EVERTON FC thumped a woeful Fulham 4-0 as Nikica Jelavic sealed his fast-growing reputation with his tenth goal of the season.

The Blues were impressive against a visiting side who were without manager Martin Jol, after a chest infection left the Dutchman unable to travel.

David Moyes is yet to lose against Fulham at Goodison Park, and that was never going to change on a comfortable afternoon which saw the Toffees maintain their spot in seventh place, above Liverpool in the Premier League table.

The opening came bright and early. Moussa Dembele fouled Steven Pienaar, and Pavel Pogrebnyak hand balled Jelavic’s free kick.

Phil Dowd pointed straight to the spot, and the striker with ice in his veins calmly converted the penalty.

At the other end, Dembele teased Tony Hibbert before setting up Kerim Frei whose curling shot had to be tipped over the bar by Tim Howard.

Jelavic might have had a second when he latched onto Phil Jagielka’s long ball, but although he brought it down superbly in the area his casual finish hit the post.

It mattered not. Everton won a corner, and Marouane Fellaini easily lost his marker in the area to direct a header at goal, and Damien Duff only managed to connect with thin air when poised at the post to clear.

They had to ride their luck next though, when the lively Clint Dempsey’s shot deflected off John Heitinga and was heading in but for a smart reflex save from Howard.

Yet such was the oddly disinterested approach of their opponents, things were coming easily for the Blues, despite that scare.

Assist-king Pienaar was soon at it again, finding Jelavic who took several touches this time but with the same unerring result. The Croatian took the ball away from Mark Schwarzer, but then cut back inside and drilled a lost shot through the keeper’s legs and past Aaron Hughes’ lame attempt to block on the line.

The visitors continued to find the odd chance, as Dempsey forced a corner with another close effort. But the game was over in terms of a credible contest, and shortly after the break Everton underlined it.

Tim Cahill had replaced the injured Darron Gibson and was involved in the build-up, as he swopped passes with the excellent Pienaar, who chipped a delightful ball into the Aussie’s path for a simple finish.

Once again Pienaar had been outstanding, and he was only denied the goal his performance deserved by a great diving save from Schwarzer.

With job done, Moyes replaced Fellaini and Pienaar with Magaye Gueye and Ross Barkley, the later receiving warm applause.

And even though neither was able to help the Blues make it five, it was still an afternoon to savour for the blue half of Merseyside.

EVERTON: (4-2-3-1) Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Distin, Neville, Gibson (Cahill, 45), Fellaini (Barkley, 75), Pienaar (Gueye, 84), Osman, Jelavic.

Subs not used: Mucha, Stracqualursi, McFadden, Anichebe.


Goals: Jelavic, pen (7, 40),Fellaini (17) Cahill (60)

FULHAM: (4-1-4-1) Schwarzer, Riise, Hangeland (Capt), Senderos (Baird, 45), Diarra (Etuhu, 82), Hughes, Frei, Pogrebnyak (Murphy, 66), Dempsey, Dembele.

Subs not used: Stockdale, Baird, Sa, Kasami, Kacaniklic.

Bookings: Diarra


Ref: Phil Dowd