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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05

4

1

Goodison Park | 14th December 2013 15:00 | Attendance - 33796

Everton v Fulham

Leon Osman's goal on his landmark 300th Premier League appearance set Everton on their way to a 4-1 win over Fulham.

Osman's first-half strike came on his return to the team and was followed by Seamus Coleman's second-half effort after a Dimitar Berbatov penalty had briefly drawn the visitors level.

Gareth Barry made up for conceding that penalty with the killer third late on to settle any Everton nerves, with Kevin Mirallas' injury-time drive a satisfying addition.

James McCarthy's suspension meant Roberto Martinez called upon Osman, with the Spanish boss also opting to recall Gerard Deulofeu in place of Mirallas.

Coleman goal against FulhamColeman celebrates his goal

Much was expected of the Blues after hugely impressive performances at Old Trafford and the Emirates in the preceding week.

But Fulham enjoyed some possession early on before Everton took control, forcing a corner which Phil Jagielka flashed just wide.

The next decent effort saw the home side take the lead as Osman marked his 300th Premier League appearance with an expertly taken goal 18 minutes in.

Receiving the ball from Steven Pienaar, he sold two Fulham players a dummy before curling home an inch-perfect strike with his left foot.

Leon Osman scores against FulhamOsman delights in his opening goal

Moments later Deulofeu cut in from the right and sent a low effort past the far post with Romelu Lukaku lurking in the centre.

The big striker went close seconds later when a corner hit his chest and forced an alert Stekelenburg to produce a brilliant reaction save.

Deulofeu sliced an angled effort wide and Coleman's low effort tested the Dutch custodian as the Blues chased a second goal.

It almost arrived on 34 minutes when Aaron Hughes' brilliant block denied the lively Ross Barkley and Osman's first-time volley from the rebound was inches wide.

Karagounis' shot on the run was close at the other end but it was a rare foray forward from Fulham.

Roberto MartinezMartinez and Meulensteen share some words on the touchline

And Osman could have scored again just before the break when his flick from a corner was deflected over.

Jagielka's rare defensive erring at the start of the second period meant Tim Howard had to save well from Scott Parker.

And the USA custodian then stopped Steve Sidwell's low drive only for Alex Kacaniklic to fire over from six yards out with the goal gaping and the keeper still prone.

It signalled some pressure from Fulham with only a deflected Oviedo drive threatening before Berbatov craned his neck to head into the side netting for the Cottagers on the hour.

Then there was bad news for Everton when Deulofeu was forced off with an apparent hamstring strain.

Barry scores against Fulham.Barry reacts after netting the vital third goal

Soon came the game's controversial moment as Barry was adjudged to have fouled Kacaniklic in the area.

Berbatov stepped up and levelled the scores in the 67th minute with a typically languid effort from the spot.

Happily, parity was short-lived. Just over five minutes later a sumptuous move allowed Coleman to steal in at the back post and restore Everton's lead. The sweeping one-touch move also involved Oviedo, Pienaar and Lukaku and brilliantly illustrated the Blues' new philosophy.

And the killer third then arrived with six minutes to go. Sylvain Distin's header pinballed around the box and Barry was on hand to nod home.

There was even time for substitute Mirallas to drive home from the edge of the box in added time to send the Evertonians home brimming with festive cheer.

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