Coleman heaps praise on Richarlison as Everton show fighting spirit
Everton 3 Wolves 2
The final whistle blew, Goodison Park erupted with a mixture of joy and relief after 95 minutes of madness, when Seamus Coleman made a beeline for Richarlison.
Everton's two-goal hero, the match winner in this chaotic 3-2 victory over winless Wolverhampton Wanderers, was almost keeled over, resting his hands on his thighs with his head buried into his chest.
"He put in a hell of a shift for the club," Coleman beamed.
The Everton captain was effusive in his praise and the first on the scene to congratulate the winger who plays in front of him on that right side, embracing the 22-year-old with a hug and some words of encouragement.
"I just said 'well done', he came back and helped me as much as he could. When he scored, he held the front of the jersey instead of the back. That shows what he's about, he's not about individual plaudits," Coleman added.
"When he scores a couple goals you're delighted for him because he's not just one of them that will hang around and be happy with two goals, he works extremely hard for the lads."
Richarlison's powerful 80th minute header secured a fantastic win, his fifth-minute strike setting in motion a chaotic opening 12 minutes in which the visitors equalised through Romain Saiss in the ninth minute before Alex Iwobi netted a deft header of his own.
There was no time to draw breath in that opening quarter and Coleman, too, was exposed down that right side as left full Ruben Vinagre and striker Raul Jimenez got the better of him in one-on-one situations.
The Ireland skipper also deflected Adama Traore's - starting in place of Matt Doherty who has both a knee complaint and a 'personal injury' - cross into the path of Saiss.
The visitors looked to have pilfered a point from a helter-skelter encounter with 15 minutes remaining when Jimenez bravely stuck his own head where it hurt to nod home, while simultaneously getting Luca Digne's left boot straight in the mush.
The Everton full back then showed his class with that same peg as he whipped in a perfect ball for Richarlison to seal the show, and all three points. The Brazilian timed his run from the right perfectly and produced the sort of lofty spring off the turf that could probably have seen him give Christ The Redeemer a slap on the head. Instead he only had to worry about getting above the static Willy Boly - dismissed for a second booking in injury time - and he directed his header with power and precision into the far corner.
It was deadly, and just rewards for a player who Coleman could only rave about afterwards as their relationship goes from strength to strength.
"I think last season it kind of fell into place, he was playing left wing a lot but then he moved to the right. We've just clicked really," the Donegal man added.
"I just want people who want to play for everyone, who want to give it their all for Everton. He is one of those players and the more of those players we have the more chance we have of being successful.
"I don't think this club, especially, can carry any individual, that's something the manager has worked really hard on. We've got a great dressing room in there; a great bunch of lads and we'll just keep going this season and try have a successful season."
Producing that final moment of magic with ten minutes remaining is testament to that character and Coleman couldn't help but draw the comparison between last term.
"I did believe we'd get the goal, maybe last year we wouldn't. We showed a good side to us and that was coming back and winning the game whereas maybe last season, at this stage, 2-2, they could've went up the other end and scored, we might have felt sorry for ourselves, so it's a good sign."
So, too, was the sight of a fully fit Coleman considering Doherty will now be absent for Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifier with Switzerland on Thursday. The pair spent time together with Coleman's children in the home dressing room after the final whistle and the Ireland captain added:
"You're probably sick hearing about it but when you pull on that green jersey the energy just comes back into your body. I'm telling you, you feel that half yard quicker, that bit stronger and everybody embraces it.
"I know people might not want to hear all about that fighting Irish spirit, they might want to see tactically good teams all the time but, I'll tell you one thing, if you've got that spirit you can go a long way and we've got that."
The same, it seems, now goes for Everton.