Everton’s in-form striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted a brace and midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure scored his first goal for the club as they beat Fulham 3-2 to return to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday.
Everton’s rise to the top of the table last month delighted supporters but the early optimism had faded somewhat after three straight defeats before the encounter at Craven Cottage. Carlo Ancelotti’s side did not wait long to reignite their season.
Brazilian forward Richarlison, returning from a three-match ban, picked up a loose ball and ran wide to cross for Calvert-Lewin who tapped in his ninth league goal of the campaign 42 seconds into the contest.
Fulham hit back through Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s neat finish on 15 minutes but Everton continued to threaten and were unlucky not go ahead 2-1 as Calvert-Lewin’s effort was chalked off for offside and Richarlison’s low shot was pushed away.
The visitors carved Fulham open again as Alex Iwobi switched play from the right and James Rodriguez fed Lucas Digne, who produced a first-time ball for Calvert-Lewin to stroke in and top the season’s scoring charts.
Digne looked lively in an advanced role and was involved in Everton’s third, firing in a cross for Doucoure to head home in the 35th minute and open his Toffees account after joining from Watford in the close season.
“It was a difficult game, difficult to prepare. It was a good first half… in the second half we lost energy and had difficulties,” Ancelotti told reporters.
Fulham pulled one back shortly after Ivan Cavaleiro slipped and missed a penalty in the second half, as substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored via a deflection off Everton defender Yerry Mina to ensure a tight finish.
“There were individual errors but I’m not looking at that,” Fulham boss Scott Parker said. “Second half there was a reaction but it shouldn’t come from a rollicking at halftime.”