Opta Evaluation

Tuesday 6 November 2012 09:30

Anyone in attendance of Saturday’s match will appreciate the value of the point earned by the Whites against Everton, and the Opta statistics reiterate how well we dug in to ensure the spoils were shared.

Our visitors were in fine form on the bank of the Thames, as their 27 efforts on goal would suggest. Mark Schwarzer made several notable saves – beating away Marouane Fellaini’s volley to keep the scoreline at 1-2 springs to mind in particular – although Everton’s shooting accuracy was not overly impressive. The Toffees managed to get 33.3 per cent of their attempts on target, compared to our 44.4 per cent.

With Everton seeing more of the ball throughout the contest, it was imperative that the Whites were firm in the tackle and we just managed more successful challenges; winning 26 to the Blues’ 21.

Everton’s plan to use the aerial prowess of Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic was evident in the amount of crosses delivered. In fact, the former’s equalising goal came from one of 40 crosses administered from a man in a blue shirt. Fulham only put in 14 crosses, but Sascha Riether’s on 90 minutes proved deadly as Steve Sidwell poked it home at the far post.

Bryan Ruiz thought he’d opened the scoring after seven minutes but his sublime free-kick unfortunately went down as an own goal after going in off Everton custodian Tim Howard, but the Costa Rican still went on to play an integral role for the Whites throughout the game. Playing in the hole behind Dimitar Berbatov, Bryan was not afraid to drop deep to help his teammates out when necessary. He won three aerial duels and was successful in the tackle on two occasions, while going forward he put in six crosses – more than any other Fulham player.