Fulham 2-3 Everton: Premier League – as it happened

Daniel Harris on 22 November 2020

Right, that’s that from here, but we’ll be back for Arsenal v Leeds in a little bit and then Liverpool v Leicester a little bit after that.

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I daresay both managers will be expressing sentiments in the dressing room. Though Fulham improved after half-time and made changes which helped them, Everton were extremely timid when things started to go against them. I really like Doucoure and Allan, but perhaps a passer in there would help them control games a bit better.

As for Fulham, Lookman looked better on the right, and I wonder if there’s a way Parker can get him, Loftus-Cheek, Mitrovic and Decordova-Reid into the same XI.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is back as top scorer in the league and he’s pleased with the win, which is the important thing. He’s disappointed with how his team played in the second half, and says that they didn’t work hard enough, but also that he benefitted from the 3-5-2 in the first, getting service from wide areas.

Everton move above Villa into sixth place, while Fulham remain fourth-bottom.

Full-time: Fulham 2-3 Everton

What a curious and enjoyable game that was. Both teams played some decent stuff, but Fulham’s frankly comical first-half defending cost them and rightly so. Hard though they tried in the second half, it’s hard to see a way they can stay up, while Everton played some nice stuff but have a lot of work to do before they can become properly good.

90+5 min “Sorry, but there is no better hangover cure then this,” says Mary Waltz. “An extra spicy Bloody Mary, eat the celery stalk slowly, full stop.”

90+4 min Anguissa into Mitrovic, who lays off adroitly ... and to no one, so Godfrey clears.

90+3 min Fulham are pumping balls into the box, but Everton are defending them easily enough.

90+2 min There’s a pleasing congruence between Loftus-Cheek’s jawline and Fulham’s v-neck shirt. If I was doing GCSE maths, I’d be drawing parallel lines across them.

loftus-cheek

90+1 min Calvert-Lewin breaks down the left form halfway and has Davies in the middle, but can’t find him with his cross.

90 min There’ll be five minutes of added time.

90 min Fulham appear to have run out of ideas.

89 min “Damn right Daniel,” returns Stephen Carr. “It was the £1 bag as well.”

I’m more a spicy tomato man myself, and with an orange Aero and some form of mouth-caning sour sweets. But the principles are identical.

88 min Keown gives Calvert-Lewin man of the match, for his 12th and 13th goals of the season. Can’t argue with that, though I might have gone for Digne myself.

87 min Robinson, who has a bit of something and maybe a lot more than that, jinks down the left before running out of space. He’s not got everything right today, but he’s shown a lot of willing and fair bit of quality too.

86 min “I only nipped the shops for a Lucozade and bag of Space Raiders,” says Stephen Carr, “and look what’s happened. Still plenty of time for Fulham to benefit from a healthy slice of Pickford Pie.”

One of the greatest hangover cures known to mankind.

85 min Fulham have had all the play over the last but but have struggled to create anything. It’s getting towards mixer time.

84 min In fairness to the slip, ball-off-one-foot-onto-the-other penalty, it stopped Sam Allardyce winning a trophy, so.

83 min “What Fulham need is someone who can score a penalty,” advises Richard Hirst. “Three misses is beyond criminal.”

What is beyond criminal? And how shall we punish the perpetrators?

82 min Fulham have Everton right under it here, while Everton look like a team trying out a new formation who are extremely familiar with how their club has behaved over the last 30 years.

80 min “Here’s an email I didn’t send at 12.18,” says James Hatfield. “Mystic prediction: Everton will get complacent and miss Fulham spotting this. But they’ll only manage to muster a draw though.”

You’ve met Everton before, then?

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79 min Calvert-Lewin holds up well and Anguissa clatters him, just what Everton are after.

78 min Mitrovic has made massive difference for Fulham, giving them a target and an out-ball. Even if he doesn’t create anything, the time he spends holding the ball is time not spent defending, and anything that achieves that is everything Fulham need.

76 min Another change for Everton, Sigurdsson replacing a less than gruntled Richarlison.

74 min Talking of which, whatever happened to Paul McGregor of Forest and Merc fame?

74 min Tom Davies takes a break from making his difficult second album and replaces James Rodriguez.

