Wolves and Everton played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Molineux. Despite having the majority of possession Wolves couldn’t make the pressure count against the ten men of Everton. With Wolves only fielding two players who have previous top-flight football experience in England, they had to show heart in their first Premier League game for six years, having to come from behind twice to secure a draw against a strong counter-attacking team.
Wolves and Everton Play Out Draw
Both sides will be happy with a point to start the season. Wolves dominated the majority of the game, finding a lot of success switching the ball to the right flank to Helder Costa and Matt Doherty. But it was Everton took the lead in the 17th minute against the run of play. Wolves failed to clear a free kick and the luck of the bounce fell kindly to Richarlison, who poked it in to score on his Everton debut.
Controversy arose five minutes before half time when Phil Jagielka was shown a straight red after a bad touch of the ball had him stretching to regain possession, allowing Jota to nip in. Jagielka made clear contact with the winger’s ankle after initially making good contact with the ball. Referee Craig Pawson deemed Jagielka’s challenge to be out of control and dangerous. From the following free-kick, Ruben Neves stepped up and beat Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with a wonderful strike, though the England goalkeeper will be slightly disappointed with himself with it being put to his side of the goal.
Open and Attacking Second Half
The second half started how the first half finished; with Wolves on the attack. But it was Everton who nearly took the lead once again. An error from the Wolves defence allowed Cenk Tosun through on goal with Theo Walcott ahead of him. He chose to go alone rather than play the obvious pass to Walcott, not really testing Rui Patricio in goal who made a comfortable save.
The game started to become more end to end. Wolves nearly got themselves in front after a long ball from Bennett picked out Jimenez, who forced Pickford into a good save. With both teams attacking, space began opening up for the attackers. With a bit of magic, Richarlison scored his second of the day after 67 minutes. The £40 million man broke down the left and wonderfully curled the ball around Conor Coady into the far corner of Patricio’s goal.
With Wolves now being 2-1 down against the ten men of Everton, Nuno made changes, bringing on Leo Bonitini and Ruben Vinagre for Helder Costa and Jonny; a change that brought more energy to Wolves. On the 80 minute mark, Wolves made the pressure count when a wonderful cross from Neves found Jimenez, who peeled off Keane to nod it in and bring Wolves level again. Despite the game continuing to be open, neither side were able to find a winner and it finished in a 2-2 draw.
Point to Prove
After becoming Everton’s record signing for £40 million, Richarlison has a point to prove, with many Everton fans questioning if he is worth the record deal. But after his performance against Wolves, with him bagging a brace, Everton fans will be hoping Richarlison can continue to show what he is capable of under new manager Marco Silva. If he continues this season with the quality he showed at Molineux, that £40 million could yet to prove to be a bargain.
Manager’s Point of View
Marco Silva spoke about the red card decision to the Liverpool Echo: “They reacted (to going behind) but they weren’t given the chances to score but then came the decision of the referee and it looks a really harsh decision in that moment,”
Nuno told BBC sport: “We have character because we came back from a goal down twice, which is not easy.
“Today taught me that we can react to goals but we have a lot to improve. We have always known we have quality but we are in a growing process. It was the first time for a lot of us in the Premier League but we will get better and better.”