No Phil Neville, who is injured; Hibbert, Heitinga, Bily and Beckford all start; with Heitinga not in defence but playing the holding role because both Fellaini and Rodwell are on the bench, where they are joined by Osman and Saha from last week's starteres. Rodwell is still overlooked for a starting role but at least Coleman makes the teamsheet. Despite last week's horrendous match-losing blunder, Moyes spurned the chance to really put any meaningful pressure on Howard by failing to give Mucha his debut (no doubt that will come on Wednesday against Huddersfield in the Carling Cup.) remains in goal. Arteta captain for teh day.
The game started with a hoof from Jags that won an early fk which went straight to Hanneman. On the next hoof, from Hibbert, Cahill won another free kick, As Everton looked to attack, Pienaar played in Hibbert welldown the right but his cross was poor. Everton won another free kick when Berra held Beckford and Arteta did far better but Bily lashed the half-cleared ball well over the bar.
Jagielka hoofed it again and it came back to him but he finally played a better ground ball to Arteta and Hibbert's cross was much better, although Bily went down under pressure and could not control his shot. Neat workk from Bily clipped the ball to Baines but his cross was awful. Jagielka gave away a cheap free-kick that went straight to Howard. The next attacjk was full of danger but Arteta could not control it.
Beckford was starting to get more into it after a slow start, but could not get a difficult cross close enough to Cahill. Some silly ness between Henry and Cahill won a free-kick but Arteta's square ball confused everybody, especially Jags, who could only chip it poorly. The match was developing a feisty edgey but Everton were playing it on the ground and an excellent forward move tested Beckford again.
More hoofing down the right, this time from Pienaar, eventually led to some better football, Pienaar getting caught by Henry for an excellent free-kick opportunity that Baines screwed high and wide. Hibererton'st was brightto enough to wim Everton's first cornerr but it canme to nothing. Cahill and Pienaar combined well to win a corner but Bily fired it over everyone.
Some tremndous interpassing finallset up Heitinga in space and his excellent shot stung Hanneman's gloves but Cahill could not keep Arteta's resulting corner below the bar. Another hoof down the right say the ref peanlise Cahill for a high foot. Beckford got spoken too for what looked like an accidental kick on Berra. A lousy pass from Pienaar was greeted with boos but they were really for Masoon who had playeed advantage instead of calling a foul on Beckford. Arteta then got hounded by Jones and evetually lost it afyter a mazey run backward to teh centre-circle.
Everton were really struggling to impose themselves on the constant pressure from their opponents, who were playing the spoiling game well. Another hoof from Distin found Beckford but he could not control it. Finally, Mason got his card out and booked Elokobi for a poor challenge on Arteta. From the kick, Cahill shielded well to set up Pienaar, who had played the entire half down the right side, but his shot was pathetic.
A simple ball in frm Arteta that Beckford smartly clipped on looked to create the first goal but, instead of shooting, Cahill dived over, looking for a penalty that Mason was not interested in. Everrton were attacking better but Beckford's contrl was letting him down repeatdly. A great cross from Pienaar was too far ahead of Bily, Bily lashed at another after Cahill's good shot was blocked.
An unbelievable decision by Mason gave a free-kick outside the box for a clear push on Arteta that was inside the area, three yards in front of the referee!!! Arteta drove it in and Wolves could not clear the ball. Cahill looked to have fouled Cradock but turned smartly and smacked it home brilliantly. The goal stood, despite an animated conversation beween ref and linesman.
Everton had struggled through the half to really impose themselves with confidence despite some good attacking play, but the goal was a tremendous relief.
No changes for the second half as Everton looked to control the game, Beckford playing a little further back. But scapy football, characterized by another Jags hoof, was the pattern that seemed to set in early on. Moore hoofs by Baines only led to Beckford being called for a foul. A great move down the left ended with an awful touch by Beckford, his balance all wrong.
Everton were failing to build on the goal, and letting Wolves get too much of the play since half-time. Passing was not fluid by any means as the Hour of teh Sub approached... who would it be? Saha on for Beckford or Bily? Pienaar was booed again for a horrible pass, possibly on his wrong foot.
