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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 May, 2003, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Everton hand it to Fulham
Fulham 2-0 Everton
Evertons Richard Wright fumbles a free-kick from Fulham's Steed Malbranque
Everton did not help themselves

Fulham guaranteed their place in the Premiership next season thanks to a brace of Everton own goals.

Alan Stubbs and Richard Wright were the culprits as Everton lost the game in the space of seven minutes in the closing stages of the first half.

The defeat leaves Everton's Uefa Cup hopes hanging by a thread as David Moyes' side may need to pick up points at home to champions-elect Manchester United next weekend.

The win gave Fulham 45 points and the priceless prize of Premiership security - an important bargaining tool as the club look to appoint a new manager.

37: Stubbs loops the ball past Wright
43: Wright lets Malbranque's shot slip through his hands

The comedy of errors began with Stubbs' nightmare own-goal in the 34th minute.

Sean Davis flicked on Jon Harley's ball forward and it deflected behind Stubbs.

He flung out a leg but only lofted the ball over Wright and into his own net.

Just before the break, Fulham extended their advantage.

Luis Boa Morte was fouled near the corner flag and Steed Malbranque whipped in a vicious free-kick into the near-post.

The ball brushed Thomas Gravesen's studs and deceived Wright, squirming through his grasp and inches over the line for another own goal.

Wright was furious and claimed, unsuccessfully, that Boa Morte - standing next to Gravesen - had handled the ball.

If Wright's display was less than convincing, the Fulham goalkeeper Maik Taylor also had his nervous moments.

Everton's Wayne Rooney challenges Fulham's Maik Taylor
Maik Taylor had a nervous start to the game

Again preferred to Edwin van der Sar, Taylor looked far from comfortable in spilling Gravesen's deflected shot to allow Lee Carsley to nick in and hit the post.

He also misjudged an aerial challenge with Wayne Rooney and needed Steve Finnan to clear up and started the move which culminated in Wright gathering Davis' shot.

Harley also flashed a shot past the angle of post and bar as Fulham pressed, while Mark Pembridge sent a set-piece curling wide for Everton.

Pembridge also produced a inswinging corner from the right which Taylor stretched to tip over.

Soon after the restart Rooney's free-kick was destined for the top corner, but Taylor shuffled across his goalline to catch the ball above his head.

Fulham: Taylor, Finnan, Melville, Goma, Harley, Clark, Boa Morte, Malbranque (Hayles 87), Legwinski, Davis, Hammond (Saha 69). Subs not used: Van der Sar, John Collins, Knight.
Booked: Clark.

Everton: Wright, Hibbert (Watson 63), Stubbs, Yobo, Unsworth, Pembridge (Pistone 63), Gravesen, Gemmill (Ferguson 45), Carsley, Campbell, Rooney. Subs not used: Simonsen, Osman.
Booked: Hibbert.

Attendance: 18,385.

Referee: G Barber (Hertfordshire).

BBC Five Live's Bob Ballard
"Two moments of madness turned this game around"

Everton boss David Moyes
"They were rotten goals today"



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