Saturday 1 November 2008, 12:45pm at Goodison Park, Liverpool
Barclays Premier League
Saha 87'
Fulham FC

87' Goal

Louis Saha

61' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Louis Saha
Off:Marouane Fellaini

76' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Victor Anichebe
Off:Steven Pienaar

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:James Vaughan

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Chris Baird
Off:Jimmy Bullard

88' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Clint Dempsey
Off:Zoltán Gera

89' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:Simon Davies

Continuing a tradition of not winning at Goodison Park, Fulham lose 1-0 to Everton in a close encounter.

Fulham got Saturday's game at Goodison Park underway and apart from two early chances for the home side the Whites contained Everton with ease in the first half, silencing the home crowd for the majority of the first period.

Everton's two clear-cut chances of the first half came in the opening ten minutes of play. First Phil Neville, the home side's captain, delivered a fine cross from out wide on the right that fell into the path of Fellaini on the 18-yard line. The big man's instinctive knock down fell into Tim Cahill's path but the Australian failed to connect and the ball drifted behind Schwarzer's goal to safety.

After missing the Blues first chance Cahill got the ball rolling for Everton's second opportunity seven minutes later. The Australian delivered an incisive through ball down the left flank. Fellaini raced clear to the by-line. The midfielder's cross from the left found Pienaar on the edge of the six yard box but his diving header flew straight into Schwarzer's arms on the near post.

Despite two early opportunities Fulham looked comfortable with two solid banks of four and enjoyed their fair share of possession thanks to some neat one touch football in midfield. Bobby Zamora's sheer physical presence and endeavour was once again providing a fine outlet for Fulham's counter-attacking football.

Arteta, so often the thorn in Fulham's side during previous meetings at Goodison Park, sent in a fierce 20 yard free-kick after 20 minutes. Schwarzer would have been untroubled had it not been for a ricochet of deflections. The ball diverted to the far post at pace but fortunately for Fulham the ball arrowed wide.

The Whites first shot on goal came after 22 minutes when Jimmy Bullard fired in a drive from 30 yards. Bullard tried his luck again ten minutes later but Howard was left untroubled.

After 25 minutes of play John Pantsil's last-ditch tackle on the 18-yard line earned him a nasty blow as Brede Hangeland followed through to intercept Yakubu. Pantsil recovered after receiving a dose of the magic sponge from Fulham's physio.

Just before the half hour mark Fellaini came within an inch of opening the scoring. After some neat build up play Yakubu teed Fellaini up for the strike 20 yards from goal. His right-footed strike to the far corner looked goal bound but having caught the ball with his instep it curled away from goal and struck the base of the post. The rebound was smothered by Schwarzer.

On his return to Goodison Park, Andy Johnson had half a chance to make it three in a week after 33 minutes of play but a moment's hesitation saw the chance go amiss.

A break down the left flank saw Bullard reach the by-line and deliver a menacing cross to the near post. Zamora challenged and Howard's attempted clearance fell to Johnson. 10 yards from goal the striker turned away from goal and the chance went begging.

Despite Everton producing the greater chances in the first half, Fulham always looked a threat when attacking down the flanks. Earlier in the week the Whites dismantled Wigan from the left flank, at Goodison they looked most dangerous from the right.

Referee Lee Mason blew for half time after one minute of added time and Fulham went into the break by far the happier side. Fulham had contained their opponents, frustrated the Goodison crowd and created one or two chances themselves.

Everton got the second period of play underway and Tim Cahill was left to rue two missed opportunities from almost identical positions in the first five minutes.

Two fine crosses from the left reached the Australian on the six-yard line twice in succession but on both occasions the Australian international headed wide from close range.

After 57 minutes of play Fulham came within a whisker of taking the lead. Following a Fulham corner from the right, Zamora collected the ball on the left flank and sent the ball back into the area from the by-line. Gera leapt above his marker eight yards from goal and sent his header against the underside of the cross bar. The ball fell in Everton's favour and was cleared away to safety.

David Moyes made the first change of the game on the hour mark, replacing Fellaini with former Fulham striker Louis Saha. Cahill dropped back into midfield and Saha joined Yakubu in attack.

