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Fulham 1-3 Everton Prem 32 1314 Mirror

last updated Monday 31st March 2014, 12:48 PM
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Neil McLeman at The Mirror

Fulham (0) 1-3 (0) Everton

Roberto Martinez claimed "football miracles happen" as he predicted the race for the final ­Champions League place will go to the last day of the season.

Everton's fifth consecutive Premier League win moved them within four points of Arsenal before Sunday's ­showdown at Goodison Park. And the Toffees, who are seeking revenge for a crushing FA Cup defeat earlier this month, also have a game in hand.

Since losing to the Gunners on March 8, Everton have shown Champions League form even if they needed the help of three second-half substitutes to beat plucky Fulham.

"I think the top-four race will go down to the final day," said Blues boss Martinez. "Spurs are still fighting and Manchester United won't give up. ­Mathematically, you have still got seven teams fighting for the four positions, so I do think it will go down to the end.

"The intensity of every game is ­important. It doesn't matter if you are fighting relegation, to win a title or to finish in the top four. You need to gain momentum and find a real focus.

"I wouldn't say it would be a miracle [for us to make the Champions League], but football miracles happen." Everton looked sluggish during the first half as Tim Howard made good saves from Kieran Richardson and Lewis Holtby.

And 17-year-old Moussa Dembele, making his first Fulham start, headed a chance straight at the US keeper. It proved to be a crucial miss.

Ross Barkley, being watched by England coach Roy Hodgson, went off at half-time with a calf injury to be replaced by Steven Naismith - and Everton improved.

The opening goal came from a Leighton Baines corner after 50 minutes. Naismith's volley came off Gareth Barry and William Kvist, cannoned into keeper David ­Stockdale's feet and into his own net.

The Cottagers' boss Felix Magath made a double change after 64 minutes and seven minutes later sub Ashkan Dejagah cut in from the left to fire home a super equaliser.

But the Everton subs were to have the final say. First Aiden McGeady's ball split the home rearguard to allow his fellow sub Kevin Mirallas to score.

And then Naismith deservedly got his name on the scoresheet after 87 minutes from close range.

"The challenge against Arsenal on Sunday is phenomenal," Martinez added. "But again it reflects on what a good season we have had."

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