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West Ham United
28 April 2012
• Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 31885
FULL TIME at Goodison Park. Everton completed an excellent victory with a sublime goal as Tim Cahill latched onto Steven Pienaar's chipped through ball in a second half that otherwise lacked excitement. The game had effectively been won in the first half as an error-strewn Fulham were unable to cope with a confident Everton attack who took the lead early on when Pavel Pogrebnyak foolishly gave away a penalty that Nikica Jelavic took with aplomb. The excellent Steven Pienaar drifted across the pitch throughout the match and set up all three remaining goals with Fellaini winning a free header and Jelavic making the most of nervous defending to extend the lead. Fulham built some spells of possession but were generally repelled comfortably as the Toffees restricted themselves to pressing only in certain areas, and as such the Cottagers had only one real chance as Clint Dempsey hit the bar following a Pogrebnyak knockdown. Everton defended and attacked confidently throughout and the scoreline reflects their comfort on a day in which everything went their way.
90' + 2'
Magaye Gueye crosses in from the left flank and the advanced Tony Hibbert heads back into Jelavic as the crowd encourage him to shoot from an angle.
Danny Murphy overhits an attempted ball over the top of defence for Chris Baird in the freekick that results from a challenge on Clint Dempsey.
Kerim Frei gets himself offside as he attempts to run on to Danny Murphy's through ball. It's just not been Fulham's day.
Pienaar is taken off to applause and is replaced by attacker Magaye Gueye
Dickson Etuhu comes on in a straight swap for the away side.
Pienaar picks the ball up in space on the right edge of the box before shooting towards the far post, forcing a save from Schwarzer diving to his right. Leon Osman picks up the ball shortly afterwards and is not closed down quickly, before blasting left footed forcing another save from Schwarzer.
Yellow Card Mahamadou Diarra
Diarra is booked for a foul on Ross Barkley.
Fulham gain another spell in possession but Everton continue the pattern they have successfully pursued in the course of the game as they allow Fulham to have the ball further back and apply pressure to repel them from areas of greater danger.
Everton replace midfield powerhouse Fellaini with exciting 18-year-old Ross Barkley.
Jelavic is on-hand to break down the left flank but is called offside after moving just a fraction too early.
Everton pile on the pressure and continue to show threat up front, but Fulham defend deep and their latest move ends when Phil Neville shoots into a crowd of players.
After Frei had ended up running back to his own goal, Diarra gives the ball away for Fulham after overhitting a pass to right back Chris Baird on the right wing.
Murphy apologises to Riise after misplacing a through ball to the left back.
Midfield schemer Danny Murphy comes on for striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, allowing Dembele and Dempsey to advance up the pitch as Fulham's new attacking duo.
Jelavic's freekick is saved by Schwarzer as he dives to his right to tip wide his swerving effort.
Fulham have mounted some spells of possession before and since the goal but Everton have always looked able to repel them and Dembele continues this trend by giving the ball away and proceeding to foul Jelavic to concede a freekick outside the box.
Assist Steven Pienaar
Goal Tim Cahill
Everton 4 (Cahill) - 0 Fulham. Everton continue a confident display with an excellent goal after Cahill latches on to Pienaar's dinked through ball over the top of the Fulham defence and dives with his right foot outstretched to slot under Schwarzer for his side's fourth goal of the match.
Dembele is at the centre of a spell of Fulham possession which he concludes by passing to Duff on the right wing, whose cross is cleared.
Frei is surrounded by the left corner flag and finds Riise who crosses into the box for Fellaini to comfortably head clear.
Cahill and Fellaini combine to dispossess Dempsey by the centre circle.
Everton keep the pitch wide as they invite Fulham to come forward and press them before finding Osman in space between the lines and building an attack. Clever play.
Jelavic looks shocked that he is not awarded a freekick after a robust Hangeland challenge prevents him controlling the ball after Osman had passed his way.
It's Everton's turn to keep the ball as the Toffees stroke the ball across the park.
Fulham replace Phillippe Senderos with Chris Baird who will appear at right back as Aaron Hughes moves in to the centre of defence.
Tim Cahill has come on for Darron Gibson and will replace Marouane Fellaini who will drop back into central midfield.
And Fulham get the second half away with a sustained spell of possession.
HALFTIME at Goodison Park. Going into the game only three teams had a worse away record than Fulham and a confident Everton have emphatically made the most of that poor record. The Toffees have looked confident throughout the match and have attacked and defended with confidence. The home side capitalised on their penalty won after a needless Pogrebnyak handball to take an early lead, and the away defence continued to look shaky as Fellaini scored a free header and Jelavic was allowed through to fire in his second, on each occasion helped by failure to make goal line clearances. The Cottagers have demonstrated some skill in attack with Dempsey hitting the bar, but have been contained by an Everton side who have been content to see them have the ball in their own half and struggle for penetration.
45' + 1'
Dempsey shoots narrowly wide of the right post after taking aim from just outside the left edge of the box following good work by Dembele and Frei.
Yellow Card Darron Gibson
Darron Gibson is booked for a foul Clint Dempsey on the edge of the box. Diarra takes the freekick but the away side do not make the most of the advantage.
Assist Steven Pienaar
Goal Nikica Jelavic
Jelavic scores his second goal of the match amid chaotic Fulham defending. Pienaar had slotted an accurate through ball while off-balance on the edge of the box for the Croatian, who looked to round Schwarzer as he ran off his line. Jelavic found the angle tight and looked up for support but decided instead to fire at the near post and the ball went through Schwarzer's legs and evaded the surprised Aaron Hughes as he looked to clear off the line.
