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Match Report: Fulham beat Everton ~ Prem MD 01 ~ 23/24

last updated Wednesday 29th November 2023, 5:23 PM

Match Report

Everton (0) 0-1 (1) Fulham

Premiership Match Day 01 2324 at Goodison Park

Saturday 12th August 2023    KO: 15:00

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Striker Bobby De Cordova-Reid
Fulham Striker
Bobby De Cordova-Reid
Bobby De Cordova-Reid
His Wiki page

Fulham midfielder Bobby Decordova-Reid, who was making his 400th senior appearance having replaced Willian at half-time, prodded home fellow substitute Andreas Pereira's cross to seal a smash-and-grab victory for the Cottagers, a third successive success at Goodison Park, which got Fulham’s 2023/24 Premier League campaign get off to the perfect start.

Fulham boss Marco Silva, on his return to Merseyside, watched his side ride their luck in the opening period as Neal Maupay was guilty of missing three glaring chances as Bernd Leno inspired Fulham to an opening win on the road.

Keane's first-half goal was disallowed as the centre-back turned the ball into an empty net and celebrated almost apologetically before referee Stuart Attwell, having initially not blown, ruled there had been an infringement in the collision between goalkeeper Leno and James Tarkowski.

Nathan Patterson struck the crossbar for the hosts and moments later Decordova-Reid dealt the killer blow as the same problems persisted for Everton, who lost an 11th game in their last 20 league outings at Goodison Park.

It burst the bubble of optimism which had been generated by an energetic and relatively creative opening 73 minutes of the season and will have infuriated Dyche as much as it delighted former Toffees boss Silva.

The Portuguese said: "I'm really pleased for the result. I can't hide how important it is for us to start by winning games away from home in the Premier League.

"We know what it means to play at Goodison on the first day of the season. The crowd wanted their team on the front foot and they created some chances. They could've punished us on the counter-attack but Bernd was at a top level this afternoon. What a performance from him."

Despite generating twice as many shots as the visitors, Dyche's side were undone by one square pass across their six-yard area when Pereira beat Patterson to an Aleksandar Mitrovic's through-ball for a tap-in by Decordova-Reid.

Silva knows all about the trials and tribulations of being under the spotlight at Everton, having been in charge for 18 months which ended in his sacking in December 2019. Despite Fulham's possessional dominance, it was Everton who registered all the clear-cut chances of the opening 45 minutes.

Leno was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers having denied Maupay on three occasions while also keeping out an early shot from Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Doucoure, who scored the crucial goal to preserve Everton's top-flight status against Bournemouth on the final day of last season, latched onto an Amadou Onana pass and after a slip from Tim Ream, Leno made himself big to deny him.

Everton thought they had taken the lead when Keane swept home a loose ball from Patterson's hopeful cross, but Attwell deemed there to have been a foul by Tarkowski in the build-up. It appeared a soft call from referee, but Leno did have two hands on the ball as he lost control under pressure.

On Everton's disallowed goal, Dyche said afterwards: "I think VAR is there to make sure that doesn't go the wrong way because our defender has done nothing. Tarky just stands there, the keeper catches it and drops it on his head. He did not try to impede him, it bounces out of his hands, we score and bizarrely they get a foul.

"I don't know where that one lives. That is the modern game, you touch a keeper and it is a foul. He did not do it deliberately and the whole stadium knows that."

Everton generated 19 shots to their opponents' nine from just 41 per cent possession but failed to capitalise with Calvert-Lewin's deputy Maupay most culpable.

His best chance came after the impressive Alex Iwobi crossed from the left and after Doucoure chested the ball into the forward's path, his flick towards goal lacked conviction as Leno smothered.

Silva looked to grapple control of the contest at the break with Decordova-Reid replacing the booked Willian - and the visitors came close to nudging ahead when debutant Raul Jimenez struck the post from Harry Wilson's cross.

It was Jimenez's final act as Mitrovic was summoned. Midway through the second half, it was Everton's turn to be frustrated by the woodwork as Patterson was unable to control his shot on the rebound after Leno again kept out an Iwobi effort from range.

It would prove a costly miss as moments after Maupay was hauled off in place of Arnaut Danjuma, Everton were caught cold as Pereira beat Patterson to the cross to allow Decordova-Reid to snatch the victory on his landmark day.