Some better stuff saw the bll nodded back by Cahill but a dreadful airsshot form Bily missed glorious chance. Baines and Henry battled away on the byeline and the crowd got more annoyed with Mason. Two Everton players, Arteta and Pienaar, collapsed but Mason delayed stopping the game, getting the crowd even more aggrevated. .
It was nervy stuff without the assurance of a second goal; too many hoofs in the general direction of Beckford, who could not control any of them, and the game was degenerating into quite a poor display of football. Pienaar, since being booed, had been playing in very determined fashin, tracking back and defending well. Beckford got a chance to break but Ward had the measure of him far too easily. The substitution came late today, 71 mins, and it was Saha for Beckford.
A dreadful sequence of play saw Wolves equalize. Silly passing beetwen Saha and Heitinga saw saw Guediura leap in with his studs to get the ball off Heitinga and sacamper away with the ball to set up a break, Heitinga lying prostate. Ebanks-Blake had an easy task to finish the move.
Heitinga, going in for retributive afters on Jarvis, got a stupid yellow for his trrouble as Everton looked more and more uncomfortable, the scrappy football making the Goodison crowd most agitated. Jagielka was repeated under preessure, once when Howard failed to take command. Wolves now had the bit firmly betweeb the teeth, while Moyes dithered over his next substitutions.
Fellaini was the next substitution along with Osman, the Big Fella coming on for Heitinga, Osman for Bily. So... almost back to the Blackburn starting line-up!!!. Baines went on a good run and was hauled don by Halford. Artea's low fired kick was cleared with ease. Cahill looked to get a chance but he was offside from a flick-on.
The subs brightened things up for the final 10 mins, Saha getting in a looping header that came down just the wrong side of the bar. But at the other end, Jarvis went on a dazzzling run that beat Hibberet and required determined intervention from Distin to prevent an easy winning goal. Osman was lively at the other end, but not strong enough to resist the
A very feisty finish from Wolves after they scored underlined a depressingly familiar inability of Everton to put the headlock on poorer teams who play the physical pressing game. This fixture finished 1-1 last season, and went down as one of far too many games that Everton should have won... and would need to win if they were really going to make some progress this season, with "the best squad in over 20 years". But it was once again Same Old, Same Old; not enough invention, confidence, or composure. Two games in and two rather depressingly familiar portents for the season.
To say that Everton's season opener at Blackburn last weekend was a disappointment would be an understatement, not merely because it ended in defeat but also — mostly — because of the manner of it. The Blues were well below their best and could have few complaints at the result.
The first home game of the campaign, though, offers an opportunity to erase the memory of the Ewood Park debacle immediately, get points on the board and make a statement of intent in the process against a team that they really should beat handily. Perhaps significantly, they were stymied by Wolves home and away last season and as David Moyes always, there are no easy games in the Premier League anymore.
How Everton respond, though, is going to be very important. The burden of expectation won't have lifted a bit with last weekend's loss so the pressure to perorm will certainly be on in front of a demanding home crowd.
Much has been made of Moyes's less-than-adventurous team selection last week so it will be interesting to see if there are any personnel changes, particularly in right midfield and up front.
Victor Anichebe, one of the manager's options on the right wing, is still out injured and Yakubu's omission from the squad last weekend perhaps speaks volumes about the likelihood of him staying at Goodison beyond the closure of the transfer window but Moyes has options in the likes of DIniyar Bilyaletdinov, Jermaine Beckford and Magaye Gueye, as well as Jack Rodwell and John Heitinga, neither of whom made the starting line-up against Rovers.
Wolves already have a win under their belts having beaten Stoke City in their first game and they will no doubt feel that all the pressure will be on their hosts' shoulders.
|Premier League Scores|
|Premier League Table|
|2010-11 Reports Index|
|Heitinga ( 72' Fellaini)|
|Bilyaletdinov (72' Osman)|
|Beckford (71' Saha)|
|Subs not used|
|Elokobi Y:_ (53' Guedioura)|
|Jones (70' Halford Y:83')|
|Eubanks-Blake (93' Strearman)|
|Subs not used|
|Premier League Scores|