Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagged a brace as Everton returned to winning ways with a 3-2 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side came into this game on the back of three successive defeats before the international break, but ended that slide with an emphatic performance which saw them open the scoring after just 42 seconds.
Fulham gave up possession inside their own area, allowing Richarlison to drive into the box. The Brazilian’s cross was deflected into the path of Calvert-Lewin who bundled a finish into the net from close range.
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The Cottagers equalised after 15 minutes, with Bobby Decordova-Reed angling a tidy finish across Jordan Pickford and into the far corner of the Everton net, but the Toffees struck back when Calvert-Lewin converted a Lucas Digne cross.
Digne was the provider once more as his delivery found Abdoulaye Doucoure, who powered home a header from six yards out to give Everton a two-goal cushion heading into the half time interval.
A foul from Ben Godfrey on Aleksandar Mitrovic inside the box gave Fulham a chance to score a second only for Ivan Cavaleiro to miss - Fulham’s third straight penalty miss. Seconds later, though, Ruben Loftus-Cheek had the ball in the net from an Ademola Lookman cut-back.
Fulham pressed hard for an equaliser, with Loftus-Cheek and Mitrovic making a difference, but Everton held on for a win that lifts them up to sixth place in the Premier League table and keeps the Cottagers in 17th.
TALKING POINT - Positives for Scott Parker despite defeat
The introduction of Loftus-Cheek and Mitrovic off the bench in the second half changed the game for Fulham. The power and presence of both players pushed Everton back and gave the Cottagers a platform in the opposition half. This match might have been a different story had these two players started. By the time they came on, Fulham had dug themselves an almighty hole. Despite the defeat, Parker will take positives from his side’s second half display as he edges closer to a trusted lineup.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
Calvert-Lewin’s astonishing scoring run continued with a double in this win for Everton. With Richarlison and James back in the team, the Toffees looked dangerous in the final third of the pitch, particularly in the first half, with Calvert-Lewin the man providing the cutting edge in front of goal. Ancelotti is getting the best out of the 23-year-old at this moment in time. The team is built around him as an attacking apex.
Fulham - Areola 5, Aina 5, Andersen 5, Adarabioyo 4, Robinson 5, Lemina 5, Reed 7, Cavaleiro 6, Cairney 6, Lookman 5, Reid. Subs - Loftus-Cheek 7, Mitrovic 7, Zambo Anguissa 5.
Everton - Pickford 6, Godfrey 4, Keane 5, Mina 5, Digne 8, Iwobi 7, Allan 7, Doucoure 7, James 7, Richarlison 8, Calvert-Lewin 8. Subs - Sigurdsson 5, Davies 5.
1’ GOAL! Fulham 0-1 Everton: What a start for the Toffees! They have scored within the opening minute! Fulham gave the ball away inside their own half, Richarlison drove into the box and put the pass on a plate for Calvert-Lewin to finish from close range!
15’ GOAL! Fulham 1-1 Everton: It's an equaliser! Very nice finish from Decordova-Reed! Cairney prodded the pass through and the 27-year-old found the bottom corner of the Everton net with a very nice finish across Pickford! The home side are back on level terms!
30’ GOAL! Fulham 1-2 Everton: It's that man again! Everton sweep the ball out to Digne, he feeds the cross into Calvert-Lewin and he makes no mistake in finishing from close range. He is in such exceptional goalscoring form! Calvert-Lewin is on a third hat trick this season!
35’ GOAL! Fulham 1-3 Everton: It's a third goal for Everton! Dreadful defending from Fulham and they have a mountain to climb now! Digne got the cross into the box and Doucoure was on hand to head home from close range. The midfielder had a completely free header!
68’ PENALTY KICK MISSED! Can you believe it! Cavaleiro takes the spot kick after recent misses from Mitrovic and Lookman, but he's missed as well! He kicks the ball on to his other foot and it spins over.
70’ GOAL! Fulham 2-3 Everton: Fulham have found the back of the Everton net for a second time! Lookman drove into the box and cut back the pass for Loftus-Cheek. His shot picked up a deflection off Mina and spun into the back of Pickford's net. A lifeline for the hosts!
Fulham have missed five of their last eight Premier League penalties, including each of the last three, all taken by different players (Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ademola Lookman and Ivan Cavaleiro).
Everton have conceded two or more goals in six consecutive Premier League games for the first time since October 2008.
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