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Everton 0-1 Fulham: Profligate hosts made to pay as Bobby Decordova-Reid secures narrow away win

Match report and highlights as Fulham's Bobby Decordova-Reid inflicts a narrow home defeat on Everton; Neal Maupay guilty of hat-trick of first-half misses as Marco Silva makes winning return back on Merseyside

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Fulham's win against Everton

Everton manager Sean Dyche was frustrated by his side's inability to convert their chances and disappointed by the lack of VAR intervention on Michael Keane's disallowed goal in the 1-0 defeat to Fulham.

Bobby Decordova-Reid, who was making his 400th senior appearance having replaced Willian at half-time, prodded home fellow substitute Andreas Pereira's cross to seal a smash-and-grab victory for the Cottagers, a third successive success at Goodison Park.

Marco Silva, on his return to Merseyside, watched his side ride their luck in the opening period as Neal Maupay was guilty of missing three glaring chances as Bernd Leno inspired Fulham to an opening win on the road.

Keane's first-half goal was disallowed as the centre-back turned the ball into an empty net and celebrated almost apologetically before referee Stuart Attwell, having initially not blown, ruled there had been an infringement in the collision between goalkeeper Leno and James Tarkowski.

Bobby Decordova-Reid celebrates his winning goal
Image: Bobby Decordova-Reid celebrates his winning goal

Nathan Patterson struck the crossbar for the hosts and moments later Decordova-Reid dealt the killer blow as the same problems persisted for Everton, who lost an 11th game in their last 20 league outings at Goodison Park.

It burst the bubble of optimism which had been generated by an energetic and relatively creative opening 73 minutes of the season and will have infuriated Dyche as much as it delighted former Toffees boss Silva.

The Portuguese said: "I'm really pleased for the result. I can't hide how important it is for us to start by winning games away from home in the Premier League.

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"We know what it means to play at Goodison on the first day of the season. The crowd wanted their team on the front foot and they created some chances. They could've punished us on the counter-attack but Bernd was at a top level this afternoon. What a performance from him."

Bernd Leno comes to claim the ball and is blocked by James Tarkowski
Image: Everton were denied a goal in the first half after a foul on Bernd Leno

Player ratings

Everton: Pickford (6), Patterson (6), Tarkowski (7), Keane (6), Young (6), Garner (7), Doucoure (6), Gueye (6), Onana (7), Iwobi (7), Maupay (5).

Subs: Danjuma (5), Dobbin (n/a).

Fulham: Leno (9), Tete (7), Diop (7), Ream (7), Robinson (7), Reed (7), Lukic (7), Cairney (5), Wilson (7), Willian (5), Jimenez (6).

Subs: Mitrovic (7), Reid (7), Andreas Pereira (6).

Player of the match: Bernd Leno.

Same Achilles heel undoes Everton

Dele and Seamus Coleman watch on from the stands
Image: Dele and Seamus Coleman watch on from the stands

Despite generating twice as many shots as the visitors, Dyche's side were undone by one square pass across their six-yard area when Pereira beat Patterson to an Aleksandar Mitrovic's through-ball for a tap-in by Decordova-Reid.

Silva knows all about the trials and tribulations of being under the spotlight at Everton, having been in charge for 18 months which ended in his sacking in December 2019. Despite Fulham's possessional dominance, it was Everton who registered all the clear-cut chances of the opening 45 minutes.

Team news

Everton began the new season with striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin absent from the squad to face Fulham.

The injury-troubled forward has not had enough minutes in pre-season to warrant inclusion by manager Sean Dyche so that meant Neal Maupay - who has scored one goal in 29 appearances for the club - started up front.

New signing Ashley Young became Everton's second-oldest debutant at the age of 38 years and 34 days while fellow summer arrival Arnaut Danjuma was on the bench, but there was no place for Demarai Gray, who is the subject of interest from the Cottagers.

Fulham also left their main striker Aleksandar Mitrovic - the target of Saudi Arabia side Al-Hilal - out of the team as he was named among the substitutes, but new signing Raul Jimenez was included.

Leno was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers having denied Maupay on three occasions while also keeping out an early shot from Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Doucoure, who scored the crucial goal to preserve Everton's top-flight status against Bournemouth on the final day of last season, latched onto an Amadou Onana pass and after a slip from Tim Ream, Leno made himself big to deny him.

Everton thought they had taken the lead when Keane swept home a loose ball from Patterson's hopeful cross, but Attwell deemed there to have been a foul by Tarkowski in the build-up. It appeared a soft call from referee, but Leno did have two hands on the ball as he lost control under pressure.

Leno foul in pictures: Should Keane goal have stood?

Bernd Leno comes to claim the ball and is blocked by James Tarkowski
Michael Keane's goal was ruled out
James Tarkowski appeals to referee Stuart Attwell after Everton's goal is disallowed

On Everton's disallowed goal, Dyche said afterwards: "I think VAR is there to make sure that doesn't go the wrong way because our defender has done nothing. Tarky just stands there, the keeper catches it and drops it on his head. He did not try to impede him, it bounces out of his hands, we score and bizarrely they get a foul.

