Everton closes gap on Arsenal

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iol spt mar30 Everton-Fulham

Reuters

Substitutes Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith scored as Everton won at bottom club Fulham to close to within four points of the Premier League's top four. Photo by: Toby Melville/Reuters

London – Substitutes Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith scored as Everton won 3-1 at bottom club Fulham on Sunday to close to within four points of the Premier League's top four.

Everton took a 50th-minute lead at Craven Cottage when Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale unwittingly diverted a deflected volley from Naismith into the net for an own goal.

Ashkan Dejagah came off the bench to score a stunning equaliser for Fulham in the 71st minute, cutting inside from the left flank and letting fly with a rising shot that flew into the top-left corner.

Mirallas restored Everton's lead eight minutes later, though, running on to a pass from fellow-substitute Aiden McGeady and coolly beating Stockdale, before Naismith stabbed home the visitors' third in the 87th minute.

Victory took Roberto Martinez's side to within touching distance of fourth-placed Arsenal, over whom they have a game in hand, ahead of next weekend's meeting between the two at Goodison Park.

Fulham's chances of avoiding relegation appear increasingly remote, meanwhile, as they remain five points adrift of safety with only six matches to play.

Later on Sunday, Liverpool will look to exploit Chelsea's shock 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace on Saturday by beating Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield and taking over from Jose Mourinho's side at the top of the table.

Liverpool trail Chelsea by a point, while Manchester City are a point further back, albeit with two games in hand, after squandering a chance to go top in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Saturday. – AFP


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