Opta Evaluation

Tuesday 17 December 2013 15:30

Everton may have defeated Fulham by four goals to one on Saturday afternoon, but it’s probably fair to say that the home side flattered to deceive with such a one-sided scoreline.

In a game where most of the action was saved until late on (the final quarter of the match saw four goals and three bookings), the majority of the statistics do reflect in the Toffees’ favour, but there was scarcely such domination that the result suggests. Fulham’s total of 16 attempts on goal was a respectable tally for an away team, with Everton mustering six more at Goodison Park.

However, Rene Meulensteen will be disappointed with his side’s shooting accuracy as only three efforts found the target – one of which was Dimitar Berbatov’s ice cool penalty that left Tim Howard with no chance.

The low number of attempts on target doesn’t necessarily represent the amount of clear-cut opportunities Fulham were presented with, though, and Alexander Kačaniklić will feel he should have scored when he fired over from close range after the loose ball had fallen his way following a Howard save early in the second half.

Anyone analysing the statistics in the opening stages of the game will have seen that Fulham were in charge of possession, although this soon swung in favour of Roberto Martinez’s men who ended the match having enjoyed 57.5 per cent of the ball.

With a greater deal of possession, it’s little surprise that the distribution numbers were bettered by the Toffees, as their pass accuracy was five per cent stronger than Fulham’s, while they made 136 more passes than their guests. However, the Whites did come out on top with regards to long pass accuracy (66 per cent to Everton’s 62) and crossing accuracy (30 per cent compared to the Blues’ 26).

Sascha Riether was the busiest man in a red shirt on Saturday, with the full-back involved in 72 ball events – five more than the second most industrious Fulham man, Steve Sidwell. Riether also had a decent pass success rate with 86.7 per cent of his balls finding the man, while he also delivered two crosses. One of which almost became an assist when it was met by Berbatov’s head, but the Bulgarian could only direct his effort into the side-netting.

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