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Everton rout Cottagers
Striker Nikica Jelavic extended his remarkable scoring spree as 4-0 winners Everton ran in a glut of goals for the third successive Barclays Premier League match against a Fulham side who were never in the game.
The Croatia international scored twice to take his tally to 10 in 13 matches since arriving from Rangers in January and nine in his last seven appearances. With manager Martin Jol absent through illness, the Cottagers barely put up a fight as the Toffees made it 12 goals in their last three league matches.
With four against Sunderland and then their remarkable comeback against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend, David Moyes' side became the first Everton team since 1964 to score four times in three successive league matches.
On many occasions this season Everton's build-up play has been good but they have lacked threat in the penalty area. Not so now with Jelavic, whose first was a straightforward penalty - albeit created by his own free-kick - and his second an impressive finish from the narrowest of angles.
The 26-year-old was up and running as early as the seventh minute when Pavel Pogrebnyak raised his arm in the defensive wall and referee Phil Dowd pointed to the spot without hesitation.
Jelavic sent Mark Schwarzer the wrong way and almost embarrassed the goalkeeper again when he crashed a low shot against the near post after Phil Jagielka's long ball had dropped just beyond Brede Hangeland.
Everton's second was not long in coming as, courtesy of some lax defending, the unmarked Marouane Fellaini was able to head in Steven Pienaar's 16th-minute corner. In half an hour Fulham had tested Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard just once, when he tipped over Kerim Frei's shot.
The match was over as a contest five minutes before half-time when Pienaar's through-ball allowed Jelavic to outsprint the defence, draw out Schwarzer and then somehow fire a shot from a narrow angle through the goalkeeper's legs.
Fulham's misery continued after the break as on the hour Everton substitute Tim Cahill made it four after good link play between himself, Leon Osman and Pienaar. Jelavic was denied a deserved hat-trick when the Fulham goalkeeper saved his 25-yard free-kick.
Fulham failed to create any chance of significance in the second half and their performance was a typical end-of-season one for a side in mid-table with nothing to play for.