Forward frustrations for Fulham after Everton stalemate underlines their core issue


Despite twice seeing their woodwork rattled and surviving more than one late scare from an Everton corner, it was Fulham who were left feeling frustrated after Tuesday night’s goalless draw against the Toffees at Craven Cottage.

Just days after being denied a trip to Wembley by Liverpool in the EFL Cup and subsequently being knocked out of the FA Cup at the hands of Newcastle United, failing to find the net against Everton acted as a reminder of early-season issues and provided cause for concern for what may be set to come.

Fulham have failed to score in a Premier League-high 10 matches from just 22 played, and although creating opportunities to score was not an issue against Marco Silva’s former side, an injury that forced Raul Jimenez to be taken off at half-time might leave fans wondering where their team’s next goal is going to come from.

“Both teams had chances, but we were clearly the most dominant team on the pitch,” said Silva. “Second half we really pushed them back, we just missed the moment of putting the ball in the net.”

Fulham enjoyed almost 70 per cent of possession in the first half, but they could well have been behind before stirring for the second half.

Goalkeeper Bernd Leno was fortunate to see a deflected James Tarkowski shot hit the crossbar after he had not dealt with an Ashley Young free-kick, and only last-ditch defending from Timothy Castagne prevented the loose ball crossing the line.

Rodrigo Muniz replaced Jimenez at the interval after the Mexican had missed a chance from close-range, yet it was Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin who had the first opportunity of the second half as he headed against the bar.

But the home side controlled the game from that point. Bobby De Cordova-Reid failed to pick out Willian with the goal gaping, and only an exceptional Jordan Pickford save kept out a Tosin Adarabioyo header.

Fulham’s moment to snatch victory came and went as Castagne guided De Cordova-Reid’s effort on to Pickford’s bar, leaving Silva and his side to settle for a point after Everton substitute Beto was unable to take a chance from inside the six-yard box in stoppage time.

“we created far more chances than in recent games and were more dominant on the pitch,” claimed the Fulham head coach. “It is clear that the decision making sometimes has to be much better in attack. We need to be more assertive and more calm in some decisions because we arrived in so many dangerous areas. We need to be more ruthless and clinical.”

Fulham have won just one of their last six league games following back-to-back 5-0 victories in December, scoring only two goals in the process.

Jimenez still seems the best option to lead the line despite being goalless since the turn of the year, so a prolonged absence could prove problematic.

There is still enough space between themselves and the relegation zone for panic not to set in though, at least according to Silva.

“We are not concerned in what we are doing. Of course, we have to win football matches, and I think the way we played was enough to do it. But the reality is that we didn’t score the goal we needed.”


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