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Everton 3-2 Fulham: Instant Reaction | Close shave

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The Blues made it harder for themselves than it needed to be

FBL-ENG-PR-FULHAM-EVERTON Photo by JOHN SIBLEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Everton fans were curious to see which Toffees would show up today - the quick-moving free-flowing side that started the season, or the ponderously slow passing team that has featured for the last three losses in a row.

That answer was provided within 42 seconds of the opening whistle as Richarlison stole the ball in a dangerous area and then slid in a pass for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to bundle into the net while fans were still getting their beverages and trying to work out what channel the game is on (BBC One (UK) and Peacock (US)).

Fulham did look dangerous in possession though and were finding plenty of gaps in Carlo Ancelotti’s 3-4-3, so it was really no surprise when Bobby Cordova-Reed ghosted behind Yerry Mina and Michael Keane to slot home the equalizer.

Everton’s response was breathtaking though, scoring twice from flowing moves and could have had a hatful more too. Both goals bore the hallmark of James Rodriguez finding Lucas Digne in space, and the Frenchman picking up a pair of assists first with a low cross for DCL to get his brace and then Abdoulaye Doucoure heading home his first goal for Everton.

The second half started with more of the same, end-to-end with the Cottagers trying tp pull back another goal and Everton looking dangerous on the break.

Scott Parker made the first moves of the second half, bringing on Aleksandr Mitrovic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and seeing a resulting uptick in attacking activity as the Blues looked to sit on their lead and pick off the hosts on the counter.

The changes paid off for the hosts, as Loftus-Cheek won a penalty almost immediately being brought down by Ben Godfrey in the box. The young defender did not have a good game and looked off the pace for most of it. Ivan Cavalleiro stepped up to take it, and made it the third penalty miss for Fulham this season after tripping and kicking the ball comically into his own feet.

It was Fulham who were laughing in a minute though, with Loftus-Cheek getting his goal off a deflection from Mina. Suddenly Everton were all at sea and the hosts dominated possession for the next ten minutes or so in the Toffees half, without really getting more dangerous chances.

Everton stabilized it a bit in the last few minutes but the referee added to the tension with five plus minutes to be added on.