Everton vs. Fulham: Final score 1-0, Pienaar's first half goal enough for the Toffees

Clive Brunskill

Everton rode Steven Pienaar's first half goal to a 1-0 victory over Fulham. Fulham were not helped by striker Dimitar Berbatov leaving the match in the first half due to a calf injury.

Fulham still have never won a league match at Goodison Park after falling 1-0 to Everton today. Steven Pienaar's first half goal was all the Toffees needed though they did waste several chances in the second half to open up a bigger advantage.

Everton went ahead in the 15th minute behind some beautifully executed build-up that started on the right side when Seamus Coleman dropped the ball off to Leon Osman and then made a run down towards the end line and the near post. Osman returned the ball to Coleman who took a quick look up, spotted Steven Pienaar alone in the middle, and found the South African with a low cross that Pienaar directed past Mark Schwarzer.

Just before the half hour mark Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov was forced to hobble off after suffering some sort of calf injury. Mladen Petric replaced him.

Everton had several opportunities to expand their lead in the second half but they either missed of their own accord or were denied by Schwarzer, who was excellent. It led to a far more nervy half than David Moyes probably would have liked but Fulham never looked particular dangerous.

In the end Everton did enough and held on for the victory that keeps them three points behind Tottenham for fifth place.

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