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Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Premier League
Tuesday 30 January 2024; 7:45pm
0 0
Half Time: 0 - 0 
Attendance: 24,376
Fixture 22
Referee: Tom Bramall

Match Reports
2023-24 Reports Index
« Previous Luton Town (H)
» Next Tottenham (H)
  Diop (Ream 75')
  Pahlinha booked
  De Cordova-Reid
  Jimenez (Muniz 46')
  Subs not used

  Godfrey booked
  Branthwaite booked
  Young (Patterson 81')
  Danjuma (Dobbin 90')
  Calvert-Lewin (Beto 81')
  Subs not used
  Alli (injured)
  Coleman (injured)
  Doucouré (injured)
  Gomes (injured)
  Onana (injured)
  Gueye (AfCon)
  Maupay (loan)

Match Stats

Shots on target

Premier League Scores
Aston Villa 1-3 Newcastle
C Palace 3-2 Sheff United
Fulham 0-0 Everton
Luton 4-0 Brighton
Nott'm Forest 1-2 Arsenal
Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea
Man City 3-1 Burnley
Tottenham 3-2 Brentford
West Ham 1-1 Bournemouth
Wolves 3-4 Man United

1 Liverpool 51
2 Manchester City 46
3 Arsenal 46
4 Tottenham Hotspur 43
5 Aston Villa 43
6 West Ham United 36
7 Manchester United 35
8 Newcastle United 32
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 32
10 Chelsea 31
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29
12 Bournemouth 26
13 Fulham 25
14 Crystal Palace 24
15 Brentford 22
16 Nottingham Forest 20
17 Luton Town 19
18 Everton* 18
19 Burnley 12
20 Sheffield United 10

Match Report

Everton ground out their third goalless draw in their last five matches in all competitions as they survived sustained second-half pressure from Fulham to leave Craven Cottage with a valuable point but still dropped back into the relegation zone after Luton’s shock drubbing of Brighton.

Both teams hit the woodwork and the Toffees had Jordan Pickford to thank for pulling off a world-class save to deny Tosin Adarabioyo with a quarter of an hour to go at one end. Meanwhile, at the other, Timothy Castagne cleared off his goal-line, Atonee Robinson got away with handball in his six-yard box, and substitute Beto somehow missed the best chance of the game in stoppage time at the death.

There was more bad news on the injury front, however, for a small squad stretched dangerously thin when Arnaut Danjuma had to be helped off in the 90th minute with an apparent ankle problem.

Sean Dyche had already been forced to patch together a starting XI given the absences of Andre Gomes (calf), Amadou Onana (knee), Seamus Coleman (thigh) and Idrissa Gueye (AfCoN) which saw Ashley Young return from his own injury lay-off to play wide on the right, Ben Godfrey to play right-back instead of Nathan Patterson and Dwight McNeil to play a more central role alongside James Garner in midfield.

But they held their own in the first half and had their chances to go ahead, not least in only the second minute when Dominic Calvert-Lewin laid the ball back for Jack Harrison but the winger swept a left-foot shot narrowly past the far post from near the edge of the box.

The striker was denied a crack at goal of his own when Issa Diop charged down the ball aimed at his feet from Vitalii Mykolenko and Danjuma later registered an official shot on target from 25 yards out with a daisy-cutter that Bernd Leno comfortably gathered.

In between, as the contest opened up into a back-and-forth tussle, Robinson forced the first save of note from Pickford when he latched onto James Tarkowski’s clearing header and drilled a shot goal-wards but midway through the first period, Everton came within a third of the diameter of the ball from taking the lead.

Young took responsibility for a free-kick just outside the box after he himself had been fouled by Robinson, Leno pushing his low delivery back into danger in front of his goal. Tarkowski’s shot on the rebound bobbled off a defender’s head and bounced off the bar, struck Robinson’s hand as it spun back onto the goal-line where Castagne hooked it clear.

Video Assistant Referee David Coote reportedly argued that the American international's arm was by his side when it struck his hand but replays and still images from the other end of the ground clearly showed it was well away from his hip. It left Dyche perplexed after the game, the manager saying to the media:

“We can't get a penalty, you know that. We haven't had a penalty [this season]. I think we're a bit lost with the handball thing and VAR generally, even though I'm generally a fan of it.“

The visitors carved out another great chance in the 32nd minute when Danjuma was picked out down the left channel and he turned Joao Pahlinha in the box but when he needed to hit the target to at least work the keeper, he instead ballooned his shot into the stand behind the goal.

