Fulltime. Everton win 3-2, and it was hanging on for long spells in the second half. We’ll take the three points any way they come. As the xG chart shows, Everton did not show up in the Fulham half in the second stanza.
90+4 - Everton have done well to keep Fulham pretty much out of dangerous areas, just about a minute left.
Lookman does a Lookman. Cuts away from Davies and has a chance to crcoss in, and lofts it over to end the game.
90’ - Stabilized a bit with some possession, but the danger still lurks. There will be 5 minutes added on.
87’ - Straight 4-4-2 now - Digne, Keane, Mina, Godfrey; Iwobi, Allan, Doucoure, Davies; Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin.
84’ - Everton win a corner and have an opportunity to keep the ball in the Fulham half but Sigurdsson lofts it into Areola’s hands and the pressure resumes.
77’ - Second change for Ancelotti is Richarlison going off and Gylfi Sigurdsson on. Really need to regain control of the midfield area as the Cottagers are running rampant now.
74’ - Everton’s first change will be Tom Davies coming on for James Rodriguez, who has looked gassed and been anonymous in the second half.
The Toffees have simply given up on the game in the second half, and it’s frustrating to see.
72’ - Everton all at sixes and sevens as Fulham look alive now and attacking with purpose. Everton simply cannot hold on to the ball now.
70’ - It is still game on though, because Fulham have taken advantage of Everton’s lax defending. Lookman with a great run, finds Loftus-Cheek whose shot is deflected past Pickford by Mina. 3-2 to Everton.
67’ - This was coming. Fulham have been camped in the Everton half for some time now, and as Loftus-Cheek runs into the box, Godfrey clips him and gives away a penalty.
Ivan Cavalleiro to take, and he MISSES!! Slips on the penalty spot and clips it over!
63’ - Everton have honestly not done well holding on to the ball in the second half, and are preferring to sit back and defend, which is a strategy that has not often worked for the Toffees.
57’ - Honestly there hasn’t been much to say so far. Fulham are making a go of it and have had a lot of the possession in the second half, but Everton have looked mostly organized.
First change for Scott Parker is Mitrovic coming on for Tom Cairney. Expect a lot more balls now into the box. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also on.
46’ - The second half is underway, and much like the first half it’s already end-to-end action.
Mina has a chance at a corner up against Areola, collides with the goalkeeper who gathers the ball.
Halftime Thoughts - Blues lead 3-1 at the break. They’ve looked shaky at the back playing in a three-man backline, giving up a goal and another couple of chances. The positive news is that they’ve looked very dangerous in possession, with Richarlison, Iwobi, James, and Digne all looking imperious with the ball and Fulham have no answers.
45’ - Iwobi has been tearing Robinson to shreds in the first half, the youngster is getting a trial by fire today. There will be two more minutes of time added on.
42’ - Digne almost got his hattrick of assists there, delightful low ball after James picks him out again on the left, and it fizzes through Richarlison’s legs and he can’t connect.
40’ - Ben Godfrey has been a bit uncomfortable today out on the right side of the three-man backline. Might need some time to establish himself, but it’s strange Ancelotti opted to use him instead of Mason Holgate.
35’ - Doucoure gets his first Everton goal!! 3-1 Blues!! Another sweeping move with James and Digne combining to send in a delightful cross into the box, and Doucoure steaming in heads home powerfully.
31’ - More chaos in the Fulham backline and the Blues win a corner but it’s wasted.
30’ - GOAL! 2-1 to the Blues! Iwobi with a wonderful slaloming run, finds James who sees Digne overlapping free, his center is bundled in perfectly by DCL who gets his brace.
Quick VAR check confirms DCL was onside.
23’ - Richarlison with more space down the left, wins a corner that is also promptly cleared.
21’ - Doucoure steals the ball, finds Richarlison who plays a 1-2 with DCL and then fires a low shot that is put out for a corner by Areola. The corner itself is wasted.
18’ - DCL has the ball in the net, but it’s offside. He went a hair early but Iwobi’s cross across the face of goal was perfect for the striker to slide into the far post.
16’ - 1-1 now, too easy for the hosts. Sweet passing move between three players as a static Everton midfield and defence watch Reed get behind Keane and Mina nowhere, and the forward slots it past Jordan Pickford. Goalie could have done better, as could most of the Blues really.
14’ - Robinson with a pair of lovely crosses into the box. He was always better in the opposing half than in his own for the Blues.
13’ - Iwobi playing as right wingback swings in a dangerous cross, lost in a sea of legs and squirts to Areola with DCL lurking.
10’ - Antonee Robinson with an awful giveaway outside his box but is lucky Richarlison cannot do more with it.
8’ - Comedy of errors here. Pickford makes a hash of clearing a lofted back pass, comes down with snow on it and Michael Keane handles outside the box trying to head it away.
Freekick is blocked for a throw and eventually out for a corner. Fulham take it short and then it’s offside.
5’ - So the commentators were just telling us that we have a three-man backline in a 3-5-2 when the Blues scored, we’ll be watching for that.
1’ - GOAL!! Everton score early! Richarlison steals the ball in a dangerous area, drives to the line and his centre somewhat fortuitously comes to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and 41 seconds in the Toffees lead!
Jonjoe Kenny has traveled to London with the squad but doesn’t make the cut of eighteen. As expected Richarlison is back and Alex Iwobi the latest to get a chance in that midfield alongside Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
For Fulham, Aleksandr Mitrovic is on the bench while Ademola Lookman is in the starting XI.
After a brilliant start to the season, Everton have slipped into a three-game skid that needs arresting before it turns into a full-fledged avalanche. Enter Fulham.
Struggling in the early going after gaining promotion to the top tier, the Cottagers only have one win to their name so far this season and will be looking to double that number while the Toffees are desperately looking for a return to winning ways.
The suspension of Richarlison for three games has not coincidentally also seen the Blues hobble to three straight losses in which they’ve looked flat and uninspired while also being found out tactically by Southampton, Newcastle United and then Manchester United.
Will the return of the Brazilian talisman see a change in fortunes, or will it take a tweak or three from Carlo Ancelotti to bring home the three points?
Competition: Premier League Matchday 9
Date and start time: Sunday, November 22nd at 4:00 a.m. PT / 7:00 a.m ET / 12:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: Craven Cottage, London, England, United Kingdom
Capacity: 19,359 (behind closed doors)
Weather: 51°F/11°C, showers, 4% chance of precipitation, 4 mph winds
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Pickford, Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne, Allan, Doucoure, Iwobi, Rodriguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Olsen, Holgate, Davies, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Tosun
Areola, Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson, Lemina, Reed, Lookman, Cairney, Cavaleiro, Decordova-Reid
Subs: Rodak, Odoi, Ream, Bryan, Anguissa, Loftus-Cheek, Mitrovic
The last time the Blues traveled to Craven Cottage a couple of seasons ago, the hosts had lost over ten games in a row but as happens more often than not, a visit from Everton is what it usually takes to get <insert player/team name here> firing again. That’s exactly what happened as an uninspired Toffees side were well-beaten 2-0 and pretty much gave up the ghost of chasing for a European spot after that loss. Carlo Ancelotti will be looking for much better from his side today.