played really well in the first half, I thought they played some excellent football.

'I thought the goals were exciting goals, there was a lot of enterprising play.

'But I've got to give Fulham credit - they made it difficult in the second half and it was only when we got the fourth goal that I felt we had killed them off.

'We are on a decent run of form at the moment and with the games running out we have to keep that going.'

Fulham boss Chris Coleman admits his side are in the thick of the relegation battle at the foot of the Premiership.

He said: 'We are sucked in already. A win tonight would have taken us 11th. But now Charlton are on a good run and it's up to us to get that next win.'

Coleman bemoaned his side's 'naivety' after conceding the vital third goal moments before half-time but praised the efforts of his players.

'Through naivety we gave away that third goal.

'But in terms of effort at the moment we can't ask for any more, but at this stage of the season we need two wins.

'I don't think the balance of the game was a 4-1.

'The guys are trying too hard and then they get a bit erratic in their decision making. The next win is touching distance away but what we mustn't do is panic.'

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Stubbs, Lescott, Osman, Carsley, Neville, Arteta (Naysmith 82), Vaughan (Anichebe 78), Johnson (Beattie 82).
Subs Not Used: Ruddy, McFadden.

Goals: Carsley 25, Stubbs 34, Vaughan 45, Anichebe 80.

Fulham: Niemi, Volz, Knight, Bocanegra, Rosenior, Routledge, Davies, Brown, Smertin, Radzinski (John 60), McBride, John (Helguson 71).
Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Christanval, Dempsey.

Goals: Bocanegra 22
Headed goal into the bottom-left of goal from the right side of the six-yard box. Assist, cross, by Simon Davies from lefthand side by-line.

Att: 35,612

Ref: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).

Source soccernet
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