The always-dangerous Willian saw a shot blocked by Jarrad Branthwaite and Andreas Pereira flashed an effort narrowly over the bar while another Calvert-Lewin layoff to Harrison ended with the latter firing straight down the keeper’s throat before both sides spurned opportunities to go into the break a goal up.

First Castagne hammered the ball into Everton’s six-yard box and the ball deflected off Tarkowski into the path of Jimenez but, thankfully, the Mexico international slashed the rebound wide from close range.

Then, Harrison flighted a chipped ball to Danjuma near the back post in the Cottagers’ box but the Dutchman’s volley was blocked behind by Castagne.

The tit-for-tat nature of the game continued into the first 15 minutes or so of the second half despite Marco Silva being forced into withdrawing Jimenez due to injury and introducing Rodrigo Muniz in his place.

Godfrey, who had an impressive game in a full-back role in which he hasn’t always looked comfortable, made a couple of crucial interventions in front of his own goal before going close to scoring himself following a free-kick, the defender’s goal-bound shot taking a crucial deflection off a defender and bouncing wide.

From the resulting corner, Calvert-Lewin’s header caught the top of the crossbar and a minute later, the striker stooped to connect with Young’s cross from the right but this time his header dropped into the roof of the net.

What followed was a sustained spell of Fulham pressure and a barrage of corners during which Everton retreated into their own half and tried to protect what they had.

Pereira narrowly missed trying to force the ball home at the back post off Robinson’s cross, Godfrey made a last-ditch intervention to slide the ball behind after Bobby De Cordova-Reid had raced out of a crunching challenge with Branthwaite and Pahlinha blazed just over when he connected with a high bouncing ball in the Blues’ area.

In the 65th minute, Fulham counter-attacked, Pereira fed Muniz whose shot was deflected wide and when the hosts played the corner short and the ball was whipped in, Castagne helped it towards goal where it came back off the face of the bar.

Silva’s side looked to have finally made the breakthrough in the 76th minute when Willian delivered a pin-point cross that was met firmly by Tosin with a header steered towards the top corner but Pickford flew across his line and pushed it over brilliantly with one hand.

Fulham still weren’t done, though. Robinson centred dangerously once more in the 83rd minute and De Cordova-Reid grazed the post with a scuffed shot when well placed and then as the game moved into stoppage time, Muniz had a great chance to win it but planted a header straight at Pickford.

Still Everton, having been battered to a degree for the best part of half an hour, could have – and probably should have – won it at the death. Beto had replaced Calvert-Lewin with around 10 minutes left and he forced a corner when his shot was blocked behind.

Tarkowski connected with the ensuing corner in habitual fashion at the back post, headed it perfectly back across goal where Beto simply had to get over it and nod into the empty side of the goal. Instead he despatched his effort over the bar and a minute later, with the ball pinging around in Fulham’s six-yard box, neither the Portuguese nor Godfrey could stab the loose ball home from close range.

An away point is never something to be sniffed at and, given how strained Dyche’s squad is in terms of numbers, this was a valuable draw and a result that many would have taken before the game. Luton’s 4-0 hammering of Brighton was alarming, though — not only did it lift Rob Edwards’s side out of the bottom three and dump Everton into it, it enhanced the notion that the Hatters might well have enough to stay up.

The Toffees need bodies back, Doucouré and Gueye in particular, and with Danjuma now presumably out for the next two matches at least along with Adamou Onana, it’s almost inconceivable that the club won’t go all out to try and bring someone in on loan who can provide either creativity, a goal threat or both.

We had similar thoughts this time last year, though, and exited the winter transfer window empty handed which means there's an awful lot riding on the appeal against the 10-point deduction that starts tomorrow.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

Everton return to Premier League action on Tuesday evening as they travel to London to face a tricky assignment against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Ashley Young returns to the side but Abdoulaye Doucouré is still out injured and Amadou Onana is another big miss after sustaining a problem in the FA Cup defeat to Luton. Coleman and Gomes also absent.

Idrissa Gueye is on his way back from the African Cup of Nations after Senegal were eliminated. Patterson is dropped to the bench with Godfrey stepping up in a possible back 5, and Arnaut Danjuma starts.

For Fulham, former Academy graduate Antonee Robinson starts under former Blues manager, Marco Silva.  

Everton in salmon pink strip looked to press Fulham high from their kick-off but they advanced and shot off target. Clavert-Lewin fed Harrison for a brilliant chance, that Harrison tried but failed to put the right side of Leno's far post. What a miss!

Another decent Pinks attack saw Calvert-Lewn's attempted strike blocked at his feet and Everton's first corner was played short and wasted, Fulham getting a corner from a poor Everton backpass, Pereira sliced his shot well wide. 

