Apr 27, 2013 at 3pm UK at ​Goodison Park
Everton
1-0
Fulham
Pienaar (16')
Osman (87')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Enoh (30'), Emanuelson (71'), Manolev (90')

Live Commentary: Everton 1-0 Fulham - as it happened

Everton manager David Moyes watches his side's match against Arsenal on April 16, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you minute-by-minute coverage of Everton's slender 1-0 victory over Fulham at Goodison Park.

Everton have kept their slim hopes of securing a Champions League spot alive by clinching a 1-0 victory over Fulham at Goodison Park.

The Merseyside outfit were impressive right from the whistle, starting the encounter on the front-foot, which eventually resulted in a well-worked goal by Steven Pienaar.

Despite controlling the majority of the game, Everton's failure to increase their lead gave Fulham moments of snatching an equaliser, but it wasn't to be for the visitors as the Toffees wrapped up all three points.

Read how the match unfolded in out minute-by-minute commentary below.


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2pmGood afternoon everyone! So, the Premier League title has been wrapped up, but there's still plenty to play for. Right here, we'll be focusing on Everton's home match against Fulham to see if the Merseyside outfit can keep their dream of securing Champions League football alive.

2.06pmOkay, so the Toffees may have a slim chance of finishing in the top four this season, but I'm sure that David Moyes and his men will not give up until it is mathematically impossible. They are six points away from Chelsea, who currently sit in fourth, and with Tottenham and Arsenal all vying for a European spot, you feel it could be a tall order for the Toffees.

2.08pmFor the visiting side today, they will try to finish in the top half of the table with four games left to play. Clinching an away win for Fulham would be a welcome boost considering they have only won three games on the road so far this season.

2.09pmTo add to the Cottagers' woes, they have never been able to grab maximum points at Goodison Park. However, they may feel that they are playing Everton at the right time following their 1-0 defeat to Sunderland last weekend.

2.10pmRight, now for that all-important team news. We've got the home side first...

2.11pmEverton XI: Howard; Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Coleman; Osman, Fellaini, Mirallas, Pienaar; Anichebe; Jelavic

2.12pmFulham XI: Schwarzer; Manolev, Senderos, Hangeland, Richardson; Emanuelson, Karagounis, Enoh, Kacaniklic; Ruiz; Berbatov

2.13pmThe substitutes benches for both teams are as follows:

Everton: Mucha, Hibbert, Heitinga, Oviedo, Naismith, Barkley, Duffy

Fulham: Etheridge, Hughes, Frimpong, Duff, Frei, Rodallega, Petric


2.14pmSo, let's dissect these teams then shall we? Starting with the home side - Moyes has made two changes from the side that lost to Fulham as Darron Gibson is withdrawn through injury and Jonny Heitinga has made way for Phil Jagielka.

2.17pmJagielka's return is a boost for the home side as the centre-back was forced to miss out of last Saturday's clash with an ankle problem. Nikica Jelavic, who has been struggling with form as late, starts up front, while Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas make up the midfield.

2.20pmThere were doubts that Anichebe was going to make the starting line up after he limped off with a hamstring injury against Sunderland, but the forward has been passed fit for today's encounter.

2.24pmOver to Fulham then! Martin Jol has made just the one change from the side that lost to Arsenal as Giorgos Karagounis enters the midfield in place of Steve Sidwell.

2.27pmUnfortunately for the Cottagers, they will be without Sidwell for the remainder of the season due to his four-match suspension for picking up a red card during the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.

2.28pmSidwell was sent packing for this challenge...


2.30pmSo, there we have the teams! What can we expect from this afternoon's clash then? Well, as mentioned earlier Fulham have never secured three points against Goodison Park, so it's not the best hunting ground for them.

2.34pmEarlier this season, a 2-2 played out between the two clubs in the reverse fixture at Craven Cottage, so we could be in for some goals this afternoon! However, Everton have come out on top in three out of four previous meetings between the two.

2.38pmDespite Fulham's poor away record this season, they do have someone that can pull something out of a hat if needs be. That, of course, if Dimitar Berbatov, who is capable of scoring goals like this...


2.40pmHowever, at the other end of the pitch, Everton can threaten from set pieces if they have a certain Mr Baines on the ball...


2.42pmWhile Everton could miss out on a Champions League spot, they do have the incentive of not only grabbing a place in next season's Europa League campaign, but finishing above Merseyside rivals Liverpool, who are five points below them in the table.

0 minEverton get us underway, kicking from right to left.

1 minAnichebe takes an early shot on goal following a knock-back from Jelavic, but his effort flies well over the bar into the stands.

1 minEverton launch a long ball from the back in a bid to play in Jelavic, but Senderos gets just ahead of him to latch onto the ball and clear the danger to give away a throw-in.

3 minSAVE! Fellaini manages to soar above everyone in the box to launch a headed effort towards goal but Schwarzer gets in the right place to block the shot and keep Fulham from getting an early deficit.

