Josh Maja scored twice on his first Premier League start as Fulham gave their survival hopes a much-needed boost with a surprise 2-0 victory at Everton.
The January deadline-day signing from Bordeaux ensured Scott Parker’s men moved to within seven points of 17th-placed Newcastle with a second-half double that clinched their first win in 13 Premier League games.
Scott Parker’s Cottagers dominated from the kick off but could not find the finish to some fine approach play in the first 45. Bobby Reid had their best attempt when he hit the post with a flick-on from Ademola Lookman’s left-wing corner.
Everton barely troubled the Fulham defence but almost snatched an interval lead when Seamus Coleman’s surging solo run ended with a shot that clipped the post.
The visitors continued to look the more likely after the break and Maja finally made the breakthrough when he provided a close-range finish to a slick move down the left on 48 minutes.
The Nigeria international then doubled his tally just past the hour when he was in the right place to tap home after Harrison Reed’s shot that came back off the post.
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Everton were far from their best and never truly looked capable of mouting a recovery without injured top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The result means the Toffees stay seventh and are three points off fourth-placed Liverpool, who have played two games more. Fulham remain 18th but will be buoyed by a significant win heading into an important week.