A good Fulham cross was cleared by Godfrey but Robinson's deflected shot was parried by Pickford for a Fulham corner that was eventually cleared, Pereira going down at the slightest touch from Tarkowski: nothing in it. Godfrey did very well to stall Robinson.  

Fulham had the better start despite two potential chances for Everton, and they needed to play up. But when they did, Calvert-Lewin striding forward was very well tackled by Palhinha, then McNeil played the ball straight to a defender. Garner tried but failed to find Calvert-Lewin. Danjuma then had a lame shot to Leno.

After struggling to break Everton down, Fulham won a handy free-kick for a Danjuma handball, Palhinha heading over a decent ball in from Pereria. Danjuma tried to play a one-two with Mykolenko before Young drew a foul for a very threatening free-kick. 

Young's ball was pushed back into play by Leno, and a Tarkowski shot was deflected up onto the bar and down onto Robinson's arm (Handball???) before he cleared the ball two-thirds across the goal line... no goal, no handball, no penalty.

But Everton came back at them after the restart, Harrison fouled by Palhinha, and another set-piece chance. Harrison drove it into the wall and Godfrey then committed a foul. But Godfrey was then booked for the slightest pull-back on Robinson. 

Everton tried to press Fulham high again but they forced their way forward. Everton blocked that move and quickly countered, the ball coming to Danjuma who cut inside but his shot was simply awful.  

Fulham put together a strong attack that saw Willian turn inside and try his trademark curler but Branthwaite blocked away brilliantly. Fulham surged forward again but Pickford was out quickly to smother the danger. 

But Fulham powered forward again and won a corner, short and worked around to Pereria whose shot zoomed 2 feet over Pickford's bar. A Pickford hoof was held up by Calvert-Lewin but driven straight at Leno by Harrison. 

Fulham came closest, Robinson's cross, Smashed goalward and blocked, but falling to Jimenez who screwed this shot inches wide. Branthwaite caught Jimenez on his ankle and was shown a yellow card for it. 

Godfrey was covering Robinson well and getting forward so Young could cross, but well behind Calvert-Lewin; Danjuma on the overlap saw his shot deflected behind, the resulting corner finally cleared as the half came to a close; probably even on points at this stage, with missed chances to rue.

Everton were soon looking for a penalty after the restart but the contact on Harrison was deemed insufficient. Fulham countered, winning a corner that was headed clear by Tarkowski but the pressure was maintained. 

A tremendous cross in was headed behind very well by Godfrey away from Tosin. Fulham had a few more bites of the cherry before Pickford grabbed the ball. Pereira lashed a shot well wide. Muniz won a high press but Pickford got to it before the offside flag went up. 

Branthwaite was caught by Muniz and Pickford hoofed it up for Tarkowski to head back to Godfrey whose shot deflected behind. Calvert-Lewin headed onto the bar at the back post. Everton kept up the press and Calvert-Lewin again headed just over the bar from distance. 

Robinson broke free down the left and his cross could not be turned in by Pereira at the far post. Branthwaite made a huge error to release Cordova-Reid, who crossed rather than shooting, Godfry getting it away from Palhinha.

Calvert-Lewin got free and looked to cut it back but to no-one and a shot was eventually blocked away before the linesman finally flagged Calvert-Lewin offside. At the other end, another corner for Fulham but it was cleared and Danjuma could not get past Robinson. 

Back toward the Everton goal and another corner for Fulham, headed over by Muniz. It was all very high tempo now, with Fulham piling up the attacks. Pereira drove in along the line and forced another Fulham corner, the header easily caught by Pickford. 

Everton tried to counter but it broke down and they needed another critical block on Muniz's shot behind for a corner. That came in and was flicked on by Castagne, off the top of the bar! 

A sweeping attack by Everton saw Young crossing ahead of Calvert-Lewin and another strike coming in before the very late offside flag went up again. At the other end, yet another corner for Fulham, headed clear by Calvert-Lewin defending the near post.

Another strong Fulham attack Cordiva-Reid lashed a shot into the side netting, for another corner, and then off Calvert-Lewin for yet another corner, played sort and an excellent cross dug out by Willian and headed firmly at goal by Tosin forcing a tremendous acrobatic save from Pickford.

Late late subs as ever from Dyche: Beto and Patterson on for Calvert-Lewin and Young with less than 10 minutes left. More deep defending needed by Everton as they clung resolutely on to the point they started with. De Cordova-Reid scuffed a shot that bobbled just wide of Pickford's goalpost.

More Fulham corners with Everton now penned back, De Cordova-Reid powering a shot well wide. Everton finally got up the field and won a free-kick that Garner swung in well, Tosin heading behind for a rare Everton corner that Leno flapped at but Tarkowski was penalised. 