72 min Do you credit Scott E. Parker for making good changes, or chastise him for picking a poor team? I’m not sure, but the alterations have worked and suddenly all the play is coming from the team in white, which probably tells us the team in yellow will score next.

71 min What an absolutely baffling endeavour this thing of ours is. I don’t know, really I don’t.

GOAL! Fulham 2-3 Everton (Loftus-Cheek 70)

Well! Lookman absolutely rousts the underrated Digne on the outside, cuts back, and Loftus-Cheek’s shot is deflected past Pickford by Mina. Essentially, this game and this team are an absolute case.

Loftus-Cheek’s shot takes a deflection on it’s way in
Loftus-Cheek’s shot takes a deflection on it’s way in Photograph: John Sibley/AFP/Getty Images

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69 min It was this, essentially.

68 min CAVALEIRO SLIPS AND SPOONS OVER THE BAR, RIGHT FOOT ONTO LEFT FOOT!

Oh, Fulham! That was the rooftop swimming pool of penalties.

Cavaleiro misses from the penalty spot
Cavaleiro misses from the penalty spot Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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67 min PENALTY TO FULHAM!

This is lovely! Mitrovic plays a wall-pass off Loftus-Cheek then steps beautifully over the return to fox Godfrey at the same time as making an angle for the shot ... and Godfrey then runs across him!

65 min “When does Parker’s jaw detach from his machine gun style gum chewing?” wonders Mary Waltz.

The way he does it is so good, honest and old-fashioned. On which point, people suddenly thinking he’d become David Batty marked one of English football’s most peculiar times.

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64 min A stray arm from Loftus-Cheek catches Allan, but a quick check reveals nothing untoward.

63 min I’m not a huge fan of this rendition of Everton’s away kit, but it does remind me of the 86-87 classic.

everton
everton

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62 min Nice from Robinson, bursting past Doucoure, but just as he looks set to cross, he takes a heavy touch that ruins things.

61 min Loftus-Cheek is on the right for now while, in the middle, Mitrovic holds up and lays off for Cavaleiro, who drags a tame shot straight at Pickford.

60 min I hate to say it, but 3-1 at this point is good for Fulham, because things haven’t got worse and because a goal any time from now changes everything.

59 min I was surprised by how good people thought Loftus-Cheek could be, but I’m also surprised he’s not one of the key players in this Fulham team.

58 min A double change for Fulham, Loftus-Cheek and Mitrovic replacing Cairney and Decordova-Reid.

57 min Lookman’s doing well on the right and he finds Cairney, who immediately drills a shot into the nearest shins.

56 min In co-commentary, Martin Keown discusses how well Iwobi has played today, and that Ancelotti seems to be helping him do the right things at the right time. I’d like to see him play well against better opposition, but his ball-carrying capacity is a huge plus for this team.

56 min These last couple of minutes have been better for Fulham, but then Robinson scythes through Iwobi and is booked.

55 min Nice from Lookman, foraging down the right and crossing low, but there’s Allan getting in the road as Lemina scavenges for a shot.

53 min Pickford humps clear and the second ball drops to Calvert-Lewin, 35 yards out. It “sits up lovely”, so he cracks a shot that’s straight at Areola.

52 min Allan was a terrific signing by Everton, the kind of player who sets a tone for the rest and who must be an absolute evilness to play against.

Allan vies for the ball with Cairney
Allan vies for the ball with Cairney Photograph: Daniel Leal Olivas/AP

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51 min Everton look really confident now, evidenced by how well Godfrey charges out of defence. He’s foiled eventually, but his team know they’ve got this.

49 min Lookman is now on the right, presumably to try and pin Digne back. Good luck with that, old mate.

48 min We’ve only been going three minutes, but Everton are dominating.

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47 min Everton win a free-kick down the left and Digne’s delivery is again impeccable while Fulham’s marking is unimpeccable, and Richarlison turns just around the near post.

46 min On which point, I’m increasingly of the opinion that this is the greatest tune about London.

46 min We go again.

Back come the teams, to the Clash. No points for imagination, but what a tune.

Half-time: Fulham 1-3 Everton

That was a really entertaining half, but Fulham are so dreadful they could stand for high office.

45+2 min More possession from Everton, even Michael Keane getting involved, before Richarlison fashions space and Areola has to beat away his shot. The defending in front of him is spectacularly miserable.