4 minA minute later and Schwarzer is needed again. Baines whips in a free kick from the left-hand side of the final third, but the keeper manages to punch clear and prevent any blue shirts from latching onto the ball. Everton have started on the front-foot here.

7 minBerbatov switches the play out to Emanuelson, who gets pushed to the line dur to pressure from two blue shirts, which forces the ball out for a throw-in.

8 minOooh that could have been a good chance for Berbatov there! Ruiz plays in a drifting ball over the top to Berbatov, who drives in from the left, but the forward is unable to connect with the bounce of the ball and the keeper gathers.

11 minBaines manages to wriggle away from Manolev to find the feet of Fellaini, who finds space to make a short pass to Anichebe, but Fulham get enough men in the box to clear the danger.

13 minEverton are asking all of the questions at the moment, while Fulham have been unable to settle and bring their game to the Toffees. The home side are much more composed on the ball, but the visitors will need to get some time on the ball if they are to cause any trouble.

14 minGOAL! Everton 1-0 Fulham (Pienaar)

15 minWhat a brilliant move from Everton! Some lovely passing between Osman and Mirallas gives Coleman time to drive up to the corner of the box to cut back a pass into the feet of Pienaar, who drives his first-time hit into the back of the net. A well-deserved lead for the home side.

20 minOsman launches the ball up towards Coleman, who drives down the right and cuts into the box, but the pass is too strong and it drifts past Coleman and into the hands of Schwarzer.

21 minAnichebe tries to make it 2-0 as Jelavic crosses from the right into the box. The striker whips his head round as he connects with the ball but it's a poor effort and the ball drifts across the face of goal, failing to trouble the Fulham keeper.

23 minBerbatov follows the path of a long ball from the back but Baines manages to get ahead of him to allow the ball to dribble over the line. It's still all Everton so far, Fulham need to respond.

25 minKacaniklic finds some space to play in Berbatov on the left, but the former Manchester United frontman is flagged offside. Another close call, but the right decision from the linesman.

26 minThe game’s gone a little bit flat as we near the 30-minute mark as Everton have dropped their game just slightly after taking the lead. Fulham look slightly lacklustre, and there could be some trouble for the home side as Berbatov is limping around the field.

29 minSUBSTITUTION As expected, Fulham are forced into an early change as Berbatov hobbles off the field with Petric taking his place.

30 minEverton get a free kick just outside the area - it's taken by Mirallas, but the wall stands firm to block out his shot.

31 minBaines manages to get another easy cross into the box, but Anichebe's first-touch shot goes flying over the bar. Previous to this, Fulham had a good spell of possession, but they were unable to probe Everton's defence to find an equaliser. It's all a bit too easy for the home side at the moment.

34 minRuiz and Jagielka chase the ball down the left side of the box, but the centre-back does a brilliant tackle to put Ruiz off his stride. It could easily have been a foul but the England defender does just enough.

36 minCHANCE! Fellaini's poor finish prevents Everton from doubling their lead, but it was some lovely build-up play once again. Jelavic and Mirallas's one-touch play allows Fellaini to move into the box. He latches onto the ball to launch a left-footed shot towards goal but it flies past the target.

37 minAt the other end, Fulham get a glimpse of hope due to a mistake by Jagielka. The defender gives the ball away to Kacaniklic, who drives the ball towards Howard, who has to scramble to push it away from goal. He gives away a corner, but it comes to nothing for the visitors.

39 minAnichebe manages to flick the ball on and get away from Hangeland, but Richardson gets to the striker just in time to knock the ball out of play and end Everton's attack.

40 minCHANCE! Baines manages to get away from his man to cross the ball into the feet of the awaiting Fellaini, who tries to whip the ball towards goal, but Anichebe gets in the way and it bounces off his knee behind the goal.

43 minCHANCE! Petric is only centimetres from equalising. Ruiz plays in Richardson down the left, who soars into the box to knock a cross over the face of goal for the oncoming Petric to just tap it in, but he fails to get a foot onto it.

45+1 minAnichebe manages to find space from just outside the box. He sets himself up for a shot, but as he releases the ball, it bounces off a Fulham shirt to halt the pace, which allows the keeper to gather.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Everton 1-0 Fulham

3.48pmSo there we have it, Everton head in with a one-goal lead at the break, and it's no more than the Merseyside outfit deserve. Steven Pienaar, who now has six goals to his name in the top flight this season, found the back of the net thanks to some lovely build-up play from the home side.

3.49pmWhile Fulham have had some good spells, they have failed to get a stronghold on the game and really trouble the Toffees. The visitors were dealt a blow when Berbatov limped off the field before half an hour had even been played.

3.50pmThey've lacked that cutting edge in attack, and it is only really down to some poor finishing from Anichebe and Fellaini that has prevented Fulham from having a larger deficit at half time.

3.55pmEverton have controlled the game and it's been a great team performance from the home side so far, but they could have been entering the dressing room at 1-1 if Petric had converted a chance in the last few minutes of the half.

