Nigeria’s Josh Maja marked his first start for Fulham with a brace as the Cottagers boosted their Premier League survival hopes with a deserved victory at Everton.
The visitors were by far the better side in the first half but were left frustrated as they missed several opportunities to score, with Bobby Decordova-Reid hitting the post and Harrison Reed driving over.
But their dominance was rewarded early in the second half when Maja – a deadline day signing on loan from Bordeaux – slid in to turn home Ola Aina’s cross from close range.
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Maja then capped a dream full debut with a second, tapping in after Decordova-Reid’s shot had hit the woodwork.
Everton were poor throughout and although Seamus Coleman clipped the outside of the post in the first half, they rarely looked like scoring.
Joshua King did have the ball in the back of the net late on but it was ruled out for offside.
There is still plenty of work to do for Fulham to escape the drop, with this victory cutting the deficit to safety to seven points, but it will significantly boost their hopes they they can fight their way out of trouble.
Defeat for Everton, meanwhile, means they remain seventh on 37 points.