45+1 min Everton knock it about in the carefree spirit.

45 min There’ll be a minimum of two added minutes; two too many for Fulham.

45 min I wish I could look at Fulham’s bench and see a way for them to change this, but I cannot.

43 min Is James limping? He seems to be, but looks alright in finding Doucoure, so probably nothing to worry about – unless you’re a Fulham fan.

42 min Goodness me, first Richarlison can’t quite get a sliding volley on James’ prompt, then Digne drives over another low cross and Andersen misses it ... but so does Richarlison. This could get exceedingly messy.

40 min Elsewhere, Rangers lead Aberdeen 2-0; given Celtic’s draw yesterday, 10 in a row looks a very long way away.

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39 min If Fulham’s defending has improved lately, how much fun was it previously? The back four seem to think marking is for other people.

GOAL! Fulham 1-3 Everton (Docoure 35)

Dearie Fulham. Someone, James I think, spreads wide to Digne whose first touch is a beauty. It doesn’t look much, but it kills the pass and transfers it perfectly into stride, ready for an equally simple yet

Doucoure rises to head in Fulham’s third goal
Doucoure rises to head in Fulham’s third goal Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Reuters

37 min “Lucas Digne has his admirers,” tweets Gary Naylor, “but he’s still the most underrated player in the Premier League.”

Similarly, Belgium are my dark horses for the European Championships. But yeah, joking aside, his delivery from the left is very, very good.

34 min Iwobi is causing havoc down the right.

32 min On VAR – sorry – are we ready to conclude that none of us fell in love with football because of the effectiveness of its decision-making process, and getting the calls right, or at least improving them by a a few percentage points, doesn’t really matter? Last night’s Man United-West Brom game for example: you can make a convincing argument that all the right things happened in the end – just as you can that they didn’t – but who enjoyed things more as a consequence. Ultimately, what football needs to grasp is that the 90-minute aspect of it is only ... football.

GOAL! Fulham 1-2 Everton (Calvert-Lewin 29)

Iwobi mooches inside, leaving three or four defenders hypnotised with the rhythmic softness of his feet, spreads to James, who goes immediately out to Digne, and he serves a perfect first-time caress that Calvert-Lewin punches home with minimum effort and maximum prejudice.

Calvert-Lewin scores his second goal
Calvert-Lewin scores his second goal Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

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30 min VAR is looking at that goal for a potential offside, but concludes that it’s better not to be a baby.

30 min Decordova-Reid is booked for challenge on Richarlison that he made before the goal.

29 min “Those who are saying Fulham are bad clearly didn’t see them two seasons ago!” returns Richard Hirst.

Can’t argue with that.

27 min “I’m fairly sure in one of my Shoot! magazines from the time,” tweets Stew Todd, “Jimmy Greaves recommended that Liverpool send Aldridge to Juventus and keep Rush as they wouldn’t spot the difference between the two. Simpler times.”

Well Jim should know.

greaves

25 min Iwobi crosses and Adarabioyo’s is the first head to meet it, sending the ball towards his own goal. But it’s an easy take for Areola, who livens up proceedings by dropping it ... but over the bar. Naturally, he then makes like this was his plan all along, fooling the entirety of the Craven Cottage crowd.

24 min “In fact, they’re so bad,” returns Stephen Carr, “that Sam Allardyce is looking into the cost of a pint of wine in the Fulham area.”

I’m fairly sure that round that way, wine is only served in carafes.

22 min This is a really enjoyable game. Neither side has the first clue about defending.

20 min Brilliant from Richarlison, who wins back possession chasing towards his own centre-circle, takes the ball back from Allan, and daintily charges past three challenges before diddling Adarabioyo with a lovely change of direction. He looks certain to score, opening his body to pass clinically into the bottom corner, completing a magical goal before knee-sliding into oblivion, only for Areola to make a very smart save down to his left.

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20 min Fulham are playing much better now – I said Everton probably wouldn’t play three at the back but I think they are, and Iwobi is as much a wing-back as Godfrey is a full-back, so though the goal from the right, the majority of their activity is coming down the left.

18 min While I was looking for Bob references, Calvert-Lewin gets the ball into the net, this time via expert’s clipped finish after good work from Iwobi, but went too early and was offside.

