George Rossiter has the player ratings from Tuesday evening’s draw.
Despite nearly amassing half a century of shots between them, Fulham and Everton came out with a point a piece in a goalless draw at Craven Cottage. Both teams had their moments in an entertaining game, that on another day could’ve easily seen three or four goals. Fulham head to Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon in what feels like a game with increasing importance, mostly due to the current mood in camp after struggles to score goals and consecutive cup exits.
Despite amassing 21 shots during the game, Everton only managed to get 3 on target, such was the quality of finishing on both sides in this game. A couple of hopeful long-range efforts didn’t trouble the German, but one dangerous came from a close range Everton free-kick in the first half. Leno saved, but pushed the ball straight back into the box where Tarkowski nearly managed to squeeze the ball into the net via a deflection or two. Never the less, a clean sheet is a clean sheet, and it’s Leno’s first since December 10th. 6/10.
Thought a couple of his recent performances were slightly off recently but this was definitely a big improvement. Castagne made a hugely important goal-line clearance off the line to dent Everton scoring off the back of two deflections from Tarkowski’s effort. His attacking input was streets ahead of recent games too, with some really dangerous crosses into the box, especially in the second half when Muniz came on and offered more of an outlet in the Everton area. Really unlucky not to score too, with a glanced header from inside the area kissing the crossbar in the second half. 7.5/10.
Really calm in his duels, especially in the air from set pieces for much of the game, which was vital considering the height possessed by Everton with the likes of Tarkowski and Branthwaite. Looked very solid on the ball too and just personifies calmness, which is a trait we lose with Ream out of the side, making Tosin’s presence all the more important. Forced a brilliant save from Pickford after 75 minutes, with the England international somehow stopping Tosin’s header from reaching the top corner. 7/10.
Made a huge tackle from point blank range on Calvert-Lewin, which had he not, could have seen us fall behind early and set an entirely different tone for the game. Considering his tendency to have clumsy moments in our own area, it was an important moment for sure. Really encouraging his progressive his passing was too, with only Cairney bettering the Frenchman for attempted passes and pass accuracy percentage. 7/10.
Had a quiet first half in an attacking sense, which was maybe not so noticeable considering how well Willian was playing. Constantly forced Harrison into a number of central positions that he became ineffective in throughout the game. Was extremely amusing to see Danjuma trying and comfortably failing to beat Robinson in a foot race, something many sprinters would fail to do, let alone an underperforming Premier League footballer. 6.5/10.
I’m almost running out of words to describe my admiration for how good of a tackler Palhinha is. A slide tackle was always perceived to be the ugly, gritty aspect of the game, but he turns into the most beautiful art form. Sometimes there’s a lull in the game and one of his challenges not only spurs his teammates into action, but the tourists in the home end too! Unlucky to send a half volley from a corner over the bar on the hour mark, one of Fulham’s better efforts on goal. 7.5/10.
Last week against Liverpool it seemed pointless having Cairney playing so deep, he was entirely ineffective. Against Everton, Fulham dominated possession and it was so obvious how a switch in Cairney’s tactical outlook allowed that to happen. Instead of constant sideways passes in his own half, he was bursting into Everton’s half and only looking to play the ball forwards. No player on the pitch completed more passes than our captain. 7.5/10.
Feel quite bad writing such a scathing review but I’m just so fed up with Pereira at this point. It just feels like I can copy and paste my review of his performances each week and they’d be accurate. How a player with such quality playing in such a key position in our side in an attacking sense can be so ineffective in creating goalscoring opportunities for others, or himself, in open play is beyond me. It’s become infuriating to watch week in, week out. Give him a rest, Marco. 5/10.
Bobby De Cordova Reid
Another first half where nothing quite went Bobby’s way in an attacking sense, while he did offer good support from a defensive perspective in helping Castagne negate the threat of Danjuma and Mykolenko. Frustration came in the second half when his pass to Willian was intercepted by Godfrey, his hesitance in a two-on-one situation all the harder to stomach after similar scenarios occurring at Anfield in the first leg of the league cup semi-finals. 5.5/10.
Considering the huge lack of attacking quality on both sides that was on show throughout the game, Fulham always felt like they had a threat coming from Willian. He was the one truly class player on the pitch, gliding his way across Everton’s final third, in the first half especially. No player on the pitch won as many fouls as the Brazilian did, and no attacker on either side came close to the number of passes Willian completed. 8/10. – Man of the match.
There was a moment on the left side of Everton’s box in the first half where the Mexican had chances to find a man with a simple pass, but instead opted to fizz a ball through the air with the outside of his right foot. His reluctance to use his left foot and try weird travellas or rabonas are beyond me at this point and they can genuinely cost us in certain moments. Went on to miss an absolute sitter in the dying stages of the first half too, a rebounded volley fizzing wide of the post from all of about four yards. Not a good performance but I’d rather he wasn’t injured. 5/10.
Subbed on at half time for Raul Jimenez
Showed a huge willingness to put himself about and cause issues for the strong centre back pairing Everton possess. Gave us more of an outlet in the penalty area which Castagne looked to take advantage of with an increase in the number of crosses in the second half. His added time header was strong, but needed directing better to get close to beating the brilliant Pickford. 6.5/10.
Subbed on after 75 minutes for Issa Diop
Played a brilliant pass not long after coming on that set Robinson free down the left, nearly leading to an opening goal in the game. Made a crucial interception in stoppage time to stop a penalty box scramble ending up in an Everton winner. 6.5/10.