Tough times over for Toffees: Carlo

Tough times over for Toffees: Carlo

LONDON • 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 yesterday.

The Toffees took just 42 seconds to open the scoring, with Brazil forward Richarlison, returning from a three-match ban, crossing for Calvert-Lewin to tap in his ninth league goal of the campaign.

The hosts hit back through Bobby Decordova-Reid’s finish on 15 minutes but Everton continued to look the more dangerous side. The visitors carved Fulham open again as Lucas Digne produced a first-time ball for Calvert-Lewin to stroke home as he moved back to the top of the scoring charts.

Digne was again involved in Everton’s third, firing in a cross for Doucoure to open his account after joining from Watford in the close season.

Fulham pulled one back shortly as substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek found the net via a deflection off Yerry Mina to ensure a tight finish, but the Cottagers were left to rue an earlier penalty miss by Ivan Cavaleiro, who slipped during his skied attempt.

Everton held on to win for the first time in five league games and after ending a three-game losing streak to go up to sixth in the table before yesterday’s other matches, manager Carlo Ancelotti declared the “difficult period is gone now”.

“In this moment, we don’t need to look at the table,” said the Italian, whose side remain unbeaten when his preferred front three of James Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison have started.

“We started really well and had a difficult period, now the difficult period is gone and we have to be consistent. I hope for him (Calvert-Lewin) and it would be good for us because to win the Golden Boot, it would mean he is scoring lots of goals.”

Scott Parker’s men have now missed five of their last eight Premier League penalties, including their last three, all taken by different players in Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ademola Lookman and Cavaleiro. But the Fulham manager refused to blame their spot-kick bungles for their struggles this season.

They will drop back into the relegation zone should Burnley, who also have a game in hand, win their home match against Crystal Palace today.

“At this moment, I can’t put my finger on it. There were individual errors but I’m not looking at that at the moment,” he said. “Second half, there was a reaction but it shouldn’t come from a rollicking at half-time… we have deficiencies.”