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Venue: Molineux, Birmningham
Premier League
Saturday 20 May 2023; 3:00pm
1 1
Hwang 34'
Half Time: 1 - 0 
Mina 90'+9
Attendance: 31,684
Fixture 37
Referee: David Coote

Match Reports
2022-23 Reports Index
« Previous Manchester City (H)
» Next Bournemouth (H)
  Semedo booked
  Dawson booked
  Neves booked (B. Traore 88')
  Joao Gomes
  Sarabia (Nunez 70' booked)
  Podence (Costa 70')
  A. Traore booked (Cunha 88')
  Hwang (Lemina 74')
  Subs not used

  Patterson (Keane 29')
  Gueye (Holgate 82')
  Garner booked
  Onana (Maupay 82')
  Calvert-Lewin (Gray 45'+2)
  Subs not used
  Coleman (injured)
  Davies (injured)
  Godfrey (injured)
  Mykolenko (injured)
  Townsend (injured)
  Vinagre (injured)
  Alli (loan)
  Branthwaite (loan)
  Cannon (loan)
  Dobbin (loan)
  Gbamin (loan)
  Gomes (loan)
  Nkounkou (loan)

Match Stats

Shots on target

Premier League Scores
Bournemouth 0-1 Man United
Fulham 2-2 C Palace
Liverpool 1-1 Aston Villa
Nott'm Forest 1-0 Arsenal
Tottenham 1-3 Brentford
Wolves 1-1 Everton
Brighton 3-1 Southampton
Man City 1-0 Chelsea
West Ham 3-1 Leeds
Newcastle 0-0 Leicester

1 Manchester City 88
2 Arsenal 81
3 Newcastle United 70
4 Manchester United 69
5 Liverpool 66
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 61
7 Aston Villa 58
8 Tottenham Hotspur 57
9 Brentford 56
10 Fulham 52
11 Crystal Palace 44
12 Chelsea 43
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers 41
14 West Ham United 40
15 Bournemouth 39
16 Nottingham Forest 37
17 Everton 33
18 Leicester City 31
19 Leeds United 31
20 Southampton (R) 24

Match Report

This had the makings of a bleak afternoon for Everton. A performance that had started so promisingly had unravelled by half-time from the Blues’ perspective — Nathan Patterson, the club’s only fit senior full-back, was forced off with a hamstring problem before half an hour had elapsed and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, arguably the most important outfield player in the squad, joined him in first-half stoppage time.

In between, another sloppy giveaway had seen Sean Dyche’s team undone once more on the counter-attack, with Hwang Hee-chan knocking in the loose ball after Jordan Pickford had foiled Adama Traoré, to be followed by more bizarre decisions from the manager and a final half-hour of desperately inept attacking play from the visitors before they made the breakthrough with force of will where guile had been almost completely absent.

That it was Michael Keane, playing as an emergency striker for the final quarter of an hour, who weighed in with a smart assist nine minutes into stoppage time at the end of the second half was less poetic and more ironic given how he had laboured for a long spell as an uncomfortably awkward right-back following Patterson’s departure.

Few could have foreseen an Everton equaliser coming in the second half against a Wolves side who were combative, feisty and anything but already mentally on the beach with their flip-flops on. The Blues lacked tempo, incisiveness and belief and remained wide open and vulnerable at times to the counter; indeed, were it not for Pickford, substitute Matheus Nuñes would have killed the game late on and snuffed out all hope of Dyche’s men getting anything from this game.

But what they lacked in cohesiveness and confidence they made up for in spirit, pushing to the death and being rewarded with a goal by the last of the chronically injury-prone left standing, King Yerry Mina. This will almost certainly have been the Colombian’s penultimate appearance in a Blue jersey and the point he secured on the day (not to mention the boost it will hopefully provide as the team prepares for the final day) could yet prove decisive.

Calvert-Lewin had been passed fit to start having rested during the week and then training yesterday despite feeling tightness in his groin during last Sunday’s home defeat to Manchester City. Vitalii Mykolenko was not so fortunate, so Dwight McNeil was deployed at left-back which robbed Everton’s attack of their most potent threat and top goalscorer.

Calvert-Lewin was the key piece, though, and Dyche’s side started well, with the striker chesting down Mina’s knock-on and firing into the side-netting in the third minute and then going close when he despatched Alex Iwobi’s dangerous centre narrowly over the crossbar.

James Tarkowski had a shot blocked, referee David Coote inexplicably failed to award Calvert-Lewin a clear free-kick on the edge of the Wolves box and just seconds later Patterson was involved a collision of legs that would force him off prematurely to be replaced, not by Mason Holgate or a switch of Iwobi to wing-back but by Keane.

Everton remained the dominant side and their best chance of the first period should have fallen to Calvert-Lewin but Mina got in ahead of him to meet McNeil’s corner and the defender couldn’t keep his header down.

The visitors’ momentum and good work to that point was undone shortly afterwards in a moment, however, when Doucouré’s weak pass was intercepted deep in Wolves territory and the hosts broke away through Adama Traoré. His shot was well saved by Jordan Pickford but he could only palm it into the path of the untracked Hwang who turned the loose ball home.

