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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Impressive Wolves coast to victory over Everton

Impressive Wolves coast to victory over Everton


Captain Max Kilman scored his first goal of the season for Wolves

Wolves ended the year on a high with an impressive Premier League victory over lacklustre Everton.

Manager Gary O’Neil has made his mark on the hosts, who lie in 11th position, just three points shy of a European place, since taking over in the summer.

Wolves were the side probing early on and deservedly took the lead on 25 minutes when skipper Max Kilman bundled in from close range after Jordan Pickford initially made a sharp save from team-mate Jarrad Branthwaite’s wayward clearance.

It was the only effort on target in the first half and the hosts celebrated by holding up Mario Lemina’s shirt in memory of the midfielder’s father, who died on Friday.

The home side added a second on 53 minutes when Hwang Hee-chan picked out an easy finish for Matheus Cunha at the far post and the Brazilian then turned provider when Craig Dawson poked home a low cross.

Struggling Everton failed to work goalkeeper Jose Sa into a save and their three straight defeats leave them only one point above the relegation zone.

O’Neil adds bite to Wolves

A summer of cost-cutting measures saw Wolves lose captain Ruben Neves, as well as other key players including Raul Jimenez, Matheus Nunez and Nathan Collins, so a season of struggling may have been expected for the club.

But ex-Bournemouth boss O’Neil has performed a sterling job so far, leading the side to three consecutive Premier League wins for the first time since January 2022.

They played Everton off the park for much of the contest and are making Molineux a fortress, extending their unbeaten run at home to eight matches and netting in their last 17 matches here.

Cunha’s shot from outside the box which flew wide gave the Toffees’ defenders an early warning sign before defender Kilman put his side in front ahead of the break.

Having chanted Lemina’s name during the game and applauding his father’s memory in the fifth minute, the celebrations after the opening goal were poignant, with Kilman leading the tribute by holding aloft the midfielder’s number five shirt.

Wolves blew Everton away in the second period with Cunha and Dawson converting – but it could have been so much worse for the forlorn-looking Sean Dyche and his side.

In-form Hwang smacked the post and then drew a stunning save from Pickford and Joao Gomes’ drive was straight at the England number one, while Hwang and Pedro Neto both had goals ruled out for offside.

Wolves face Brentford in the FA Cup third round on Friday (19:15 GMT) and enjoy a break from Premier League action until Monday, 22 January, when they travel to Brighton (19:45).

Miserable loss for teetering Everton

Everton’s 10-point deduction did not look to be much of a problem when they claimed four wins in a row, but consecutive defeats since leaves them teetering above the bottom three.

They were far from their best in the Midlands and gave Sa a comfortable game, unable to manage a shot on target – and the injury problems are mounting up too.

With key man Abdoulaye Doucoure and Idrissa Gueye already out, fellow midfielder Amadou Onana limped through most of the game and defender Branthwaite also seemed to be nursing an injury.

Giving a start to Michael Keane and deploying three centre-halves backfired for Dyche as they were outfought and outplayed in key areas.

Captain Seamus Coleman came on in the second half for a club record-equalling 354th Premier League appearance, but that will be of little joy to supporters as they end a tumultuous year with a miserable loss.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

  1. Squad number1Player nameJosé Sá

  2. Squad number23Player nameKilman

  3. Squad number15Player nameDawson

  4. Squad number24Player nameToti Gomes

  5. Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo

  6. Squad number8Player nameJoão Gomes

  7. Squad number20Player nameDoyle

  8. Squad number3Player nameAït-Nouri

  9. Squad number21Player nameSarabia

  10. Squad number12Player nameMatheus Cunha

  11. Squad number11Player nameHwang Hee-chan

  1. Squad number2Player nameDoherty

  2. Squad number6Player nameTraoré

  3. Squad number7Player namePedro Neto

  4. Squad number17Player nameBueno

  5. Squad number27Player nameBellegarde

Everton

  1. Squad number1Player namePickford

  2. Squad number2Player namePatterson

  3. Squad number6Player nameTarkowski

  4. Squad number5Player nameKeane

  5. Squad number32Player nameBranthwaite

  6. Squad number19Player nameMykolenko

  7. Squad number11Player nameHarrison

  8. Squad number37Player nameGarner

  9. Squad number8Player nameOnana

  10. Squad number7Player nameMcNeil

  11. Squad number9Player nameCalvert-Lewin

  1. Squad number10Player nameDanjuma

  2. Squad number14Player nameBeto

  3. Squad number21Player nameAndré Gomes

  4. Squad number23Player nameColeman

Line-ups

Wolves

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1
  • 23Kilman
  • 15Dawson
  • 24Gomes
  • 22Nélson SemedoSubstituted forDohertyat 85′minutes
  • 8João GomesSubstituted forTraoréat 85′minutes
  • 20DoyleBooked at 45mins
  • 3Aït-NouriBooked at 43minsSubstituted forBuenoat 73′minutes
  • 21SarabiaSubstituted forBellegardeat 80′minutes
  • 12Matheus CunhaSubstituted forNetoat 80′minutes
  • 11Hwang Hee-chan

Substitutes

  • 2Doherty
  • 4Bueno
  • 6Traoré
  • 7Neto
  • 17Bueno
  • 18Kalajdzic
  • 25Bentley
  • 27Bellegarde
  • 32Hodge

Everton

Formation 5-4-1

  • 1Pickford
  • 2PattersonBooked at 23minsSubstituted forColemanat 63′minutes
  • 6TarkowskiBooked at 67mins
  • 5KeaneSubstituted forAndré Gomesat 63′minutes
  • 32Branthwaite
  • 19Mykolenko
  • 11Harrison
  • 37Garner
  • 8Onana
  • 7McNeilBooked at 45minsSubstituted forDanjumaat 74′minutes
  • 9Calvert-LewinSubstituted forGomes Betuncalat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Danjuma
  • 12Neves Virgínia
  • 14Gomes Betuncal
  • 21André Gomes
  • 22Godfrey
  • 23Coleman
  • 28Ramalho Chermiti
  • 58Hunt
  • 61Dobbin

Referee:
Thomas Bramall

Attendance:
31,639

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