Fulham vs. Everton: Final score 1-3, Everton sink battling Fulham despite Dejagah stunner

Scott Heavey

Fulham put up a fierce fight in a hugely entertaining game at Craven Cottage, but Everton still managed to overcome the Londoners to keep themselves in the hunt for fourth place.

Everton prevailed over Fulham in a very enjoyable encounter at Craven Cottage, a result that leaves the Cottagers in serious trouble while Roberto Martinez's men remain in the fight for fourth.

Steven Naismith struck the visitors ahead by forcing an own goal from David Stockdale in the second half before Ashkan Dejagah equalised with a stunner, but Kevin Mirallas and then a second from Naismith buried the hosts' chances.

The game got off to a fairly bright start as the two teams played out an enjoyable but ultimately goalless first half. Both teams had chances, but arguably Fulham had more. Brede Hangeland and Patjim Kasami first failed to connect from a dangerous set-piece before the youngster Mousa Dembele had a shot saved by Tim Howard.

The nearest either side came to scoring in the first period was when Kieran Richardson was put in space down the left channel, but Tim Howard made the save with his feet before Everton counter-attacked and David Stockdale was forced to do the same to keep out Gerard Deolefeu.

A calf injury forced Ross Barkley off at half-time for Steven Naismith, but the change proved to be a fruitful one as the former Rangers man struck the visitors into the lead. A corner fell to the forward just outside the area and he let fly, seeing the ball take an unfortunate deflection before Stockdale could only touch it into his own net in what will likely go down as an own goal.

Romelu Lukaku almost got on the end of Leighton Baines' cross to double Everton's advantage, but just later Fulham's hard work and fighting finally got its reward. Ashkan Dejagah, just off the bench, cut inside from the left and lashed an unstoppable effort past Tim Howard at his near post to send Craven Cottage wild with delight.

Fulham pressed for a winner, but substitutes continued to influence the game and two of Everton's combined, with Aiden McGeady setting Kevin Mirallas through, allowing the latter to finis expertly and restore the visitors' advantage.

Fulham fought on, but eventually Everton dealt the killer blow. After a brief scramble Baines was able to find Naismith, who stabbed home a third and sunk Fulham's hopes. The Cottagers are not quite down yet, but their margin for error is shrinking to nothing. Everton, meanwhile, remain very much in the battle for the Champions League places.

Fulham: Stockdale, Riether, Hangeland, Heitinga, Riise, Kvist (Woodrow 64'), Sidwell, Kasami, Holtby, Richardson (Dejagah 64'), Dembele.

Goals: Dejagah 71'

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Deolefeu (Mirallas 68'), Osman (McGeady 77'), Barkley (Naismith 46'), Lukaku.

Goals: Stockdale OG 50', Mirallas 79', Naismith 87

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