Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Everton 4 Fulham 0

Merseyside: that unforgiving land, exclusively yielding misery for Fulham since football began. The west Londoners have never won a league match at either Goodison Park or Anfield and that record was never going to improve here; not with Everton playing like this; not with Nikica Jelavic, the brilliant 26 year-old, looking like he might score with every touch.

As with any of David Moyes’s teams, the result was not secured just because of the labours of one player. Everton were cohesive in every area of the field and utterly dominant. The vibrant contribution of Steven Pienaar who, like Jelavic, arrived at the club on the final day of the January transfer window, was just as crucial, as he assisted with three of the goals.

Yet Jelavic has now scored 10 times in 13 games. He has already become a reference point for his side. Evertonians revere their strikers and this one has all the qualities of past favourites: the precision finishing of Gary Lineker, the intelligence in movement of Peter Beardsley and the clout of Graeme Sharp. He is already the most complete striker the club have had in the past two decades, possibly beyond.

“Steven’s given us the creativity, Niccy’s given us the goals and Darron Gibson has given us a bit of stability. All of the signings have helped,” Moyes said.

Jelavic’s exploits, however, meant the points were secured by half-time. Fulham manager Martin Jol, stricken by a chest infection, remained at home, and he would have despaired at the idle display of his players. It was end-of-season stuff and in Jol’s place, first-team coach Billy McKinlay, offered a damning assessment. “It was a long afternoon,” he said. “We lost poor goals and we were nowhere near the levels we’re capable of.”

Everton’s opener came when Jelavic struck a free-kick and Pavel Pogrebnyak raised a hand. Referee Phil Dowd awarded a penalty, which Jelavic converted with ease. After Jelavic hit a post, Marouane Fellaini extended the lead. At 6ft 4in and with his bushy hair, the Belgian is hardly inconspicuous, but he rose unmarked from a Pienaar corner, his header bypassing an unruly swipe on the line by Damien Duff. Everton’s confidence was absolute. With Tony Hibbert warped into a wing-back, whipping crosses into the box with regularity, a considerable lead seemed inevitable.

The third goal came when, marginally offside, Jelavic rounded Mark Schwarzer. The Australian regained his composure but Jelavic fired into the net, low in-between the goalkeeper’s legs. Tim Cahill added a fourth when he seized upon another Pienaar burst from midfield and toe-poked home in front of the Gwladys Street.

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