Everton 3-0 Fulham: Sigurdsson leads Toffees to crucial home win
Cenk Tosun bagged for Everton | Photo: Yahoo Sports.

Everton 3-0 Fulham: Sigurdsson leads Toffees to crucial home win

Two goals from Gylfi Sigurdson and another from Cenk Tosun sink Fulham as Everton break their three match winless streak.

maxwell-hogg
Maxwell Hogg

Saturday afternoon's matchup was a crucial meeting between Everton and Fulham at Goodison Park, with both sides occupying positions in the lower half of the table, but it was the former who came out on top. 

Fulham came into this one struggling to find scoring outside of Aleksandar Mitrovic, while Everton were winless in their last three league matches, including a loss to West Ham United.

Fulham's struggle continued as Everton won 3-0 on the day. The visitors hung on in the first half but Everton showed their class on their way to a big win in front of the home crowd.

Quality lacking as neither side breakthrough

Enthralling is probably the last word that comes to mind when describing the first half. It was a tightly contested half, but poor passing and finishing from both sides denied either side an early foothold in the match.

The hosts looked bright at the start, hitting Fulham on the counter through  Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Brazilian blazed down the pitch and played Sigurdsson in, and while it wasn't a clear-cut chance, his resulting shot was disappointing and telling of the half to come. 

Fulham were forced into an early change after Timothy Fosu-Mensah went down injured after a tackle. The challenge itself seemed harmless, but the Manchester United loanee couldn't put weight on his right leg and was forced to come off, making way for Cyrus Christie.

It was a big blow for the visitors as Fosu-Mensah has been one of the better fullbacks in the league this season. Richarlison would make use of Fosu-Mensah's absence, consistently beating his replacement.

The brightest player on the pitch by far was Fulham starlet Ryan Sessegnon, who completed all of his passes in the first half. Playing in midfield today, his passing was instrumental in nearly all of Fulham's attacks. 

He had a  pullback that completely fooled Michael Keane, leaving the defender embarrassed on the ground as he played the ball to Andre Schurrle. The chance opened up for him, but his shot went sailing over the bar for a goal kick.

Late in the half, the visitors nearly opened the scoring after Jean Michael Seri threaded a brilliant ball towards Mitrovic. The striker drew plenty of attention, so he let the ball roll past into the path of Sessegnon.

It was a tight angle to get the shot off, but he beat Jordan Pickford as he shot smashed into the crossbar and out. It was easily the best chance of the half, Sessegnon left frustrated with himself for not putting it away.

Everton overwhelm Cottagers

Everton started the second half rapidly. The hosts nearly scored from two corners within the span of two minutes, with both Richarlison and Kurt Zouma going close.

Richarlison's effort was a bit more ambitious, twisting his body for an overhead kick that went just over the bar, while Zouma's solid header went directly into the arms of Marcus Bettinelli. 

Everton didn't let off the gas as the chances kept coming for the home side. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was breaking down the field, getting the better of Denis Odoi and although his final touch was too heavy, Odoi ended up committing a foul inside the box for the penalty.

It was a massive mistake as Bettinelli stood a good chance of getting to the ball before Calvert-Lewin. Luckily for the defender, Sigurdsson's penalty was poor,  hitting the crossbar as he failed to capitalize.

Sigurdsson was to make up for his mistake, though. Tom Davies made a brilliant overlapping run to open up space for the cross. The ball got poked back to the top of the box by the Fulham defence, and the Icelandic international stepped up to hit a low curling ball into the far corner. Bettinelli barely saw the ball and was rooted to the ground as he watched it nestle in the back of the net.

Not long after scoring the opener, Everton doubled their lead through substitute Cenk Tosun. Taking nothing away from the goalscorer, the goal was crafted by Jonjoe Kenny and Theo Walcott. Kenny played Walcott down the right wing, and the latter chipped a perfect ball from the goal line to the back post for Tosun to nod home to the delight of Goodison Park.

Fulham nearly hit back after a counterattack that sent Luciano Vietto through on goal but his final touch was too heavy as Pickford came charging off his line to gather the ball and send Vietto tumbling. The England international got up and pumped his fist after distributing the ball, clearly fired up as he was chasing his first clean sheet of the season.

Richardson came off late after playing through a knock, replaced by summer signing Bernard. Not more than a minute later, the Brazilian made his mark on the match. He picked out Sigurdsson who found the extra space in the box to slot the ball home for his second of the night. It wasn't as amazing as his first, but it was clinical.

It was certainly a match of two halves. The first wasn't the best viewing, but Everton showed their class and just how good they can be when everyone is on the same page.

Fulham were completely overrun in the second half, with the counterattack their only method of offense.

However, Everton's quality shone through as they were only caught out on the counter once, with Pickford keeping his first clean sheet of the season.

Everton are on the rise through the table, while Fulham need to figure out how to get some results, otherwise it could be a long season.

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