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')

Match Analysis: Everton 1-0 Fulham

Steven Pienaar celebrates moments after scoring the opener against Chelsea on December 30, 2012
© PA Photos
Sports Mole dissects the action that unfolded during Everton's 1-0 victory over Fulham at Goodison Park.

Everton have edged closer to securing a Europa League place and have kept their slim chance of finishing in the Premier League top four alive by defeating Fulham 1-0 at Goodison Park.

The Toffees were granted a first-half lead by Steven Pienaar following a dominant team performance, while Fulham were unable to take a stronghold on the game.

Despite taking control of the fixture, the Merseyside outfit lived dangerously at times due to their slender lead, but the Cottagers were unable to take advantage and remain 11th in the table.

Sports Mole looks back at the 90 minutes that unfolded at the ground where Fulham have never grabbed all three points.

Match statistics:

Everton:
Shots 17
On target 10
Possession 58%
Corners 7
Fouls 12

Fulham:
Shots 6
On target 2
Possession 42%
Corners 2
Fouls 16

Was the result fair?

To be blunt, yes. Everton started the match as the better team and they ended it with the same attacking threat. The Merseyside outfit jumped out of the blocks in the first half and were eventually rewarded with a goal from Steven Pienaar. While Fulham had some good spells in front of goal, they were unable to take their chances when it counted to take a point from Goodison Park.

Everton's performance

Manager David Moyes will be pleased with his players due to a strong team performance on the field with some impressive passages of play. As earlier mentioned, the Toffees were on the front foot instantly, and if it wasn't for some poor finishing and expert goalkeeper from Fulham's Mark Schwarzer, they could have won the match by a larger margin. Despite being on top, Everton did experience some lulls in their performance, which always gave Fulham hope of finding an equaliser.

Fulham's performance

It wasn't the best showing from Fulham this season. They were dealt an early blow when Dimitar Berbatov limped off the field just before half an hour had been played. While the Cottagers had their attacking chances, they couldn't do enough to trouble Everton, and big thanks will have to go to their keeper Schwarzer for keeping them in the game until the final whistle.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Steven Pienaar: The South African not only snatched the one and only goal of the game, he was all over the pitch creating chances for Everton today. The 31-year-old's first touch was impressive throughout and he played a major part in keeping the Toffees on top.

Biggest gaffe

This would have to be Marouane Fellaini's miss. The Belgium international had time and plenty of space to knock the ball into the back of the net from a Leighton Baines cross, but he completely fluffed it. He ended up smashing the ball into the ground, resulting in it bouncing up and over the bar.

Referee performance

It was a relatively quiet game for Jon Moss. The match official issued four yellow cards in the game, all of which you could argue were justified. There were no controversial incidents for the referee to deal with and he allowed the game to flow.

What next?

Everton: The Toffees have the Merseyside derby to face at Anfield next Sunday as they aim to finish above Liverpool in the table.

Fulham: A home clash at Craven Cottage against struggling side Reading awaits Fulham next Saturday.

Steven Pienaar celebrates moments after scoring the opener against Chelsea on December 30, 2012
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