Danjuma needed 3 minutes treatment after an innocuous contact, perhaps twisting his knee, Dobbin coming on for him with 6 minutes added on. Willian  popped up another brilliant cross for De Cordova-Reid to head powerfully straight at Pickford with space either side of him.

Everton won a turnover off Tosin and Beto's shot got them a corner. Tarkowski headed it back to Beto who incredibly headed over from 2 yards!  The ball worked around and Garner's shot deflected wide.  The corner came in and an almighty scramble at the far post, Beto and Godfrey both unable to convert before Leno finally pounced on it. 

And that was it. Probably another 2 winnable points not won but there is credit for another vital point that was secured through some exceptional defensive work. 

Fulham:  Leno; Castagne, Tosin, Diop (75' Ream), Robinson; Palhinha [Y:29'], Cairney; De Cordova-Reid, Pereira, Willian, Jimenez (46' Muniz). 

Subs not Used: Rodak, Tete, Reed, Lukic, Vinicius, Francois, Sekularac.

Everton: Pickford, Godfrey [Y:29'], Tarkowski, Branthwaite [Y:42'], Mykolenko, Young (81' Patterson), Garner, McNeil, Harrison, Danjuma (90' Dobbin), Calvert-Lewin (81' Beto).

Subs not Used: Virginia, Lonergan, Keane, Chermiti, Hunt, Metcalfe.

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton return to Premier league action on Tuesday evening as they travel to London to face a tricky assignment against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Blues will need to pick themselves up following Saturday’s dismal cup exit at the hands of Luton while also dealing with ongoing injury problems that are severely restricting Sean Dyche’s ability to navigate what has become a rocky patch of form.

Everton have won just one of their last eight matches in all competitions and still set precariously just above the relegation zone above their cup conquerors, Luton thanks to the points deduction that the club’s lawyers will be fighting at an appeal hearing in the coming weeks.

Dyche’s side appear to have lost their way somewhat in the absence of Abdoulaye Doucouré, and with Idrissa Gueye away on Africa Cup of Nations duty and Andre Gomes struggling once more with injury, there is a depressing lack of creativity in midfield and dynamism and effectiveness up front.

"It's a calf," Dyche said of Gomes. "He won't be fit this week. It's going to be a matter of time, but we don't know how long yet. He's had a couple of them over the last few months, and it's a loss to us because he's shown he wants to adapt."

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues his barren run in front of goal, Beto is struggling to convince that he is the answer leading the line and Dwight McNeil has not looked the same player since injuring himself at Crystal Palace earlier this month.

Both Doucouré and Gomes are ruled out for the trip to the Capital with hamstring and calf issues respectively, and Ashley Young probably won't the trip as he works his way back to full fitness. Seamus Coleman could travel, with Dyche admitting that it would be a "judgement call" whether or not to push him back into the fold.

That leaves the manager grappling with the same personnel as were available at the weekend against the Hatters, a group that, collectively, turned in a worryingly one-dimensional and in effective display.

Jordan Pickford will almost certainly return to the side after Joao Virginia was allowed the chance to impress in back-to-back FA Cup ties but Dyche’s options to mix things up elsewhere in the team are limited.

The back four will pick itself in the absence of Coleman and Young, likewise central midfield so it’s in the forward areas where the gaffer might tinker. Beto and Calvert-Lewin started in a strike partnership against Luton that didn’t look like it was destined to work so it’s possible he might bring Arnaut Danjuma into the starting XI now that it appears as though Kevin Thelwell will resist any approach from Lyon to take the Dutchman on loan.

Lewis Dobbin has shown flashes of promise but remains raw, as does Youssef Chermiti who made a cameo at the end of the cup tie on Saturday but it wasn’t enough time for him to stake a claim for a rare start.

The Cottagers under former Toffees boss, Marco Silva, have already beaten Everton somewhat fortuitously on two occasions this season, first on the opening day in the Premier League and then in the Carabao Cup Quarter-Finals in that dramatic penalty shootout that feels more and more like a watershed moment in the Blues' season.

They come into the weekend sitting in 13th place and seven points better off than Everton but they will be without Harry Wilson who is ruled out and Adama Traore who is very likely to join his team-mate on the sidelines because of a thigh problem. Ex-Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi is on AfCoN duty along with Calvin Bassey and Fode Ballo-Toure.

Kick-off: 7:45pm, Tuesday 30 January, 2024
Referee: Tom Bramall
VAR: David Coote
Last Time: Fulham 0 - 0 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Onana, Garner, Harrison, McNeil, Danjuma, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

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