Fulham striker Josh Maja scored his first two goals for the club to secure a 2-0 win at Everton on Sunday as the visitors ended a 12-game Premier League run without a victory and rekindled their hopes of avoiding relegation.
The result left Fulham 18th on 18 points from 23 games, seven behind 17th-placed Newcastle United, while Everton stayed seventh on 37 from 22 after another lacklustre home performance.
Everton’s poor league form continued as they suffered a third home defeat in four games, while Fulham won at Goodison Park for the first time after 22 successive defeats, with Maja netting a brace in his first start for the Cottagers.
The visitors missed a hatful of first-half chances before former Sunderland striker Maja, who is on loan from French side Bordeaux, slid in to steer home Ola Aina’s fizzing low cross in the 48th minute.
He made it 2-0 in the 65th with another opportunistic finish, popping up in front of goalkeeper Robin Olsen to tap in a rebound from close range after Harrison Reed hit the post with a long-range effort.
Everton striker Josh King had a goal disallowed for offside in the closing stages, which summed up the Toffees’ miserable evening as they failed to create anything meaningful up front.
“It is a big one, we came into the game wanting to win it and not had the results we wanted,” Maja told BT Sport.
“We took our chances when they came and put in another good performance again, we want to continue like this. For the whole 90 minutes the guys worked hard and stuck to the game plan.
“This is a night I have been dreaming about for a long time, especially last night, and I had a feeling it was coming and pleased it became a reality.”
Fulham’s ex-Everton forward Ademola Lookman was also delighted.
“We kept believing,” he said. “At halftime we said we’ll do the exact same thing in the second half and we scored twice.
“It gives the team a boost of confidence and we’ll take that into the next game. I’ve said before if we stick together and put the ball in the back of the net, we’ll win games.”
Asked if Fulham could pull off a great escape, manager Scott Parker said: “Hopefully. That is how we go about our work, we have been drawing too many games and we need to be winning them. We now go into two massive games [against Burnley away and Sheffield United at home] and onto the rest of the season.
“I have got full belief in this team, I honestly have. People judge performances on wins and losses, I have a different view because I see it every day and have to be more rational looking at my team. It gives me constant belief.
“I know what we need to do and the players do too. We can’t control what is around us, we just need to go out and win football matches. If we do that I know it will be OK.”