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17 min “To resume our relationship from the cricket season,” says Richard Hirst before the euqaliser “and bringing my two passions together – it takes a lot to laugh, it takes a Fulham supporter to cry.”

You were so much older then, you’re younger than that now.

GOAL! Fulham 1-1 Everton (Decordova-Reid 15)

This is beautifully done, Cairney’s cushioned return pass setting Decordova-Reid at Mina. His first touch is lovely, Mina looking like a waiter carrying a bunch of trays, and he steadies himself before drilling low across Pickford. “REDEMPTION!” cries Peter Drury in his lounge.

Bobby Decordova-Reid scores for Fulham
Bobby Decordova-Reid scores for Fulham Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Reuters

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13 min Better from Fulham, Robinson wriggling for the line and cutting back a low pass that falls nicely for Decordova-Reid ... who takes a wild swing and doesn’t get enough of it. That was a very good chance, but also very much better from Fulham.

12 min Everton are having their way with Fulham here, a simple give-and-go seeing Godfrey away down the right. His cross is a decent one too, all the more so when Aina makes a pig’s posterior of dealing with it, but Areola does just enough to stop Calvert-Lewin scoring again.

11 min On the touchline, Scott E. Parker looks absolutely furious, and a flicked ear away from bursting into tears.

10 min Robinson gives it away to Richarlison who immediately drives at the Fulham box, but Andersen does well to get in the road.

8 min I’m going to sound extremely yer da here, which I guess is what I am (if I’m really honest wiv myself), but crossing a dead ball is a repeatable skill, so why are players so bad at it? Are they practising hard enough?

7 min Fulham win a free-kick on the right, not far outside the box, and Cairney curls it directly onto Richarlison’s Spud-like bonce. Nonsense.

spud

5 min “Can I shock you Daniel?” says Stephen Carr. “Fulham are mindbendingly awful.”

It’s not looking good. There are loads of examples of teams who’ve started dreadfully then stayed up, but it’s extremely hard to identify a way for that to happen with these.

3 min Just as the goal came I was noting Martin Keown’s observation that only three of Fulham’s starting XI started on the opening day of the season. That does not speak well of their process, though they did finish last season late.

2 min Goodness me, that is a heel to Fulham’s collective solar plexus.

GOAL! Fulham 0-1 Everton (Calvert-Lewin, 42 seconds)

And there’s Richarlison de Andrade! Decordova-Reid Lookman gives it away shpritzing a crossfield ball, Aina then gives it away, Decordova-Reid then gives it away, it hits Adarabioyo, and Richarlison pounces, dashing down the left side of the box and screwing over a low cross that Calvert-Lewin runs home barely aware of the fact.

Calvert-Lewin gets the final touch
Calvert-Lewin gets the final touch Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
Calvert-Lewin thanks Richarlison for the assist
Calvert-Lewin thanks Richarlison for the assist Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

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1 min Off we go, using the winter ball which is no doubt sponsored by sponsorship.

The players take a knee. All black lives matter, people.

There’s going to be a swimming pool on top of the new stand they’re building at Craven Cottage. That is so Fulham.

Here come the teams!

Email! “Love the PSG tache photo,” says Mark Hooper, “but I’m afraid the caption is wrong. It should read ‘DS Tosh Lines is joined by PC Reg Hollis (disguised as a football ‘casual’) before a drugs bust.”

the bill
There they are, the lads. Photograph: Fremantle Media/REX/Shutterstock
the bill

Ancelotti tells Lineker that his team lost a bit of spirit in the last few weeks and he’s pleased to have Richarlison back. He also reiterates that he’s worked with Calvert-Lewin on one-touch finishes, like Inzaghi.

Iwobi, Richarlison and Allan warm up with the new winter footballs
Iwobi, Richarlison and Allan warm up with the new winter footballs Photograph: Julian Finney/AFP/Getty Images

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Naturally, Murphy doesn’t like the panenka, but Lineker explains that goalies watch your technique so you need to change things up. I wonder about this – if you can drill it top corner every time, why wouldn’t you, because there’s nothing the keeper can do. When Bruno Fernandes had to take one with the last kick of the game at Brighton, he didn’t jump or hop, he just cleansed it into the postage stamp and raised his arms.

“I like anyone who’s brave enough to take penalties,” says former penalty-taker Danny Mills.

