Tuesday 16 October 2018

Wolves fight back to claim share of spoils

Wolves 2 Everton 2

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez celebrates scoring his side's second goal. Photo: PA
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez celebrates scoring his side's second goal. Photo: PA

Tim Nash

Richarlison, Everton's record signing, scored twice on his debut as their 10 men earned a point at Premier League new boys Wolves. The £50m Brazilian, bought from Watford, scored his first brace in English football as Marco Silva's side survived the 41st-minute dismissal of their captain Phil Jagielka.

"It was a harsh decision, not really the right decision from the ref in that moment," said Silva. "Until the moment of the red card they didn't have one chance to score,"

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ruben Neves scores his side's first goal beyond the reaches of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Photo: PA
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ruben Neves scores his side's first goal beyond the reaches of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Photo: PA

"It was a tough day, but we started well in the first 15 and 20 minutes and it was important for him (Richarlison) to score in his first official match with the new shirt."

Ruben Neves was the standout performer for Wolves, scoring their first equaliser with a stunning free-kick and then setting up Mexican striker Raul Jimenez's header.

The Molineux men started four of their 10 summer signings, 2,281 days after the club's last appearance in the top flight, in May 2012.

Rui Patricio, Jonny Castro Otto, Joao Moutinho and Jimenez made their competitive debuts, while Willy Boly and Diogo Jota were playing for the first time since their season-long loans were made permanent.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ryan Bennett and Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson. Photo: PA
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ryan Bennett and Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson. Photo: PA

Wolves had five Portuguese players in their team - Patricio, Moutinho, Neves, Helder Costa and Jota - a Premier League record.

"I am satisfied with the way we came back from behind, the character," said manager Nuno Espirito Santo. "There were a lot of positives but we also made mistakes in the way we conceded. We started a little bit nervous, but the team reacted good and started to play the style and the movement we should do. For the first game in the Premier League for many of us, we gave a good answer. I think we are in the growing process as a team."

Everton included only Richarlison of their six new arrivals, with Lucas Digne on the bench and Kurt Zouma, Yerry Mina, Bernard and Andre Gomes not considered ready.

A rare slip by Boly gave Everton the first sight of goal in the 11th minute but Ireland international Seamus Coleman could only direct a weak shot straight at Patricio.

Everton's Theo Walcott and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota battle for the ball. Photo: PA
Everton's Theo Walcott and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota battle for the ball. Photo: PA

Richarlison earned an early booking two minutes later when he caught Moutinho late with a side-on challenge. It was the Brazilian who was the visitors' hero in the 17th minute however. He was perfectly placed to prod home the opening goal after Boly and Cenk Tosun had tussled in the air for Leighton Baines's free-kick, and the loose ball bounced off Boly.

There was an element of sloppiness to the goal from a defensive point of view and for a while Wolves, with only three players with any Premier League experience on the pitch, struggled in possession.

Of those three Ryan Bennett was the most experienced - Matt Doherty and Conor Coady only had one substitute appearance to their names.

The visitors couldn't turn their territorial advantage into anything worthy in front of goal though, and the home team gradually regained their composure. Nuno's side were given the chance to haul themselves back in the game four minutes before the break, when Everton captain Jagielka was sent off.

The former England defender had a poor first touch from a pass across the back which allowed Jota to dart in. Jagielka brought him down with a lunging challenge which caught the Portuguese around the shins and referee Craig Pawson had no hesitation in quickly producing a red card.

Neves unleashed a superb, curling effort into the top corner of the net from the resulting free-kick 20 yards out to bring Wolves level and almost lift the roof off Molineux.

Swirling rain greeted the players at the start of the second half, making the surface slick and greasy.

Neves was several inches away with a dipping 30-yarder after some lovely footwork, then Tosun forced Patricio's first serious save of the game with a sidefooted effort that had the goalkeeper sprawling to his left to turn away.

Jordan Pickford then showed why he was such a star for the watching Gareth Southgate in England's World Cup campaign with a brilliant block with his legs after Doherty's pass saw Jimenez beat the offside trap and try to pick his spot.

Wolves were made to pay for that miss when Everton regained the lead in the 67th minute with another goal from Richarlison. This time the 21-year-old ran away from Neves on to a short, square pass from Tosun before neatly curling the ball beyond Patricio.

Wolves remained composed, however, and continued to probe for a second equaliser. And they were rewarded for their efforts with another top-quality goal in which Neves had a heavy influence 10 minutes from time.

The playmaker dug out a sublime, pacy cross which just needed the slightest touch from Jimenez to send it flying high into the net, again giving Pickford no chance.

Telegraph

Telegraph.co.uk

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