Everton steal the win
Two goals in two minutes as Everton take all three points
Last Updated: October 26, 2011 1:46pm
Fulham paid for Bobby Zamora's shocking late miss as Everton run out 3-1 winners at Craven Cottage on Sunday.
Impressive new signing Royston Drenthe opened the score early on with a stunning low strike that Mark Schwarzer could only parry into the corner.
Bryan Ruiz levelled it at 1-1 with a beautiful goal just two minutes into his debut for Fulham. Ruiz chipped a shot over Tim Howard which dropped just under the bar.
The game turned when Zamora found himself with an open goal after side-stepping Howard only to blaze it over the bar for a terrible miss.
Louis Saha took the ball down the other end and scored for Everton as he brought the ball down in the box then bundled it into the corner with a chip over a diving Schwarzer.
Jack Rodwell then wrapped up the points for Everton in injury time driving his shot into the ground and past Schwarzer from outside the box.
Despite having lost their last three matches, Everton started the brightest of any visiting side at Craven Cottage this season and took an early lead.
Incisive passing through the middle saw the ball fall to Drenthe, who smashed home from 30 yards.
Fulham looked shellshocked as the Toffees continued to press forward and only John Arne Riise's sprawling block thwarted Sylvain Distin minutes later.
Aside from an overhead kick attempt by Clint Dempsey, the visitors were dominating by the Thames and Rodwell was inches away from doubling their lead with a 12th-minute header.
Riise saw a shot blocked and Steve Sidwell fired wide as Fulham tried to gain some authority, before Riise went close with a left-footed half volley.
Everton were still attacking with intent and, after Drenthe tested Schwarzer, Apostolos Vellios somehow managed to direct Tony Hibbert's cross over the bar with a wayward header from close range.
The play was flitting from one end to the other and the Cottagers came close to levelling through Danny Murphy, who saw a 20-yard strike palmed onto the post by Howard.
The United States goalkeeper was forced into action seconds later to prevent international team-mate Clint Dempsey with a one-handed save.
Howard then managed to tip over Brede Hangeland's goalbound header on the half-hour mark.
Fulham continued to press as half-time approached but only a dipping effort from Dempsey came anywhere near to equalising.
The west Londoners continued to press after the break and a rare Hangeland burst forward forced Hibbert into a last-ditch challenge, before the Norway international then nodded wide.
Everton boss David Moyes replaced Vellios with former Fulham favourite Saha five minutes into the second half in a bid to reinvigorate his attack.
While the Toffees front line needed sprucing up, Phil Jagielka and Distin were performing with aplomb in defence as the Cottagers struggled to find an opening.
Jol brought on summer signing Ruiz in a bid to find a way through and the Costa Rica international provided a moment of magic to force a 67th-minute equaliser.
Neat interplay saw the ball spread left to Ruiz, who produced a exquisite chip over Howard just three minutes after coming on.
The goal spurred Everton into life and Schwarzer did superbly to tip a Saha strike wide from close range.
Play became stretched as both sides searched for the all-important third goal of the day, with Fulham coming closest as Howard saved a close-range Ruiz effort with his feet three minutes from the end.
Fulham thought they had grabbed a last-minute winner through Zamora after he latched on to Andrew Johnson's pass and rounded Howard, but somehow he managed to hit the bar.
The Cottagers were made to pay for their futility seconds later as Saha broke free and managed to squeeze home under pressure from Aaron Hughes and Schwarzer.And Everton ensured they would return to Merseyside with all three points in stoppage time as Rodwell smashed home.
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||5|
|7||Shots off Target||4|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|