19/12/2023 17comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 1 Fulham [6 - 7 on pens]

Everton hauled themselves back to 1-1 against Fulham and were one kick away from the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup but an awful penalty by Amadou Onana and a miss by Idrissa Gueye allowed Fulham to win the decisive penalty shoot-out at Goodison Park.

Sean Dyche had thrown Beto on as a second-half substitute to rescue the Toffees for a second time in this competition and he responded with a goal in the 82nd minute that sent this quarter-final tie to the lottery of penalties.

The Portuguese's header cancelled out Michael Keane's unfortunate first-half own goal and was reward for Everton's determination even if the performance as a whole on a windswept Merseyside evening left a lot to be desired.

However, after Bobby Decordova-Reid had become the first player in the shootout not to score when Jordan Pickford out-witted him and saved his placed spot-kick, Amadou Onana just had to score to send the Blues through. Unfortunately, he presented Bernd Leno with what was tantamount to a backpass and Tosin Adarabioyo eventually won it after Gueye had hit the post. 

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The hosts, playing without the injured Abdoulaye Doucouré and Vitalii Mykolenko, had had the better of the first half but couldn't quite find each other in the opposition penalty area until Dominic Calvert-Lewin chased down an excellent ball down the line by James Garner with the outside of his boot.

The striker kept it in and laid it back to Dwight McNeil but the winger lashed his shot from the angle over the bar.

Branthwaite, playing left-back to accommodate Keane at centre-half alongside James Tarkowski, was picked out by Jack Harrison on the half-hour mark but his header at the back post couldn't unduly trouble Leno.

Fulham had been better in possession and with their use of the ball but hadn't threatened Pickford's goal until Keane was harshly adjudged to have fouled Rodrigo Muniz and, just as surprisingly, was booked for mild dissent.

Willian drove the resulting free-kick under the wall and missed the post by inches but just a minute later it was 1-0 to the visitors. Keane got too tight on Muniz and was rolled by the striker who found Willian, he played in Antonee Robinson in on the overlap and the full-back's cross took a decisive touch off Keane's shoulder and flew past Pickford into the net.

Everton largely toiled in the second half trying to find a way back into the game, often resorting to direct, long balls that were meat and drink to Tosin who nullified Calvert-Lewin in the air throughout his time on the pitch.

The closest the hosts came to levelling before Beto replaced DCL was when Harrison unleashed a drive from 25 yards that flashed just past Leno's left-hand post.

Fulham, meanwhile, had gone close when Harry Wilson smashed a half-volley over the crossbar and Alex Iwobi had forced Pickford into a smart parrying save midway through the second period with a bending shot from outside the box.

The introduction of Beto and then Arnaut Danjuma made the difference for Dyche's side, however. The Dutchman collected the ball down the left and delivered a hard, low cross that bounced off a defender to Garner near the penalty spot. His half-volley also hit a defender's leg but bounced up invitingly for Beto to nod past the keeper from close range.

Danjuma cracked a volley wide and Keane was in the right place to block a shot from Paulinha in stoppage time before referee Graham Scott blew the final whistle to signal penalties.

Everton were perfect with their four spot-kicks, despatched confidently by Beto, McNeil, Keane and Danjuma,  while Pickford came very close to keeping out efforts from Tom Cairney and Paulinha before he called Decordova-Reid's bluff and made a comfortable save to set up the match-winning kick for Onana.

The Belgian failed to meet the moment, taking a short run-up and rolling a lackadaisical finish straight to Leno and while Tarkowski and Garner put their penalties away with aplomb, Gueye's was fractionally off  target and came back off the post before Tosin stroked home to send Fulham through.

This was the third time in five seasons that Everton have failed at the quarter-final stage of this competition, each time not really doing themselves justice when a gilt-edged opportunity to progress and put themselves two games away from Wembley presented itself.

The focus now switches to Saturday's trip to Tottenham when the Premier League campaign continues.


Reader Comments (17)

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Barry Hesketh
1 Posted 20/12/2023 at 00:22:53
We don't do quarter-finals anymore, it used to be losing at the final stage, and then it became losing in semi's now it's get as far as the last eight, and we bow out, even when given the benefit of a home tie.

It was a dreadful performance against a good yet beatable team, but that's become our usual type of performance in cup-ties against the so-called lesser teams, I half expected that to happen prior to the match, but it doesn't lessen the pain and only cements what the modern Everton has become, Coventry City but with a larger fan-base.

There is over half a season to be played, yet some people are saying we've run out of gas, and it's been a tough few weeks, that opinion says more about what we are than anything our rivals could throw at us.

If you asked me prior to Saturday do you want the three points at Turf Moor, and bow out of the cup, I probably would have said, if it was a straight choice, I'd take the points, but why should we settle for such a choice, why can't we have both?

The standards of Everton have reached an all-time low, because even when in-form, we couldn't find a performance to beat a Fulham side, who have left Goodison triumphant for a fourth successive fixture. imagine Old Trafford, Anfield, White Hart Lane, Emirates or most other top level sides, who would succumb to a good yet limited Fulham team, not once, but four times on the bounce?

Peter Moore
2 Posted 20/12/2023 at 05:12:10
So many good chances missed again. That late chance for Danjuma etc. Beto aside, no one looked like they would score if that played til Christmas...2024. What has happened to DCL, came back with shooting boots, seems to have misplaced them..zero goals since October for our no.9.
Jerome Shields
3 Posted 20/12/2023 at 07:33:49
It was disappointing.Fulham were always going to set up shop and try to nick a win.Calvert Lewin is not a player who is positionally aware enough for such a situation.McNeill was off the boil and Doucoure was missed.

