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Saturday, 8 December, 2001, 17:00 GMT
Fulham ease past Everton
Barry Hayles and David Weir are involved in a 15-man brawl
The match will be remembered for a 15-man face-off

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Fulham 2-0 Everton

Barry Hayles inspired Fulham to a vital victory over Everton - but the Craven Cottage encounter was marred by a mass brawl which may spark an FA inquiry.

Hayles struck either side of half-time to sink Walter Smith's side and end a run of three successive clean sheets for the Merseysiders.

But a low-key game was overshadowed by shameful scenes late in the second half that saw Everton captain David Weir and Fulham's Luis Boa Morte sent off.

  Match facts
36: Barry Hayles opens the scoring with a header
50: Hayles hits his and Fulham's second
79: David Weir and Louis Boa Morte are sent off after a mass brawl
The pair clashed and were soon joined by a mob of retaliating players as the game descended into anarchy.

Referee Phil Dowd faced an almost impossible task in uncovering every culprit, but in the end decided on red cards for Weir and Boa Morte.

It completed a miserable afternoon for Everton, who went down with little resistance to Jean Tigana's men - and made it an eventful Premiership debut for referee Dowd.

Fulham have struggled to score goals this season, and it needed the sure touch of Hayles to drag this encounter out of mediocrity.

Everton have built their recent success on defensive resilience, and they survived comfortably until nine minutes before the interval when Hayles struck.

Paul Gascoigne was substituted after an hour
Paul Gascoigne battles for possession
Weir fouled Louis Saha, and when Steed Malbranque swept the free-kick wide to left-back Rufus Brevett, he crossed for an unmarked Hayles to rise and score.

Everton's in-form goalkeeper Steve Simonsen denied Fulham one of the goals of the season five minutes after the interval.

Malbranque and Boa Morte exchanged passes on the right flank and crossed to the far post for Saha to hit a thundering drive that Simonsen palmed behind.

Malbranque whipped the resulting corner into the six-yard box and Hayles was given the space to tap home his second from just three yards.


I thought the decision to send David Weir off was disgraceful - he's the only player that has ever been sent off for clearing the ball, being pulled down and stamped on by the opposition
Everton manager Walter Smith
It gave Fulham a deserved victory, with Everton paying for their lack of ambition.

Boss Smith gave Paul Gascoigne a place in his starting line-up after an inspirational show as a substitute against Southampton last week.

But he was in subdued mood and it was no surprise when he was replaced by Niclas Alexandersson after only 57 minutes.

The game exploded with 11 minutes left after a collision between Weir and Boa Morte led to a brawl involving players from both sides.


Boa Morte was a very hard player last year, but now we're working on his attitude and he's changed and grown in his position
Fulham assitant manager Christian Damiano
Boa Morte caught Weir as he cleared the ball on the edge of his penalty area - and the Everton defender then dragged his foot into Boa Morte's face as he got to his feet.

Hayles then pushed Weir to the floor, while Saha and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar also joined in.

Referee Dowd considered his options before showing the red card to both Weir and Boa Morte


Fulham: Van der Sar, Finnan, Brevett, Melville, Goma, Collins, Malbranque, Legwinski, Boa Morte, Saha, Hayles. Subs: Taylor, Clark, Davis, Ouaddou, Stolcers.

Everton: Simonsen, Watson, Pistone, Stubbs, Weir, Gascoigne, Gemmill, Naysmith, Pembridge, Gravesen, Radzinski. Subs: Gerrard, Unsworth, Alexandersson, Tal, Moore.

Referee: P Dowd (Stoke-on-Trent)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Rob Nothman
"Everton were poor"
Fulham's Steve Finnan
"The manager wants us to carry on playing football no matter how the game's going"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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