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Fulham 2-3 Everton: Dominic Calvert-Lewin double helps Toffees return to winning ways

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Fulham 2-3 Everton: Dominic Calvert-Lewin at the double as Toffees return to winning ways at Craven Cottage with Abdoulaye Doucoure also on target... but not before they're given a scare with Ruben Loftus-Cheek goal and Ivan Cavaleiro's skied penaltyEverton ended a three-match losing streak with a 3-2 victory away to FulhamDominic Calvert-Lewin scored close range opener inside the first minuteFulham equalised through Bobby Decordova-Reid at Craven CottageBut Calvert-Lewin scored second to move top of Premier League scoring chart Abdoulaye Doucoure put Everton 3-1 ahead with a towering header Fulham rallied after the break with Ivan Cavaleiro slipping to send penalty overRuben Loftus-Cheek did reduce the arrears but Fulham couldn't find another 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues to score, Everton continue to concede and Fulham continue to find spectacular ways to botch their penalties. What a peculiar and fun gathering at the building site down by the river.

It was an odd one, certainly. And odder still for the fact that it closed with Everton running down the clock in panic against a side who had chased shadows in the afternoon sun for more than an hour.

But that's just how Everton are at the moment, with an attack that can do wonderful things and a defence that always makes you think twice.  

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (second left) celebrates with his team-mates after opening the scoring for Everton inside the opening minute

The striker was on hand to turn the ball home from close range after some poor defending 

Calvert-Lewin was all smiles after handing Everton the perfect start at Craven Cottage

Which is why this game became a slog – they led 1-0 through Calvert-Lewin, before letting Fulham back in for 1-1, and they then went to 2-1 and 3-1 via a combination of Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure goals before somehow losing all control of this game.

Having escaped one goal when Ivan Cavaleiro became the third Fulham players to miss a penalty out of their past four – he kicked the ball against his standing foot and over, one game after the Ademola Lookman Panenka against West Ham – Ruben Loftus-Cheek clawed Fulham back to 3-2. 

While the pressure ultimately amounted to nothing, and no great chances, it was curious to see Everton flutter between domination and desperation so quickly. A better side than Fulham would have done enough to take at least a draw from those final 20 or so minutes.

But for Carlo Ancelotti, that is a consideration rather than a burden. They still claimed the three points and with it maintained the momentum of their brilliant striker Calvert-Lewin, whose 10 goals this season puts him joint even with the entire collective of Manchester City.  

Bobby Decordova-Reid fires home Fulham's equalising goal on the quarter-hour mark

Decordova-Reid celebrates drawing Fulham level at Craven Cottage with his team-mates

Calvert-Lewin scores Everton's second goal after 29 minutes, restoring their advantage

Everton celebrate Calvert-Lewin's second goal of the afternoon just before the half-hour

Match facts 

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Areola 5.5; Aina 6.5, Andersen 6, Adarabioyo 5, Robinson 5.5; Reed 6, Lemina 6 (Anguissa 69, 6); Decordova-Reid 6.5 (Lotus-Cheek 58, 7), Cairney 6 (Mitrovic 58, 6), Lookman 7; Cavaleiro 5

Substitutes not used: Rodak (GK); Odoi, Ream, Bryan

Manager: Scott Parker 6 

Scorers: Decordova-Reid 15; Loftus-Cheek 70

Missed penalty: Cavaleiro 68 

Booked: Decordova-Reid, Robinson  

Everton (5-2-3): Pickford 6.5; Iwobi 7, Godfrey 6.5, Mina 6.5, Keane 6.5, Digne 7; Doucoure 7, Allan 7; Rodriguez 7 (Davies 74, 6); Calvert-Lewin 8, Richarlison 7.5 (Sigurdsson 76) 

Substitutes not used: Olsen (GK); Holgate, Gomes, Bernard, Tosun

Manager: Carlo Ancelotti 7 

Scorers: Calvert-Lewin 1, 29; Doucoure 35

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Midlands) 7

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Better still, they have won after three straight defeats, which all occurred in the absence of Richarlison to suspension, and doubtless his return here brought the fizz back to the attack.

If only they could find a similar cure at the back – their run of conceding at least two goals a game now extends to six matches. That will sink them over time if it is not addressed.

The benefit in this case was that Fulham always looked more fallible.

Parker's ongoing, head-melting search for a more workable formula meant two changes to the side beaten by West Ham before the break, with Mario Lemina available again and picked ahead of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa. 

In attack, Ivan Cavaleiro replaced Aleksandar Mitrovic – a tactical decision according to Parker, but also a reasonable response to the Serbian's inconsistencies.

Ancelotti's prime change among four was to recall Richarlison after a three-game ban which triggered the team's implosion. Gylfi Sigurdsson was replaced by Alex Iwobi, while Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina were brought in for Mason Holgate and Seamus Coleman.

The Italian also switched from a 4-3-3 to 5-2-3, with Iwobi stationed as a right wing-back. Iwobi's initial unease in the defensive brief here was significantly balanced by his success going forward, albeit against a side with an iffy habit of making good opposition look great.

Take the opening goal, which came after 42 seconds and was a puzzle of little Fulham mistakes. 

The origin of the quickest strike of the season was a floated ball across the back sent in error by Tosin Adarabioyo. 

It hung in the air too long and created immediate pressure on his team-mate, Ola Aina, who shuffled possession to Bobby Decordova-Reid. In the subsequent rush, he misplayed a pass, allowing Richarlison to intercept and charge past Joachim Andersen and crossing for Calvert-Lewin to finish. It was a third assist of the season for Richarlison, to go with three goals. 

Abdoulaye Doucoure soars above the Fulham defence to head home Everton's third goal

Doucoure celebrates with Lucas Digne, who delivered the cross, after his 35th-minute header

Ivan Cavaleiro skied a second-half penalty, slipping over in the process, as Fulham rallied

Cavaleiro fell just as he struck the ball, appearing to make contact with both his boots

Fulham, to give them a slither of credit, fought back well. Decordova-Reid had one effort saved by Jordan Pickford, before getting another chance after a quick move between himself and Tom Cairney. With one touch off his left foot he was able to get space from Yerry Mina and it was an excellent strike off his right to beat Pickford.

From there, Everton mopped up with two good goals. The first came in several attractive stages, starting with the rotation of a dozen or so passes before Iwobi beat three men on the run. 

He pulled back to James Rodriguez, who then played in Lucas Digne, and from there the ball went low to the near post for Calvert-Lewin to finish. An excellent goal; questionable defending in multiple phases. 

The third, scored by Doucoure with a free header, followed a lovely ball by Rodriguez with the outside of his boot and a second precise cross from Digne. Everton were playing well and Fulham were helping them.

Richarlison missed a decent chance at the start of the second half before the comedy show of another Fulham penalty, when Ruben Loftus-Cheek was fouled by Ben Godfrey. Ivan Cavaleiro appeared to strike the ball against his standing foot, and in turn it spun over. They're starting to make penalties look harder than they are.

Loftus-Cheek pulled one back almost immediately afterwards, finishing via a Mina deflection after good work from Lookman, and from the ashes Fulham embarked on a 20-minute period of dominance. That they failed to create anything from the spell was a major missed opportunity.

But Fulham did reduce the arrears through Ruben Loftus-Cheek shortly after the penalty miss

Loftus-Cheek celebrates scoring Fulham's second goal, not long after being introduced

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