Fulham were fortunate with the goal It was the type of goal that Keane is always involved in. His positioning had no purpose..Beto did make a difference when he came on with better runs and positioning . I would have had him start, thought the writing was on the wall for Calvert Lewin in the previous game.

As for the penalties they went on and on . Fulham's policy of hitting the ball at pace, even the placed ones counted Everton did not hit the ball with pace and Gana did not even place the ball. Everton could have won that game, but were not good enough on the night m Still need work and player improvement. Some of the players are not good enough to progress and challenge in a competition.Onana will have learnt a lesson, played well during the game. Obviously was not coached how to take a penalty.

Denis Richardson
4 Posted 20/12/2023 at 07:48:09
One match too far it seems. Gutted to be out, especially on pens. However, these things happen and happy for Beto to get another goal under his belt. Wonder if DCL needs a breather.

Can’t knock 4 wins on the trot in the league and this was 1.1 after full time.

Tough two league games coming up, very glad we got points on the board as can’t see us getting much next two games.

Players should try to put this out of their minds. At least we got this far this year.

Know our luck we’d have drawn our neighbours in the semis anyway.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 20/12/2023 at 08:13:53
The mind will forever boggle at how our usual set-piece taker, James Garner, was not stepping up before Onana who I doubt has ever taken a set-piece in his life.

You wonder sometimes what kind of logic goes into the planning.

John Williams
6 Posted 20/12/2023 at 09:27:24
Not at the match, but tuned into Sky Sports and they showed the penalties up to 4 - 3, they went off for what seemed an eternity of adverts and when it came back, Fulham had won the shoot out 7-6.
Sean O’Hanlon
7 Posted 20/12/2023 at 10:24:54
Agreed, awful game. Lost count of the number of misplaced passes, but Fulham were there for the taking and we got back into it with Beto, after another insipid performance by DCL.
Penalties: We started very well, all confident, & well struck. then we had Onana to put us into the semis. What a dreadful effort.! No power, no direction nothing.
I think Dyche should start fining players for show-boating, or using these stuttering runs and dancing around. The Fulham player did the same with his miss.
Unforgiveable. And Idrissia Gana, with all his experience was shambolic.
That Onana miss has cost the club millions., and I hope he reflects on this that he let his team, the club and the fans down.
Derek Knox
8 Posted 20/12/2023 at 11:52:59

Michael Keane has changed his Job Title from Central Defender to Central Deflector. :-)

Frank Crewe
9 Posted 20/12/2023 at 12:00:50
The days of taking penalties by just running up to the ball and kicking it hard towards the goal appear to be long gone. These days the taker appears to need more steps than a contestant on Strickly. If they don't throw in a fleckle then it's not a proper run up.
It's not the fact that Onana missed his penalty but the manner in which he missed. No doubt in his mind he was going to make a fool of the keeper, slot the ball home and then strut about like a peacock in the mating season. As it is he is the one left looking like a chicken with no head. We can only hope that he has learned his lesson. Football may be only a game. But it is a game played by professionals for high stakes. It is not played by posers or those who don't take ir seriously. Hopefully, if there is ever a next time he'll know better and take his penalty properly.
Jack Ledwidge
10 Posted 20/12/2023 at 12:11:36
Ok so we lost on pens. Hard to swallow but this group of players have come a long way since last seasons exploits.
I’m not sure what preparation Dyche put into the order of penalty kick takers. If I could pick one player ( I know hindsight) to miss it would be Onana. Languid in style, supreme belief in his own ability but not out of the tough school. Pickford would have blasted it home with no theatrical run up.
Anyway it’s over. We fight more battles over Christmas and new year. We move on. This is a togetherness about this group, something lacking in times gone by.
We’ve no divine right to beat Fulham- we’re not there yet. Steady progress is the order of the day and Dyche and our players are giving us this.
Happy Christmas to all
Russelll Smith
11 Posted 20/12/2023 at 14:13:09
Watched the game today on the official website. Whilst we were not brilliant, we weren't crap either.

I think the three forwards Calvert-Lewin, Harrison and McNeil, are getting tired because of the intensity of the last 4 games coming in quick succession. The camera went onto Onana's face just before he took his penalty, and he looked like he was cacking himself, not showboating. Terrible penalty but I don't think it was over-confidence.

The next game is a free hit. I think Dyche should play Beto and Danjuma and rest Harrison and Calvert-Lewin. I would also put Branthwaite back alongside Tarkowski and play Godfrey at left-back assuming Mykolenko is still not fit.

John Raftery
12 Posted 20/12/2023 at 14:36:39
Barry (1),

‘Good but limited' is an accurate description of Fulham. It also applies to us. Last night's game could have gone either way. Standards are not at an all-time low. That's where we were twelve months ago. We have improved since then and will continue to do so with this manager in charge.

Denis Hignett
13 Posted 20/12/2023 at 14:53:25
Russell (11),

Last paragraph – spot on!

Dean Williams
14 Posted 20/12/2023 at 17:01:17
Home game, 4-4-2:

Calvert-Lewin and Beto up front with Godfrey left-back. We should have taken it to them.

Paul Birmingham
15 Posted 20/12/2023 at 21:59:35
Good realistic post, Jack@10, hopefully some lessons learned last night.

Hopefully Doucoure and Mykolenko can be ready for Spurs.


Simon Harrison
16 Posted 20/12/2023 at 23:07:11
Jack [10] Well said, and "Happy Christmas" to you too.
Dan Parker
17 Posted 21/12/2023 at 02:14:56
Went to my annual lads Christmas karaoke last night. Someone put My Way on randomly and the mic came to me.

Remembered Howard Kendall belting it out and tried my best to do the man proud. Think he'd like a lot of what we're seeing from this Sean Dyche team in adversity.

Here's to you, Howard, proper Blue.

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