Fulham were made to settle for a point at Craven Cottage as the west London side played out an entertaining 0-0 draw with Everton.
The first-half was very open, with both sides creating good chances to score early on. The best of the opportunities fell to Willian after just eight minutes, but the winger’s shot on the turn was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Jordan Pickford at close-range.
Then in the 23rd minute, Frank Lampard was furious on the Everton bench as Aleksandar Mitrovic caught Idrissa Gueye with a stamp on the ankle. The Serbian was cautioned, but he may consider himself lucky that he was not shown his marching orders considering the severity of the challenge.
One minute after the restart, the home side’s appeals for a potential penalty were turned away by match official John Brooks after Willian was brought down in the box by Idrissa Gueye.
The Cottagers then went on to have the better of the game in the second period and regularly troubled Pickford in the Everton goal. The pick of their chances once again fell to Willian in the 52nd minute, but his curling strike was tipped away with a diving stop by the Everton goalkeeper.
Despite their attacking intent, Marco Silva’s side couldn’t make the breakthrough their play deserved and had to settle for the draw.
TALKING POINT – FULHAM DO NOT GET DESERVED RESULT DESPITE ATTACKING OUTPUT
Fulham will be feeling very hard done by this evening as they reflect on the game. Their attacking output during the match was extremely high, as they amassed a total of 24 efforts on goal without any reward.
Despite Fulham’s expected goals (xG) output standing at 1.77, there were two key reasons as to why the Cottagers were not able to get on the scoresheet on Saturday night.
The first was their wasteful nature in front of goal, and an individual who typified that the most was Mitrovic, who just couldn’t capitalise on the opportunities that he had throughout the match.
The second reason was the performance of Pickford in between the posts for Everton, and with both of those factors combined, Fulham were left thinking what could have been on a frustrating night for them in front of their own fans.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – JORDAN PICKFORD
The Everton keeper was the best player on the pitch tonight, as his shot-stopping proved to be the main reason why his side were able to walk away from west London with a valuable point on the road.
In total, the 28-year-old made six saves during the match, and even played one key pass. The pick of his stops came in the opening exchanges of the game, as he made a brilliant close-range save to deny Willian from inside the box.
Fulham: Leno 7, Decordova-Reid 7, Diop 7, Ream 7, Robinson 7, Reed 7, Palhinha 7, Willian 8, Pereira 7, Kebano 6, Mitrovic 6. Subs: Wilson 6, Cairney 6, Tete 6.
Everton: Pickford 8, Coleman 6, Coady 7, Tarkowski 7, Mykolenko 7, Gueye 7, Onana 6, Gordon 6, Iwobi 6, Gray 7, Calvert-Lewin 6. Subs: Maupay 6, McNeil 6, Garner 6, Patterson 6.
5’ – EARLY EFFORT FOR EVERTON – Everton come again – the match is quite open! This time Gray has the ball just outside the area after Mykolenko’s cross and he goes for goal with a powerful shot, but Leno does well to tip it over the bar.
8’ – GREAT SAVE! – Willian almost scores for Fulham! The ball finds him in the centre of the box, and he turns to give himself a yard over Tarkowski before shooting straight at goal, but Pickford makes a great save to tip it over the bar!
23’ – LUCKY NOT TO SEE RED? – Mitrovic is booked for a stamp on Gueye. That looked a sore one, and maybe was right on the borderline of being a sending off, as on second glance, it looked a potential ankle-breaker.
36’ – BIG CHANCE! – The initial delivery into the danger area is dealt with, but Fulham recycle it and it ends up back with Pereira. He crosses it again towards the back post, but Ream sends his header agonisingly wide of the near post!
52’ – GOOD EFFORT, GOOD SAVE! – Another shot on goal for Fulham! Willian is given some space to operate down the left flank before he cuts inside onto his right foot and sends a wicked curling shot towards the far post, but Pickford stands up to it very well and beats it away with a diving stop!