Mark Schwarzer took a knock seconds later after bravely intercepting Pienaar's cross from the right. The Australian keeper leapt to catch the ball above Yakubu and came down to earth with a bump. After a brief pause for Schwarzer to gather himself play resumed.

The intensity of the game moved up a level with twenty-five minutes remaining and Jimmy Bullard required treatment after one particular heavy challenge in the middle of the park. The home crowd were becoming increasingly frustrated by the stalemate.

On 70 minutes Andy Johnson was crudely brought down 25 yards from goal. Jimmy Bullard stepped up and delivered a superb free kick to Howard's bottom right hand corner. Howard dived to save the ball but could only palm the ball to Zamora on the edge of the six-yard box. Zamora first time shot hit the far post and Everton somehow managed to clear the ball away to safety.

On 75 minutes David Moyes made his second change of the game, replacing Pienaar with Victor Anichebe. Everton's attacking intent was clear as Moyes switched to a 4-3-3 formation.

Fulham looked a constant threat on the counter and ten minutes from time Jimmy Bullard went close again with a fine drive from 30 yards. Howard saved but with the late afternoon sun in his sight the keeper did well to collect.

Everton had the ball in the net eight minutes from time but Schwarzer was clearly impeded as Yakubu challenged for the ball.

Roy Hodgson introduced Chris Baird for Jimmy Bullard in midfield with eight minutes remaining and David Moyes countered by replacing Yakubu with James Vaughan.

Only four minutes of time remained when Louis Saha broke the deadlock. Leon Osman crossed from the right flank and Saha rose at the near post to head past Schwarzer to put the home side ahead.

Roy Hodgson made two substitutions in as many minutes, replacing Gera and Davies with Dempsey and Nevland respectively.

The Fourth Official indicated three minutes of added time as Fulham went in search of an equaliser but Everton's late goal left no time for a Fulham recovery.

Fulham were desperately unfortunate at Goodison Park, having hit the post and the cross bar in the second half, the Whites deserved at least a point out of Saturday's contest.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 1 November 2008
Kick-off: 12:45pm

Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 31,278

Referee: Lee Mason


Line-up: Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Yobo, Lescott; Osman, Fellaini (Saha 61'), Arteta, Pienaar (Anichebe 76'); Cahill; Yakubu (Vaughan 84')

Unused substitutes: Nash, Hibbert, Baines, Rodwell


Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Davies (Nevland 89'), Murphy, Bullard (Baird 83'), Gera (Dempsey 88'); Zamora, Johnson

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Stoor, Dacourt, Gray

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Liverpool 10 26
2 Chelsea 10 23
3 Arsenal 10 20
4 Aston Villa 10 20
5 Hull City 10 20
6 Manchester United 9 18
7 Everton 11 15
8 Portsmouth 10 14
9 Manchester City 10 13
10 Middlesbrough 10 13
11 Sunderland 10 12
12 West Ham United 10 12
13 Blackburn Rovers 10 12
14 Fulham 10 11
15 Stoke City 10 10
16 West Bromwich Albion 10 10
17 Newcastle United 10 9
18 Wigan Athletic 10 8
19 Bolton Wanderers 10 8
20 Tottenham Hotspur 10 6
Everton (4-4-1-1)
  • 24Tim Howard
  • 18Philip Neville
  • 6Phil Jagielka
  • 66Joseph Yobo
  • 5Joleon Lescott
  • 21Leon Osman
  • 25Marouane Fellaini
  • 10Mikel Arteta
  • 20Steven Pienaar
  • 17Tim Cahill
  • 22Yakubu
  • 1Carlo Nash
  • 2Tony Hibbert
  • 3Leighton Baines
  • 8Jack Rodwell
  • 8Louis Saha
  • 14James Vaughan
  • 28Victor Anichebe
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 9Bobby Zamora
  • 8Andrew Johnson
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 22Fredrik Stoor
  • 34Chris Baird
  • 16Olivier Dacourt
  • 17Julian Gray
  • 10Erik Nevland
  • 23Clint Dempsey