Heitinga confidently dispossesses Pogrebnyak as the Russian attempts to take on the centre back on the right flank by the half way line as his side break away following a lengthy Everton attack.
Everton continue to impress and after a lengthy build-up Osman falls in the penalty area under a challenge from Hangeland as his side appeal for a penalty.
Everton look comfortable on the ball with and neatly attack down the right flank with Hibbert, Fellaini combining for Osman to cross which Hughes nervously heads behind. Pienaar picks up the ball and swings in a low cross from the right flank which Fellaini attempts to control unsuccessfully inside the box.
Clint Dempsey hits the bar after Pogrebnyak wins a header in the box to head a right wing cross into the US international's path. Dempsey chests the ball down and works space for a right foot shot from just right of the penalty shot, but the American keeper shows great agility to dive left and tip the ball onwo the bar.
Fulham enjoy a spell of possession for the first time of the game. Everton are defending fairly deep and allow them to have time on the ball in their own half, and until this point the away side had been struggling for penetration.
Jelavic advances up the pitch and although he is tackled Fellaini is on hand to receive the ball and continue the attack through Darron Gibson. Everton are looking confident and Pienaar is drifting all over the pitch exerting considerable influence alongside the giant Fellaini.
Good combination from Fellaini and Pienaar sees Distin receive the ball on the left wing with time to curve in a clever low cross that John Arne Riise awkwardly heads back to Schwarzer.
Dembele finds Duff on the right wing who fires in a cross which is cleared for a corner. The Toffees defend convincingly and the crowd cheer as they keep the ball and advance up the pitch.
Fulham attack through Dembele and win a throw in after Distin intercepts a through ball on the left flank.
Jelavic drifts out to the right flank to contribute to some nice link up play in the Everton midfield.
Phil Neville runs on to a through ball which on this occasion is defended well by Aaron Hughes at right back.
Assist Steven Pienaar
Goal Marouane Fellaini
Fellaini gets a free header from Pienaar's corner in the centre of the box and directs his header low to the left of the goal. Damien Duff on the line has a nightmare as he swings his left foot to clear the ball but misses to concede the second goal of the match.
Jelavic hits the post after running from left to right in behind Hangeland, controlling the ball and slotting the ball to the diving Schwarzer's left. It comes back off the right post however.
Pienaar is dispossessed in the centre of the park and Frei gets another opportunity to run at the Everton defence. He was unsuccessful on this occasion.
Johnny Heitinga blasts a freekick well over from a long way out in the centre of Fulham's half.
Good appreach play from Fulham sees Kerim Frei receive the ball on the edge of the box. He makes space to work the ball on to his left foot and strikes firmly at goal forcing a decent save from Tim Howard.
The home crowd appeal for a penalty as Leon Osman goes down on the right edge of the penalty area under pressure from Brede Hangeland but they are unsuccessful.
Penalty Goal Nikica Jelavic
Everton 1 (Jelavic) - 0 Fulham It's a cheap penalty for Everton as Pavel Pogrebnyak needlessly handles the ball in the wall. Nikica Jelavic smashes it down the middle as Schwarzer dives to his left for the opening goal.
It's a cheap penalty for Everton as Pavel Pogrebnyak needlessly handles the ball in the wall. He drew his forearm as the ball travelled towards his head and it is looks as though he could have headed it away
Moussa Dembele clumsily brings down Steven Pienaar for a freekick on the left edge of the box after the South African cut in from the left wing.
Fellaini knocks the ball down for Pienaar on the edge of the box after a cross from the left flank, but the away defense withstands the danger.
Phillippe Senderos makes a driving run up the pitch from centre back but is dispossessed by Marouane Fellaini. Steven Pienaar dinks a through ball over the top of the Fulham defence but the on-running Distin is offside.
And we're off at Goodison Park. Sylvain Distin at left back takes a throw in won following the kick-off and the ball makes its way to Schwarzer who clears it long. Leighton Baines, the injured left back replaced by Distin, is seen in the crowd.
Neither side has European qualification or Premier League survival at stake, so let's all hope for an open game as the two sides hope to give their fans something memorable at the end of the season.
Fulham have brought in 18-year-old winger Kerim Frei in on the left flank, with Clint Dempsey moved behind striker Pavel Pogrebnyak and playmaker Moussa Dembele alongside Mahamadou Diarra as Danny Murphy drops to the bench.
Everton have gone for the same line-up that drew with Manchester United at Old Trafford, with the more defensive Phil Neville preferred instead of Tim Cahill in midfield. Marouane Fellaini will likely step in to Cahill's attacking role in support of lone striker Nikica Jelavic who has now scored six goals in his six starts for the Toffees.
Fulham: Schwarzer; Hughes, Senderos, Hangeland, John Arne Riise; Duff, Diarra, Dembele, Frei; Dempsey; Pogrebnyak. Subs: Stockdale, Baird, Orlando Sa, Kasami, Murphy, Etuhu, Kacaniklic.
Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin; Osman, Gibson, Neville, Pienaar; Fellaini; Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Stracqualursi, McFadden, Cahill, Gueye, Barkley, Anichebe.
Good afternoon and welcome to the Goal.com live play-by-play of Everton-Fulham at Goodison Park. I'm @arthurvirgo here to talk through the day's events. You can make your voice heard via Twitter @GoalUK or through the comments section below.
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