Everton 3 (Richarlison 5, 80, Iwobi 12) Wolves 2 (Saiss 9, Jimenez 75)
Everton fans sing about Richarlison to the tune of ‘She’s Electric’ but Wolves fans were left reaching for the Cigarettes and Alcohol after this.
The reference to Oasis songs might sound corny but there was nothing light-hearted about Wolves’ performance at Goodison Park as they became only the second team with bottom-placed Watford to remain winless in the Premier League going into the international break.
The Brazilian forward seems to relish facing Nuno Espirito Santo’s side. His double at Goodison made it four goals in three games for the 22-year-old against the Molineux men after a brace on his debut.
Add to that his involvement in both of Willy Boly’s bookings and the £45m attacker is not a player Nuno and his side will be looking forward to facing again any time soon.
All three of Everton’s goals were preventable, though the third was excellently executed from the Toffees’ viewpoint. Wolves captain Conor Coady, who was booed for his Liverpool connections, will have nightmares for his error for Richarlison’s and Everton’s first goal, while Adama Traore was caught ball watching as the unmarked Alex Iwobi headed in their second and Boly was outjumped by Richarlison for their third, a towering header some of Everton’s great centre forwards would have been proud of.
Wolves could have few complaints about losing for the first time in 10 games in all competitions this season. Questions will again by raised as to their energy levels after their gruelling schedule of nine games in 32 days, but ultimately, they didn’t have enough creativity to breach a determined Everton side who conceded their first home goals since February.
Ironically, Wolves’ last defeat was also on Merseyside as they went down 2-0 to Liverpool in the final game of last season. This time, goalkeeper Rui Patricio produced superb saves to deny Richarlison and Yerry Mina late in the second half before the Brazilian’s winner, while Jordan Pickford produced an equally brilliant stop to foil Patrick Cutrone in the first period on his first Premier League start.
Cutrone’s introduction was one of three changes made by Nuno as he juggled his line-up to keep his players fresh following Thursday’s exhausting 2-1 win against Torino in the Europa League. Ruben Neves was recalled for Joao Moutinho in central midfield, which meant Romain Saiss kept his place, while Ruben Vinagre came in for Jonny Castro Otto at left wing back.
But there was nothing any of them could do to prevent Everton’s opening goal. In a rare mistake by Coady, the skipper seemed to completely misjudge where Patricio was with his back pass, which forced the keeper to hurriedly clear into Moise Kean, and the ball dropped invitingly for Richarlison to send a bouncing shot into the net from just inside the area, despite the attention of the captain and Patricio on the line.
Everton’s lead lasted just five minutes though as Wolves hit back. In-form Traore showed why he is keeping Matt Doherty out of the team with a superb run to beat Lucas Digne, and with Seamus Coleman unable to clear his cross, Saiss was there to stab home his first goal of the season to equalise.
But in an explosive start to the game, Marco Silva’s side regained the lead to make it three goals in 12 minutes. Richarlison found Gylfi Sigurdsson on the right and Wolves’ defence was caught napping from the Iceland international’s sumptuous cross as the unmarked Iwobi headed home for his first Premier League goal for his new club on his full top flight debut for them, despite Patricio getting a touch to the ball.
The game continued to be open and anyone’s, and Wolves were denied an equaliser when Cutrone controlled Jimenez’s cross following Neves’s centre and lashed in a fierce drive at the far post only for Pickford to beat the ball away. The excellent Mina headed Sigurdsson’s corner straight at Patricio as Everton pressed for a third goal.
Afterthe break, Wolves looked in need of inspiration and it was no surprise when Moutinho, who almost joined Everton a few years ago, came on to replace Saiss just before the hour mark, while Jota replaced Cutrone soon afterwards.
With neither team in control, the match was still there to grab by the scruff of the neck and Wolves proved they weren’t out of it by levelling again with 15 minutes left. Ryan Bennett’s long throw was headed on by Boly, who beat Mina, and Jimenez bravely nodded past Pickford at the far post, the Mexican appearing to receive a boot in the face from Digne for his troubles as he scored his eighth goal of the season.
But just as it looked like Wolves had gained their fourth straight Premier League draw of the season, Everton grabbed the winner. Substitute Bernard had given the home side a fresh dimension and he fed Digne for a deep cross was met by Richarlison, leaping above Boly to send a superb header out of Patricio’s reach and into the net.
Inspired by his goals, the Brazilian was full of confidence and he cut inside to produce a fine curling effort only to be denied by Patricio diving to his right. The Portugal international then brilliantly foiled Mina’s header from Sigurdsson’s corner with a one-handed save soon after.
With Wolves unable to produce anything more going forwards, Everton were content to run the clock down in the five minutes of time added on at the end. After surging down the right, Richarlison went down heavily after being blocked off by Boly, who received his marching orders to make it a sorry afternoon on Merseyside for Wolves. Boly will now be suspended for the visit of Chelsea on their return to Premier League action in 13 days’ time.
Everton (4-3-3): Pickford; Coleman, Keane (Calvert-Lewin 76), Mina, Digne; Sigurdsson, Gomes, Delph; Richarlison, Iwobi (Bernard 76), Kean.
Unused subs: Stekelenburg, Sidibe, Holgate, Schneiderlin, Tosun.
Wolves (3-5-2): Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Traore, Neves (Neto 84), Saiss (Moutinho 59), Dendoncker, Vinagre; Cutrone (Jota 68), Jimenez.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Vallejo, Jonny, Gibbs-White.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Manchester).