Friday 24 November 2017

Toffees come back and stick it to Fulham

Headers from Marouane Fellaini and Denis Stracqualursi sent Everton into the fifth round of the FA Cup as they came from behind to beat Fulham last night.

Danny Murphy gave the Cottagers a controversial early lead from the penalty spot at Goodison Park, but hard-working Everton were rewarded for their determined fightback.

Landon Donovan was twice the provider as Stracqualursi, with his first goal for the club, equalised before half-time and Fellaini settled the tie 17 minutes from time.

Stracqualursi, who has made limited impact since joining Everton on a season-long loan from Tigre, had been a surprise inclusion for the Toffees ahead of Louis Saha, while they kept faith with 20-year-old Irishman Shane Duffy at the back.

The home side controlled the early possession, but it was Fulham who claimed the lead after the first move of note in the 13th minute.


It also came in contentious circumstances as John Heitinga was adjudged to have handled as he slid in to block a Damien Duff's shot.

John Arne Riise had got behind the defence as he met a superb cross-field pass from Murphy and cut the ball back for Duff in front of goal.

Duff shot instantly and the sliding Heitinga could do little to get his arm out of the way from point-blank range.

Ex-Liverpool midfielder Murphy calmly stroked home the penalty but Everton, feeling wronged by referee Howard Webb's decision, responded well to the setback.

After a spell of sustained pressure, Stracqualursi headed them level after 27 minutes.

Upon the restart, the game went quiet for a spell as both sides cancelled each other out before Everton roused themselves for a late rally.

They made the decisive breakthrough as Donovan hit a deep cross to the far post and Fellaini guided a header back across Fulham keeper David Stockdale into the top corner.

Everton almost made the game safe with the next attack as Tim Cahill hit a header against the bar, but they managed to play out time to advance to the last 16.

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