Premier League
EvertonEverton0FulhamFulham2

Everton 0-2 Fulham: Josh Maja double boosts Fulham's survival hopes

By Gary RoseBBC Sport
Josh Maja
Josh Maja scored with his first shot on target for Fulham

Josh Maja said he saw a dream become reality as he marked his full debut with a brace to help Fulham boost their Premier League survival hopes with a deserved win at Everton.

The visitors were by far the better side in the first half but were left frustrated as they missed several opportunities to score, with Bobby Decordova-Reid hitting the post and Harrison Reed driving over.

But their dominance was rewarded early in the second half when Maja - a deadline day signing on loan from Bordeaux - slid in to turn home Ola Aina's cross from close range.

Maja, 22, then capped a superb debut with a second, tapping in after Reed's shot had hit the woodwork.

The former Sunderland striker said: "This is a night I have been dreaming about for a long time. I had a feeling it was coming and pleased it became a reality.

"We took our chances when it came and put in another good performance again, we want to continue like this."

Everton were poor throughout and although Seamus Coleman clipped the outside of the post in the first half, they rarely looked like scoring.

Joshua King did have the ball in the back of the net late on but it was ruled out for offside.

There is still plenty of work to do for Fulham to escape the drop, with this victory cutting the deficit to safety to seven points, but it will significantly boost their hopes they they can fight their way out of trouble.

Defeat for Everton, meanwhile, means they remain seventh on 37 points.

'Superb, brilliant' - Parker welcomes Fulham win

Maja provides spark Fulham have missed

This was a much-needed win for a Fulham side that has often been competitive in games this season but a failure to convert chances into goals has meant they have rarely got the rewards their performances have warranted.

They had 20 shots on goal at West Ham last time out but only two of those were on target as they had to settle for a frustrating draw, and it looked like that pattern would continue in this game as they squandered numerous chances in the first half.

But with Aleksandar Mitrovic having struggled for goals this season, Fulham have missed a clinical striker who can finish off the many chances they create - but this performances suggests Maja could be that man.

Neither of the former Sunderland striker's goals were fantastic strikes but crucially he was in the right place at the right time to put the ball in the back of the net.

Maja's impact and this result could provide the spark Fulham have needed to haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

"Today it has been the difference," said Fulham boss Scott Parker, when asked about his side finding the back of the net.

"I constantly say to this team, you cannot keep creating the chances and that is a good marker to keep belief.

"We have been on the wrong side of fine margins but in and around the six-yard box we have sniffed out chances and got a big win."

Toffees come unstuck at home again

Everton and Fulham
Everton have now lost three of their last four games at home in the Premier League

Everton are enjoying one of their best Premier League seasons, having taken 37 points from 22 games to sit seventh and just three points off the top four.

Despite that, performances like this one highlight a frustrating issue the Toffees appear to have on home soil.

Only four of their 11 league victories have come at Goodison Park, where they have not won in the Premier League since 19 December, and this was another flat performance by Carlo Ancelotti's side.

This was a far cry from their scintillating display in the 5-4 FA Cup fifth-round win against Tottenham in midweek as they sorely missed Dominic Calvert-Lewin in attack.

They did not manage a single shot on target in the first half and only two in the second half, but both of those efforts - from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Michael Keane respectively - came when they were already 2-0 down.

This was a real opportunity for Everton to underline their credentials as top-four contenders but they came up disappointingly short.

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti to BBC Sport: "[We struggled with] the physical aspect [after the 5-4 midweek win over Spurs].

"Practically we were not able to play as we wanted. We wanted to have a good control of the game, putting more midfielders on the pitch, but they press a lot and we could not play as we want."

Everton 0-2 Fulham: Carlo Ancelotti says hosts could not match visitors' intensity

A first for Fulham - the stats

  • Everton have lost three of their last four Premier League games at Goodison Park (D1), as many defeats as they suffered in Carlo Ancelotti's first 17 home games in charge in the competition (W8 D6).
  • Fulham picked up their first ever away win at Everton in league competition, on what was their 28th attempt. Coming into Sunday evening's game, they had lost each of their last 22 away league games against the Toffees.
  • Everton have only kept one clean sheet in their last 15 Premier League games at Goodison Park, with that coming against Chelsea back on 12 December of last year (1-0).
  • Fulham picked up their first Premier League victory since November 2020 versus Leicester (2-1), ending a run of 12 games without a win in the competition (D8 L4).
  • Everton have lost five of their last seven Premier League home games against newly-promoted teams (W1 D1), including each of the last two - 0-1 v Leeds United last November and 0-2 v Fulham on Sunday night.
  • Aged 22 years and 49 days, Josh Maja is the second-youngest player to score on his first Premier League start for Fulham, after Collins John v Blackburn in April 2004 (18 years and 178 days).
  • Fulham striker Josh Maja is just the second Nigerian player to score a brace on his first Premier League start, following Efan Ekoku for Norwich City back in May 1993 (v Middlesbrough).
  • Everton's first shot on target of the game came in the 76th minute through Gylfi Sigurdsson - indeed, their total of seven shots was their joint-fewest in a Premier League home game under Carlo Ancelotti (also seven v Man Utd in November and Leicester in July 2020).