Scott Parker says his team “Are improving in many ways (to be quite honest wiv you),” even in the games they’ve drawn and lost. He confirms that Mitrovic is on the bench for tactical reasons, and he’s picked a team he thinks can hurt Everton, then goes on to say that he’s spoken to both Mitrovic and Lookman about penalties and getting their process right.

Danny Murphy has seen more of Fulham than I have, and thinks they’ve bought much more sensibly than last time they came up, and have improved defensively of late. Like any selfish football fan, I hope they stay up because I love going to Craven Cottage to say nothing of the standard of hostelries in the locale.

Something to nourish your jelly-stuff:

That is an extract from this, in which you can also find Barney Ronay, Scott Murray and John Brewin.

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Tangentially, QPR beat Liverpool to reach that final, Liverpool contriving two own-goals in the second leg of the semi.

Simple but classic.

ian rush
Ian Rsh poses with his ‘leaving presents’ from Chelsea of a large bottle of Frascati, and a bunch of celery before his last match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 9 May 1987 before transferring to Juventus in Italy. Photograph: Getty Images

Especially given it was replaced with this.

aldridge
John Aldridge celebrates after scoring a goal for Liverpool. Photograph: Mark Leech/Offside/Getty Images

Especially given it didn’t previously exist (but Malcolm Shotton’s did, oh yes).

aldridge shotton
John Aldridge and Malcolm Shotton pose with the trophy after Oxford United beat QPR to win the 1986 Milk Cup. R Sport Photograph: Colorsport/REX/Shutterstock

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I’m very much enjoying the mustache feature above, so here’s a favourite of mine.

arthur jorge
PSG coach Arthur Jorge (L) sits alongside his deputy, Denis Troch, at Lyon in October 1998. Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

But otherwise, let’s have a chat about what it all means. Scott E. Parker has Mario Lemina available again, so he comes back into midfield with Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa dropping out, while in attack, Ivan Cavaleiro replaces Aleksandr Mitrovic.

As for Everton, Richarlison returns for Bernard, who scored last time out, Gylfi Sigurdsson is replaced by Alex Iwobi, while Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina come in for Mason Holgate and Seamus Coleman.

There’s some hope here for Fulham. Unless Everton are playing 3-5-2, Godfrey will be at right-back, where he was given an absolute going-over by Southampton a couple of games ago; what better way for Lookman to redeem himself than by getting stuck into that?

Everton, meanwhile, will benefit from the ball-carrying of Iwobi, even if his decision-making needs attention.

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And then I presume we all thought about Ademola Lookman. It will have been a long international break for him.

lookman

I trust we all saw that Fulham XI and immediately thought of this:

Teams!

Fulham (a good, honest, old-fashioned 4-2-3-1): Areola; Aina, Adarabioyo, Andersen, Robinson; Reed, Lemina; Lookman, Cairney, Cavaleiro; Reid. Subs: Rodak, Odoi, Ream, Bryan, Anguissa, Loftus-Cheek, Mitrovic.

Everton (a continental 4-4-expletive-2): Pickford; Godfrey, Keane, Mina, Digne; Iwobi, Doucouré, Allan, James; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison. Subs: Olsen, Holgate, Davies, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Tosun.

VAR’s straight man: Andy Madley (Huddersfield)

Preamble

It’s only November, but this is an absolutely colossal game. Fulham are fourth-bottom of the table, and I’m sure they’d be happy to still be there in mid-May, but the portents are not positive. That they have not looked good since getting promoted is only part of it – just as troubling for them is that below them are Burnley and Sheffield United, better teams with better players and better managers, who can legitimately be expected to improve, and above them are Brighton, Leeds, Newcastle and West Ham, better teams with better players and better managers. Which is to say that we’re watching a change in the Premier League this season: the majority of bottom-half sides can give all top-half sides a proper sorting.

So Fulham need to get some points and fast, and in theory, a home game with Everton, who’ve lost three games in a row, is a decent candidate. Except those three defeats have coincided with the suspension of Richarlison who, for all the artistry of James Rodríguez, goals of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and dark arts of Allan is still the team’s best and most important player. He’s back today, and there’s a fair chance he’ll make a decisive difference.

Oh, and it’s live on BBC1!

Kick-off: 12pm GMT

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