Opta Evaluation

Monday 29 April 2013 15:00

Fulham’s poor record at Goodison Park continued on Saturday as they lost to Everton 1-0, with the Opta Stats making hard reading for Whites fans.

Struggling to create chances, especially after Dimitar Berbatov had to come off after 30 minutes, Fulham were up against it from the onset and could only muster six shots to Everton’s 21. The Toffees controlled a lot of the play from the flanks and had 32 crosses - against Fulham’s 13 - but the discrepancy in the passing statistics was not as wide. Our accuracy was good (79 per cent) and only a little behind the opposition in attempted passes with 364 against 421.

Bryan Ruiz was one of the busiest players on the pitch as his 74 ball events was surpassed only by Everton left-back Leighton Baines (84). Indeed, the Everton left was a source of good play for them and Stanislav Manolev found himself up against Baines on plenty of occasions – the Merseysider’s average position coming in more like a left winger than a defender. With goalscorer Steven Pienaar cutting inside a lot, there was plenty of space on the flanks and the Toffees’ Heatmap (below) suggests that their focus was mainly on one side of the pitch.

In the centre, Giorgos Karagounis and Eyong Enoh were tasked with halting the Everton surge as the midfield became increasingly congested. The Greek’s two tackles and three winning duels came in slightly less than teammate Enoh’s three tackles and five winning duels, but although the accuracy of their passing was better than that of the Everton midfield, they did not pass the ball forwards as much, as the two Chalkboards below show.

As if being up against Leon Osman and Marouane Fellaini wasn’t enough, Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas didn’t spend too long on the wings either, so the Fulham pair of Urby Emanuelson and Alexander Kačaniklić were pushed back into their own half to defend their runs and could not get forward into the attacking third as much as they would have liked.

With Bryan also dropping deep to collect the ball, it was hard for the boys to get Mladen Petrić into the game as he was isolated up front; the Croatian rarely able to make runs into the box like the one that almost brought an equaliser before half-time. Ultimately, a goal proved just out of reach as the Everton box was rarely troubled for the rest of the game and the Goodison hoodoo continued.

Head over to the Match Centre to try out our new interactive tabs for yourself.