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Saturday, 16 March, 2002, 17:03 GMT
Winning start for Moyes
Duncan Ferguson celebrates with David Unsworth
Everton 2-1 Fulham
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Everton's new boss David Moyes got off to a winning start as Fulham were beaten in a dramatic encounter at Goodison Park.

Moyes looked on the way to a comfortable opening victory as David Unsworth gave Everton the lead inside the first minute and Duncan Ferguson swiftly added a second.

But the man who arrived from Preston less than 48 hours before kick-off was made to sweat after Thomas Gravesen was sent off with more than an hour remaining.

  Match facts
1 min: Unsworth scores within 30 seconds of kick-off
13 mins Ferguson hits No.2
28 mins: Gravesen sent off
52 mins: Malbranque scores for Fulham
Fulham launched a sustained assault on the Everton goal - but only had Steed Malbranque's goal to show for incessant pressure that had the whole of Goodison living on frayed nerves.

Moyes punched the air in delight at the final whistle as he knew how vital this victory was to a team with only one win in its previous 13 league games.

Everton and Fulham were fined after a mass brawl at Craven Cottage earlier this season, and ill-feeling remained as old scores were settled in a stormy game.

Moyes was given a rapturous reception prior to kick-off from fans praying he will be Everton's Premiership saviour.


It was an incredible experience from going out there as Everton manager to the final whistle
Everton manager David Moyes
He had re-instated Ferguson to the starting line-up after his latest lengthy lay-off - and the Scot was handed the captain's armband by his new boss.

And Moyes received the start of his dreams when Unsworth put Everton ahead with the quickest goal of the day in only 31 seconds.

Ferguson knocked the ball into the path of Tomasz Radzinski, and he found Unsworth who fired a powerful left-foot finish past Edwin Van der Sar.

John Collins tackles Thomas Gravesen
It was the perfect start and it got even better when Ferguson doubled Everton's lead after 13 minutes in a moment of high embarrassment for Fulham's Dutch goalkeeper.

Van der Sar's weak clearance rebounded off Ferguson and the striker, being watched by new Scotland coach Berti Vogts who hopes to tempt him out of international retirement, rolled home a simple finish.

It was all going perfectly for Everton, but they suffered a serious setback after 28 minutes when Gravesen was shown the red card by referee Graham Barber.

Gravesen had already been booked for a foul on Luis Boa Morte. And his second moment of recklessness put Everton firmly on the back foot.

Fulham immediately took over, but Everton's new found fighting spirit surfaced in an encounter that occasionally threatened to boil over.

Everton's Gravesen (left) is shown the red card
Referee Barber brandished six yellow cards in the first 45 minutes, and Everton's numerical disadvantage prompted a collection of half-time substitutions.

Moyes removed the injured Radzinski to send on Joe-Max Moore - but Fulham made a double switch as they sensed they might have a chance of earning a point.

Jean Tigana threw on Barry Hayles and Abdeslam Ouaddou for Alain Goma and Boa Morte.


Even if we are in a position where we are relegated I will keep this footballing philosophy
Fulham manager Jean Tigana
It paid instant dividends when Hayles set up Malbranque for a simple side-foot finish from six yards.

Malbranque's goal was the signal for a Fulham siege on the Everton goal as Moyes' new charges held on with ten men.

Everton had barely left the edge of their own penalty area in the second half, and incredibly they escaped again with six minutes left when Louis Saha headed against the bar with Steve Simonsen beaten.

Fulham continued to press, but Everton held on for three precious points.


Everton: Simonsen, Pistone, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth (Blomqvist 75), Hibbert, Carsley, Gemmill, Gravesen, Radzinski (Moore 45), Ferguson.

Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Clarke, Chadwick.

Sent Off: Gravesen (28).

Booked: Gravesen, Unsworth, Moore.

Fulham: Van der Sar, Finnan, Melville, Goma (Ouaddou 45), Brevett, Boa Morte (Hayles 45), Legwinski (Goldbaek 78), Collins, Malbranque, Saha, Marlet.

Subs Not Used: Harley, Taylor.

Booked: Finnan, Brevett, Hayles.

Ref: G Barber (Tring).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's John Murray
"A winning start for Mr Moyes"
Everton boss David Moyes
"The supporters were incredible"
Everton captain Alan Stubbs
"A massive result for us"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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