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Everton keep pressure on top four with victory at Fulham







Everton improved their outside chance of snatching a Champions League place next season by winning 3-1 away to bottom of the table Fulham on Sunday. 
EPL: Points Table | Results
Victory put them four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal and four clear of Tottenham Hotspur, who faced a tough task away to Liverpool in the day's late game in the Premier League. 

It took an unlucky own goal early in the second half to put Everton ahead before Iranian international Ashkan Dejagah equalised with a spectacular effort. 

Two substitutes then combined for the second goal, Aiden McGeady sending Belgian international Kevin Mirallas through to score with 11 minutes left. 

Steven Naismith completed the scoring to leave Fulham and their German manager Felix Magath deflated after his team had had the better of the first half's play. 

Even a draw would have taken the London side off the bottom of the table, but their chances of avoiding relegation are looking thinner by the week. 

It was a doubly disappointing afternoon too for England manager Roy Hodgson, formerly of Fulham and keen to see more of Everton's Ross Barkley. The young midfielder, who has played three times for the national team, did not appear for the second half because of injury. 

His replacement, Scottish international Naismith, made the opening goal after 51 minutes with a shot that was being deflected wide until it struck goalkeeper David Stockdale and trickled over the line. 

Although play flowed from end to end, Fulham made the better chances in an open first half. German international Lewis Holtby missed one early on and Kieran Richardson was then thwarted by Everton's goalkeeper Tim Howard, who saved with his feet. 

Howard also had to turn a header from Holtby over the bar and in the final minute of the half he held a headed attempt by Moussa Dembele, the 17 year-old forward signed from Paris Saint-Germain, who had a promising full debut. 

Fulham might also have been awarded a penalty for an apparent handling offence by Sylvain Distin, not spotted by the officials. 

Everton's best effort before the interval came from 20-year-old Gerard Deulofeu, who is on a season-long loan from Barcelona. Like Howard, Stockdale in Fulham's goal saved the shot with his feet. 

The visitors improved in the second half and went ahead when Fulham failed to clear a corner. Naismith shot and a series of deflections, including a crucial one from goalkeeper Stockdale, resulted in the ball ending up in the net. 

Fulham continued to press and scored a deserved equaliser in the 71st minute. Dejagah, who had come on for Richardson, cut inside from the left and hit a scorching shot from the edge of the penalty area. 

Howard had to make two more fine saves to keep out former Everton defender John Heitinga and then Pajtim Kasami but soon after Roberto Martinez sent on McGeady and the Irishman's fine pass put Mirallas through to restore the lead. 

Stockdale made a good save from Naismith but could not prevent him having the final word with Everton's third in the 87th minute, from a pass by Leighton Baines.
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