What next?

Everton host Premier League leaders Manchester City on Wednesday (20:15 GMT) while Fulham travel to Burnley earlier the same day (18:00).

Player of the match

MajaJosh Maja

with an average of 8.63

Everton

  1. Squad number22Player nameGodfrey
    Average rating

    3.81

  2. Squad number33Player nameOlsen
    Average rating

    3.76

  3. Squad number23Player nameColeman
    Average rating

    3.75

  4. Squad number5Player nameKeane
    Average rating

    3.59

  5. Squad number12Player nameDigne
    Average rating

    3.56

  6. Squad number11Player nameKing
    Average rating

    3.50

  7. Squad number26Player nameDavies
    Average rating

    3.46

  8. Squad number16Player nameDoucouré
    Average rating

    3.46

  9. Squad number20Player nameBernard
    Average rating

    3.41

  10. Squad number10Player nameG Sigurdsson
    Average rating

    3.21

  11. Squad number19Player nameRodríguez
    Average rating

    3.15

  12. Squad number21Player nameAndré Gomes
    Average rating

    3.15

  13. Squad number7Player nameRicharlison
    Average rating

    3.08

  14. Squad number4Player nameHolgate
    Average rating

    3.07

Fulham

  1. Squad number27Player nameMaja
    Average rating

    8.63

  2. Squad number21Player nameReed
    Average rating

    8.16

  3. Squad number34Player nameAina
    Average rating

    7.79

  4. Squad number19Player nameLookman
    Average rating

    7.78

  5. Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid
    Average rating

    7.75

  6. Squad number5Player nameAndersen
    Average rating

    7.71

  7. Squad number15Player nameLoftus-Cheek
    Average rating

    7.67

  8. Squad number2Player nameTete
    Average rating

    7.59

  9. Squad number16Player nameTosin
    Average rating

    7.57

  10. Squad number18Player nameLemina
    Average rating

    7.47

  11. Squad number1Player nameAreola
    Average rating

    7.39

  12. Squad number29Player nameZambo Anguissa
    Average rating

    6.91

  13. Squad number17Player nameCavaleiro
    Average rating

    6.90

  14. Squad number25Player nameOnomah
    Average rating

    6.70

Line-ups

Everton

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 33Olsen
  • 23ColemanSubstituted forKeaneat 56'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 22Godfrey
  • 4Holgate
  • 12Digne
  • 16Doucouré
  • 26DaviesSubstituted forKingat 56'minutes
  • 21André Gomes
  • 10G Sigurdsson
  • 19RodríguezSubstituted forBernardat 68'minutes
  • 7Richarlison

Substitutes

  • 5Keane
  • 6Allan
  • 11King
  • 13Mina
  • 17Iwobi
  • 18Nkounkou
  • 20Bernard
  • 31Neves Virgínia
  • 62Onyango

Fulham

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Areola
  • 2Tete
  • 5Andersen
  • 16Tosin
  • 34Aina
  • 15Loftus-Cheek
  • 21Reed
  • 18LeminaSubstituted forOnomahat 90+1'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 19LookmanSubstituted forZambo Anguissaat 83'minutes
  • 27MajaSubstituted forCavaleiroat 73'minutes
  • 14De Cordova-Reid

Substitutes

  • 3Hector
  • 4Odoi
  • 12Rodák
  • 13Ream
  • 17Cavaleiro
  • 25Onomah
  • 29Zambo Anguissa
  • 30Kongolo
  • 33Robinson
Referee:
Andy Madley

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamFulham
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home7
Away12
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home7
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Everton 0, Fulham 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Everton 0, Fulham 2.

  3. Booking

    Josh Onomah (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Booking

    Michael Keane (Everton) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

    Alphonse Areola (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Michael Keane (Everton).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham).

  8. Post update

    Bernard (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bernard with a cross.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ben Godfrey (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Everton. Conceded by Tosin Adarabioyo.

  12. Post update

    Foul by André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Fulham).

  13. Post update

    Abdoulaye Doucouré (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Josh Onomah replaces Mario Lemina.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Michael Keane (Everton) with an attempt from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mason Holgate with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham).

  17. Post update

    Lucas Digne (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. André-Frank Zambo Anguissa replaces Ademola Lookman.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ola Aina.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Kenny Tete (Fulham).

Banner Image Reading Around the BBC - BlueFooter - Blue

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

510 comments