Leon Osman opening the scoring with an excellent curler from the edge of the box as Everton dominated the first half.
Fulham improved after the break as Tim Howard saved well from Scott Parker before Alexandr Kacaniklic missed an open goal after the USA keeper spilled Steve Sidwell’s shot.
And, despite the visitors attacking with confidence and creating several chances, it was Everton who sealed a 21st consecutive home victory against Fulham as Barry scrambled the ball home at a late corner. The scoreline was given a flattering sheen in stoppage time, when substitute Kevin Mirallas netted a fine individual strike.
Everton move fourth, although Liverpool can re-enter the top four if they claim a point at Tottenham on Sunday.
17’ – GOAL (Everton 1-0 Fulham): Osman with a superb individual strike, showing great skill to fashion a curling shot with his left foot. Steven Pienaar with the assist.
24’ – SAVE: Maarten Stekelenburg somehow claws the ball around the post after it strikes an unwitting Romelu Lukaku to fly to the bottom right.
31’ – SAVE: Another good stop by Stekelenburg, this time from Seamus Coleman’s fine shot.
47’ – SAVE: Great keeping from Howard after Parker latches on to Phil Jagielka’s error.
50’ – MISS: Howler from Kacaniklic, who puts it over from six yards after Howard fails to hold a Sidwell scorcher.
60’ – CHANCE: Berbatov heads into the side netting from a tight angle.
67’ – GOAL (Everton 1-1 Fulham): Berbatov strokes home the penalty after Kacaniklic earns a penalty off Barry.
74’ – GOAL (Everton 2-1 Fulham): Superb build-up from Everton as Pienaar steps over the ball before completing a one-two with Lukaku. The South African’s cross lands nicely for Coleman to finish easily.
87’ – GOAL (Everton 3-1 Fulham): Stekelenburg makes a great save at a corner, but the ball bounces off Lukaku and then Barry to put the game beyond Fulham.
90+2’ – GOAL (Everton 4-1 Fulham): Fantastic strike by Mirallas, who cuts inside from the left, exploits space created by Lukaku’s off-the-ball run, and drives a low shot inside the post.
Do Everton have what it takes to reach the Champions League? They play an exciting brand of football, know how to defend, have options – as showed when Mirallas came on for Gerard Deufoleu – and are able to grind out wins when they don’t hit peak form. Ones to watch.
Fulham have never won away against Everton in the league (L22 D4). They drew four of their first five visits to Goodison Park but have lost the last 21 in a row.
Everton have won more home games against Fulham (13) than versus any other Premier League opponent.
Fulham have lost six of their last seven Premier League away games.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Seamus Coleman (Everton) – A bounding performance from the Irish wingback, who was a constant attacking threat from the right and capped his display with a goal.
Everton: Howard 7, Oviedo 7, Distin 7, Jagielka 6, Coleman 8, Barry 7, Osman 7, Pienaar 8, Barkley 6, Deulofeu 6, Lukaku 7; Subs: Mirallas 7, Stones NA
Fulham: Stekelenburg 7, Riise 6, Senderos 5, Karagounis 6, Riether 6, Sidwell 6, Kacaniklic 6, Hughes 5, Dejagah 6, Parker 6, Berbatov 7; Subs: Kasami 6, Bent 6, Duff NA
MATCH IN A TWEET