45 minAnd we're off! Fulham get us underway for the second half.

47 minA rare moment of sloppiness from Jagielka and Distin as the England defender passes to his fellow centre-back, but it’s hit too hard and Petric puts pressure on Distin, who is forced to hit the ball out for a corner, which comes to nothing.

48 minMirallas picks out Jelavic in the box, but the Croatian’s cross goes straight into the feet of Senderos who is forced to give away a corner, which is safely handled by the visiting side.

51 minGaragounis whips in a cross into the box from a free kick, but Jelavic jumps above his competitors to head the ball out of danger.

52 minMirallas drives down the left and cuts into the box, leaving white shirts behind him, but all his effort is wasted when his cross goes over both Anichebe and Jelavic.

53 minCHANCE! At the other end, Kacaniklic gets a perfectly-weighted cross into the box to find the feet of Emanuelson, who attempts to curl the ball into the box with his left foot, but his first touch forces the ball out wide.

55 minSUBSTITUTION Fulham make their second change of the match as Richardson makes way for Damien Duff.

56 minColeman gets picked out by Osman down the right, but he's nudged off the ball by Emanuelson, who gives away a free kick. The ball's whipped in by Baines, but Ruiz gets a head to it just centimetres away from goal to prevent any blue shirts from latching onto it.

59 minCHANCE! Everton get an opportunity to double their lead courtesy of a corner from Baines. The ball finds the head of Jagielka, who is able to get away from his marker, but the centre-back doesn't get enough power on it.

60 minSAVE! Howard is forced to come off his line to block a shot from Duff, who picks up the ball from behind Everton's defensive line and is rightfully called offside, albeit a bit late...

62 minFulham are getting more and more of the ball as Everton drop off slightly. The Merseysiders will not want to lose focus as they only have a one-goal advantage.

66 minSUBSTITUTION Everton make their first change of the match by bringing on Ross Barkley in place for Jelavic, who looks as if he's suffering from a lack of confidence.

68 minThe pace has picked up slightly, but it's all gone a bit scrappy at Goodison. Everton may be the better team, but they're living dangerously with a slender lead as Fulham are still in this game.

70 minColeman takes on Emanuelson down the right as he tries to cut into the box, but the Fulham defender brings him down to give away a free kick and pick up a caution.

71 minBaines sweeps the ball in to force Schwarzer to punch the ball away. It falls to Osman, but his thumping shot, which fails to find the back of the net.

76 minSAVE! Schwarzer makes a wonderful save to keep his team in the game. Pienaar lifts the ball in the box to find Mirallas, who uses some lovely skill to launch towards goal just yards out, but the Fulham keeper manages to keep it out.

80 minFollowing a lull in the match, Everton are stepping up a gear for the reaming 10 minutes of the clash in a bid to add to their lead and secure all three points.

82 minPienaar’s first touch throughout this game has been brilliant. The South African receives the ball, which is fizzed in, but Pienaar manages to flick it back to Anichebe, but it gets snuffed out by the Fulham back line.

84 minMISS! Dear, oh dear. How on earth did Fellaini miss that?! The Belgium international has an open opportunity to give his side a 2-0 lead but as he receives a perfect cross from Baines, he thumps the ball into the ground and it falls behind the line. He won’t get a better opportunity than that.

86 minAt the other end, Fulham get a free kick, which Petric stands over, but his effort bounces off the wall to prevent a good opportunity to get into the box for Fulham.

87 minmin There’s some nervy moments for Everton as Manolev crosses into the box towards goal, but Howard comes off his line to punch the ball away and save his side from suffering a late equaliser.

90 minSAVE! Barkley dodges past three players with strength after picking up a loose ball. He launches a shot at goal, but Schwarzer is able to dive to his left to knock the ball away from the target.

90+2 minSenderos moves up the pitch and gets past Baines. He plays the ball into Ruiz, who crosses into the box, but a blue shirt manages to knock the ball out of the area to find the feet of Emanuelson, who launches an ambitious shot, which flies over the bar.

90+4 minFULL TIME: Everton 1-0 Fulham

4.52pmIt’s all over at Goodison Park, and Everton have managed to clinch a 1-0 victory over Fulham, although the scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story of the match. The home side could have extended their lead today if it wasn’t for a number of missed chances, notably a second-half open opportunity for Fellaini.

4.54pmFor Fulham, they were below par today, despite having some decent spells of possession. They allowed Everton to control the game, and if they had managed to clinch a late equaliser, you’d have to argue that it wouldn’t have been deserved.

4.56pmSo, how does this result change things? For Fulham, it doesn’t. They remain in 11th place in 40 points, while Everton are now eight points ahead of Liverpool, who play this afternoon, and are three points adrift of a Champions League place. However, Chelsea and Arsenal are yet to play.

5pmThank you for joining me this afternoon, and remember to stick around on Sports Mole for all the latest results around the leagues. Enjoy!

David Stockdale
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