Relegated Fulham enjoy rare Premier League win at Everton’s expense
Tom Cairney and Ryan Babel strike in impressive 2-0 win for Championship-bound Whites.
Fulham secured just a fifth Premier League win of the season as Scott Parker’s already-relegated side outplayed Everton at Craven Cottage.
After their immediate relegation back to the Sky Bet Championship was confirmed last time out at Watford, the Whites ran out deserved 2-0 victors against a disappointing Everton.
Captain Tom Cairney opened the scoring with just the second Premier League goal of his career and his first since scoring against Everton for Hull in March 2010 and it was Ryan Babel who would wrap up a rare win for the home side.
FULL-TIME Fulham 2-0 Everton— Premier League (@premierleague) April 13, 2019
A spirited performance from Scott Parker’s Fulham sees the caretaker manager claim his first #PL points, ending Everton’s three-game winning run thanks to goals from Tom Cairney and Ryan Babel #FULEVE #PL pic.twitter.com/n806QEDNCu
Aleksandar Mitrovic passed up a number of first-half opportunities but Fulham struck twice in the second half to pick up their first victory since January and a maiden win for caretaker boss Parker.
It was also a rare successful day for the Whites’ defence, which could toast a first clean sheet of 2019 as Everton drew a blank, Dominic Calvert-Lewin hitting the post as their three-match unbeaten run came to an end.
An early mix-up from the away side set the tone for the afternoon as Jordan Pickford smashed a clearance straight at Phil Jagielka, although fortunately for Marco Silva’s side, the ball bounced harmlessly back to the England goalkeeper.
Mitrovic flashed a shot well over the crossbar before testing Pickford for the first time soon after as the hosts started on the front foot.
The Fulham forward should have opened the scoring with 11 minutes on the clock but could only shoot tamely at Pickford after beating the Everton offside trap.
The visitors slowly grew into the contest, Bernard drawing a low save out of Sergio Rico before Mitrovic again came close, Pickford this time pushing his header over the bar.
The Serbia international saw his header from the resulting corner deflected behind, with Calum Chambers the next to pass up a good chance as he failed to make enough contact with Cairney’s cross to trouble Pickford.
The first half was summed up when another well-worked Fulham move resulted in Mitrovic hitting the crossbar with yet another attempt as the scores remained level at the interval.
It did not stay that way for long as Cairney opened the scoring 31 seconds after the restart, sending a low finish past Pickford from just inside the area after good work from Babel.
Gylfi Sigurdsson had the ball in the net for Everton soon after but it was correctly ruled out by referee Lee Probert as Sergio Rico was caught by the outstretched boot of Calvert-Lewin beforehand.
Fulham, too, had a goal chalked off as Mitrovic was adjudged to have fouled Kurt Zouma to allow Ryan Sessegnon to fire in.
Calvert-Lewin clipped the post as Everton started to push for an equaliser but it was Fulham who would score again, extending their lead as former Liverpool man Babel collected Mitrovic’s pass before coolly dinking the ball over the onrushing Pickford.
Everton could not respond as the side – which had beaten Arsenal last weekend – were not at the races, Silva seeing his team miss the chance to move seventh with a fourth-straight win.