Saha late show stuns Fulham

2011-10-23 17:15

London - Louis Saha returned to haunt Fulham as his late goal inspired Everton's dramatic 3-1 victory at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

Substitute Saha struck in stoppage time before Jack Rodwell scored Everton's third to ensure David Moyes' side ended a run of three successive defeats.

Everton had taken a third minute lead when Royston Drenthe struck from long-range, but it looked liked Fulham had earned a share of the spoils thanks to substitute Bryan Ruiz's exquisite equaliser in the second half.

However, Fulham striker Bobby Zamora missed a sitter and Saha and Rodwell made him pay.

Despite having lost their last three matches, Everton were quickly into their stride and incisive passing through the middle saw the ball fall to Drenthe, who smashed home from 30 yards.

Fulham looked shellshocked as the Toffees continued to press forward and only John Arne Riise's block thwarted Sylvain Distin minutes later.

Rodwell was inches away from doubling Everton's lead with a 12th minute header and Drenthe tested Mark Schwarzer before Apostolos Vellios somehow managed to head Tony Hibbert's cross over from close range.

Fulham came close to levelling through Danny Murphy, who saw a 20-yard strike palmed onto the post by Tim Howard.

Howard was forced into action seconds later to deny his American international team-mate Clint Dempsey with a one-handed save.

Howard then managed to tip over Brede Hangeland's goalbound header on the half-hour mark.

Moyes replaced Vellios with French striker Saha five minutes into the second half in a bid to reinvigorate his attack.

However, it was Fulham boss Martin Jol whose change worked first. He brought on Ruiz and the Costa Rica international provided a moment of magic to force a 67th minute equaliser.

Neat interplay saw the ball spread left to Ruiz, who produced a fine chip over Howard just three minutes after coming on.

The goal spurred Everton into life and Schwarzer did superbly to tip a Saha strike wide from close range.

Fulham thought they had grabbed a last-minute winner through Zamora after he latched on to Andrew Johnson's pass and rounded Howard, but he could only hit the bar.

The Cottagers suffered the consequences seconds later as Saha broke free and managed to squeeze home under pressure from Aaron Hughes and Schwarzer.

And Everton ensured they would return to Merseyside with all three points in stoppage time as Rodwell smashed home.