Fulham boss Marco Silva was pleased with the result, if not the performance, in Fulham’s season opener at Everton.

A virtuoso display from Bernd Leno was the only reason we were goalless at the break, but a much improved second 45 culminated in Bobby De Cordova-Reid snatching the winning goal.

“That was not a good performance from ourselves at all,” Silva said in his post-match press conference. “I think overall during the game, we didn't perform at our level.

“Even if we started the game well, after the first 15-20 minutes we started to lose so many balls in our build-up, in certain areas. We gave so many chances for Everton to punish us in counter attacks.

“They had their chances, of course, a good number of chances during the first half, because we gave them so many moments for them to punish us.

“To be honest, it was much more our fault because we didn't perform. Bernd kept us in the game. A great, great performance from Bernd Leno kept us in the game in certain moments when we were under pressure.

“We changed some things at half-time, second half was slightly different.”

“Great impact from the players that came from the bench – Bobby, Mitro and Andreas,” Silva stated. “It was nice to see them involved in the goal we scored, a great moment from ourselves, open play moment that combined down our right side and with Bobby on the opposite side.

“It was probably our best moment during the match. But second half, I have to say, was much more balanced.

“We hit the post as well, like Everton hit the crossbar, we had more chances in the second than the first, but in terms of our compactness, in terms of defensive organisation, it was not really good, not even 50 per cent what it should be.

“Even so, we were able to win a football match. In this circumstance, it is a great feeling for us.

“It is not a problem for me to say probably Everton deserved a different result this afternoon. But football is like that, in some moments it’s going to be ourselves playing better, creating more chances but not winning.

“But it’s a great feeling when you don't play at your level during 95 minutes and you are able to win a game away from home. I know what it means to play through this.

“First game of the season, all the fans will be pushing the home side and trying to get them to play on the front foot.

“First 15 minutes we took the ball from them and we didn't give them a chance. After that we had much more problems, but it’s good to see the togetherness and the attitude inside the pitch, and we were able to win the match.”

Everton boss Sean Dyche: "I'm very disappointed in the fact that we didn't win the game, certainly get a point, very dominant chance count and high quality chances.

"We did not finish them off and we know fom last season we have to improve at that, but we were getting the team in the right manner and the right areas, I was pleased with that because that is the highest chance count and quality of chance count that I can remember for a long time here.

"We created four or five golden chances in the first half and were very good on the break as well. I thought we were the better side overall, but sometimes you don't get what you deserve.

"The crowd need to stay with us again because we have roughly the same group of players, we have adapted to what we are and that is what we showed today."

Fulham have won three of their last four Premier League games against Everton (D1), as many wins as in their previous 18 league matches against the Toffees (W3 D2 L13).

Everton have begun a Premier League campaign with defeat in each of the last two seasons (also a 0-1 home loss to Chelsea in 2022-23) having avoided defeat on MD1 in the previous 10 campaigns (W4 D6).

Fulham have won their opening game to a Premier League season for the first time since 2013-14 (1-0 vs Sunderland), having failed to win their previous three MD1 games in the competition before today (D1 L2).

No current Premier League side has lost more home matches in the competition since the start of last season than Everton (11), while the Toffees have failed to win any of their last 13 home league matches in which they have conceded at least one goal (D2 L11).

Everton : Pickford, Patterson, Keane, Tarkowski, Young, Garner (Dobbin 83), Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, Doucoure, Maupay (Danjuma 72)

Unused substitutes: Virgínia, Mykolenko, Gomes, Godfrey, Branthwaite, Cannon, Onyango

Fulham : Leno, Tete, Diop, Ream, Robinson, Reed, Lukic, Cairney (Pereira 58), Wilson, Jimenez (Mitrovic 58), Willian (De Cordova-Reid 45)

Unused substitutes: Rodak, Bassey, Mbabu, Vinicius, Dibley-Dias, Stansfield

De Cordova-Reid 73 (Everton completely switch off from the reset and Bobby De Cordova-Reid pokes Fulham in front! Andreas Pereira is fed inside the box and he slides to cross for fellow substitute De Cordova-Reid to tap in a simple finish. It's Fulham's first attempt on target. FPL assist: Andreas Pereira)

Booked: Willian (30,f), Tete (87,tw), Marco Silva is booked (90+2)

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Attendance: 39,940

Source Ben Grounds at Sky Sports
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