Alex Iwobi enjoyed his first ninety minutes in the English Premier League and was brilliant as Everton snapped a three game losing streak with victory over Ola Aina and Ademola Lookman’s Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday.
While Iwobi was making just his second start of the season, Lookman was on for his fifth with Aina playing from the start for the sixth time since his loan switch from Torino. All three lasted the duration of the game.
Both teams came into the fixture desperately in need of a win with Fulham looking for just their second three points of the season while Everton were looking to arrest an alarming slide that had seen them lose three on the bounce after a brilliant start to the season that saw them top the division.
Fulham manager, Scott Parker had bemoaned his side’s defending all season and it got no better on Sunday as the hosts went 1-0 down seconds into the game.
Brazil forward Richarlison pounced on a defensive error before laying on for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to finish off for his ninth league goal.
Fulham drew level on the 15th minute mark with Bobby Reid on target but Calvert-Lewin turned in Lucas Digne’s centre to restore the visitors’ advantage with his tenth league goal of the season.
Iwobi played a part in the goal with a mazy run and pass to James Rodriguez who then teed up Lucas Digne for the cross converted by Calvert Lewin.
Iwobi finished with an 88% pass accuracy, 15 final third passes, 9 ball recoveries, 5 successful take-on, 2 interception, 2 tackles won, 2 clearances and won one foul.
Fulham fell further behind ten minutes before half time as Abdoulaye Doucoure headed home another Digne cross.
The hosts emerged from the break rejuvenated and dominated proceedings as they attempted to rally back.
Their pressure paid off as they were awarded a penalty in the 68th minute but their rotten luck from the spot continued as Ivan Cavaleiro skied his effort to make it two misses from 12 yards after Lookman’s botched panenka in the loss to West Ham.
But the disappointment was fleeting as Ruben Loftus-Cheek converted Lookman’s cutback to reduce the deficit two minutes later to set up a tense finish.
A late Fulham rally failed to produce any goals, however as the visitors held on for the victory which moved them up to sixth in the league with 16 points.
Fulham, meanwhile, remain in 17th place with four points and have their work cut out if they must prevent a swift return to the Championship.