"I don't know where that one lives. That is the modern game, you touch a keeper and it is a foul. He did not do it deliberately and the whole stadium knows that."

Everton generated 19 shots to their opponents' nine from just 41 per cent possession but failed to capitalise with Calvert-Lewin's deputy Maupay most culpable.

Sean Dyche issues instructions from the sidelines
Image: Sean Dyche issues instructions from the sidelines

His best chance came after the impressive Alex Iwobi crossed from the left and after Doucoure chested the ball into the forward's path, his flick towards goal lacked conviction as Leno smothered.

Silva looked to grapple control of the contest at the break with Decordova-Reid replacing the booked Willian - and the visitors came close to nudging ahead when debutant Raul Jimenez struck the post from Harry Wilson's cross.

It was Jimenez's final act as Mitrovic was summoned. Midway through the second half, it was Everton's turn to be frustrated by the woodwork as Patterson was unable to control his shot on the rebound after Leno again kept out an Iwobi effort from range.

It would prove a costly miss as moments after Maupay was hauled off in place of Arnaut Danjuma, Everton were caught cold as Pereira beat Patterson to the cross to allow Decordova-Reid to snatch the victory on his landmark day.

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Fulham manager Marco Silva was delighted with his side's hard-fought 1-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park, especially after a 'strange' pre-season that left his team under-prepared for the start of the new season.

Dyche: We created four or five golden chances

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Everton manager Sean Dyche was disappointed that Michael Keane's goal was ruled out against Fulham after Bernd Leno was deemed to have been impeded by James Tarkowski.

Everton boss Sean Dyche:

"I'm very disappointed in the fact that we didn't win the game, certainly get a point, very dominant chance count and high quality chances.

"We did not finish them off and we know from last season we have to improve at that, but we were getting the team in the right manner and the right areas, I was pleased with that because that is the highest chance count and quality of chance count that I can remember for a long time here.

"We created four or five golden chances in the first half and were very good on the break as well. I thought we were the better side overall, but sometimes you don't get what you deserve.

"The crowd need to stay with us again because we have roughly the same group of players, we have adapted to what we are and that is what we showed today."

Dyche yet to solve Everton's problems in front of goal

Jordan Pickford shows his frustration after conceding
Image: Jordan Pickford shows his frustration after conceding

Sky Sports' Ben Grounds:

"Six of Fulham's last seven Premier League clean sheets have come away from home - but they should not have had one on Saturday. It was just the third time on record Everton have had as many as nine shots on target in a Premier League game without scoring (also 10 vs Wolves in March 2010 and nine against Sunderland in December 2013).

"Leno made vital saves, but it was a result of their opponent's poor finishing that Marco Silva left Goodison with another three points against his former employees.

"Back in April, Silva was in the stands serving a touchline ban for Fulham's 3-1 away win, but here he could toast a hard-fought victory from close quarters, and it was his intervention which swung the balance his team's way. Substitute Bobby De Cordova-Reid scored with Fulham's first shot on target of the game.

"A new season brought new hope for recent relegation strugglers Everton but for all the improvements Dyche has made over the summer, it appears he he has not yet solved their problems in front of goal. The return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and a debut for new signing Youssef Chermiti, the £15m Sporting Lisbon striker watching from the directors' box, cannot come soon enough."

FPL Stats: Everton 0-1 Fulham

Goal De Cordova-Reid
Assist Pereira
Bonus points Leno (3), Diop (2), Ream (1)

Merson: Everton lack depth... long season ahead

Arnaut Danjuma misses albeit from an offside position
Image: Arnaut Danjuma misses albeit from an offside position

Sky Sports' Paul Merson:

"100 per cent, Everton should have got something from this game. Fulham scored from their first shot on target. If Mitrovic plays for Everton, they win the game quite comfortably. They haven't got a forward.

"They missed chance after chance. Maupay and Doucoure missed sitters. Everton closed well and suffocated Fulham, but as the game went on, Silva could bring on Reid, Mitrovic, Pereira.

"Everton didn't have that to bring on. Patterson had to stop the cross for the goal. It's going to be a long season for them."

What's next?

Live Super Sunday

Everton face Aston Villa next Sunday, live on Sky Sports, kick-off 2pm.

Meanwhile, Fulham face their first London derby of the new season when hosting Brentford on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

Fulham's happy hunting ground - Opta stats

Harry Wilson's influence grew in the game
Image: Harry Wilson's influence grew in the game
  • Fulham have won three of their last four Premier League games against Everton (D1), as many wins as in their previous 18 league matches against the Toffees (W3 D2 L13).
  • Everton have begun a Premier League campaign with defeat in each of the last two seasons (also a 0-1 home loss to Chelsea in 2022-23) having avoided defeat on MD1 in the previous 10 campaigns (W4 D6).
  • Fulham have won their opening game to a Premier League season for the first time since 2013-14 (1-0 vs Sunderland), having failed to win their previous three MD1 games in the competition before today (D1 L2).
  • No current Premier League side has lost more home matches in the competition since the start of last season than Everton (11), while the Toffees have failed to win any of their last 13 home league matches in which they have conceded at least one goal (D2 L11).
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