Another giveaway almost immediately afterwards, this time by Tarkowksi, let Wolves in again but, thankfully, Daniel Podence headed the rebound over the bar after Pickford had saved from Nelson Semedo.

Iwobi had a tame shot comfortably caught by Dan Bentley in the hosts’ goal and Calvert-Lewin’s last meaningful contribution was to draw a foul on the edge of the area but James Garner cleared the bar by a distance with the resulting free-kick before Podence drilled a shot wide to end the half.

With Calvert-Lewin and Patterson missing and Demarai Gray and Keane in their place, Everton struggled for purpose and balance in the second half. There had a few bright moments before the hour mark, first when the ball almost dropped for Keane in the six-yard box and then when Iwobi tested Bentley with a better effort from distance and Gray flashed an inviting ball across the face of goal with no blue shirt gambling to meet it.

Wolves had another dangerous counter-attack but Pablo Sarabia curled wide when well placed and Semedo narrowly missed the far post with a decent effort while Gray tried his luck with a trademark cut inside and shot at the other end but Bentley did enough to bat it behind.

Everton’s attempts to grab something from the contest became increasingly desperate and, in truth, increasingly ineffective as they launched the ball forward looking for Keane who had been pushed into an emergency striker’s role after Mason Holgate had been introduced in place of Amadou Onana.

Iwobi fired a good-looking shot that was searching out the inside post from 20 yards but a deflection carried it wide and substitute Neal Maupay (what has Ellis Simms done to not get a look-in, pray tell?) hooked the ball over his shoulder and wide from a deep throw-in as the game ticked towards 90 minutes.

Wolves almost put the game to bed two minutes into the nine added on by Coote for stoppages when Nunes raced clear on the breakaway but Pickford denied him with an out-stretched foot that diverted the Portuguese’s shot wide.

Then, just when it looked as though Everton’s huffing, puffing and ineffective long-ball football was to be in vain, Gray flighted a long ball to the back post, Tarkowski beat Bentley’s gloves to the ball to head it downwards where Keane knocked it square and Mina converted from close range to send the distraught visiting fans into delirium on their side of the stadium.

So it’s two from three to join Southampton through the trap door. We won’t know for sure until tomorrow but Everton could go into their final match of the season without their Premier League in their own hands but thanks to Mina’s dramatic goal at the death, the Blues have an extra point on their remaining rivals to beat the drop before they travel to West Ham and Newcastle respectively.

Unfortunately, Nottingham Forest, whose extreme trolly-dash in the last two transfer windows saw them amass enough talent to eventually see them safe, removed themselves from the final-day drama by officially ending Arsenal’s title tilt this evening with a 1-0 win. Victory for Leeds at the London Stadium would lift them above the Toffees into 17th and ensure a tortuous week of dread for Evertonians ahead of the visit to Goodison Park of Bournemouth.

Lyndon Lloyd

Matchday Updates

Everton's final away game of the season takes them to Molineux to face Wolves in an increasingly desperate bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Calvert-Lewin starts, Onana is in for Holgate, Conor Coady ineligible to play against his parent club. 

Sean McAllister is called up from the U21s to the bench for the first time, with Reece Welch and Ellis Simms the other youngsters among the subs.

Wolves kicked off, playing low-risk passes to the ball away from Everton until they picked out Traore who failed to get past McNeil. From Pickford's clearance poor headers gave away possession in midfield and Wolves surged forward dangerously crossing low across the face of the goal. 

Garner was fouled wide right. Mina headed down to Calvert-Lewin who tried to turn but shot wide into the side netting under pressure. McNeil got a decent run up the left wing but Neves was too strong for him. Garner forced possession in midfield but Iwobi's cross was poor.

Calvert-Lewin got on the end of Pickford's clearance and Iwobi followed up but lost it. From the throw-in, a good-looking cross from Doucore was met by Calvert-Lewin under close attention and he could not direct the header. A much better-worked attack saw Iwobi cross well to Calvert-Lewn who should have done better with the header that went a few feet over the bar. 

Gueye tried his usual utterly wasteful attempt from outside the Wolves area. But Everton were responding well to the high tempo of the game, winning a corner on the right.  Gomes and Trakowski were pushing silly buggers but the ref allowed the corner to be taken and it bobbled around without a clear chance in the crowded area. 

Another decent Everton attack, Iwobi picking out Doucoure with a hard cross that he could not handle. Traore then went right through Onana and was rightly carded . 

Another good attack, this one on the right, saw Calvert-Lewin win a corner, with more silly stuff in the goal area. McNeil's brilliant ball in beat Bentley but Doucoure had pushed him. 

It was a highly competitive game with no quarter given, Everton responding well and giving the fans a lot to cheer. But Wolves did build a dangerous attack Pickford almost getting caught out. 

A strange tangle with Toti floored Calvert-Lewin on the edge of Wolves area but the ref saw nothing wrong with it, while Sean Dyche was somewhat animated. Patterson needed some treatment before the game restarted. McNeil stopped the advance down Everton's left.

Garner did really well to set up Onana but he dithers and dribbles rather than shooting or crossing. He still won a corner, Mina heading over falling backwards. Patterson could not continue and Keane came on.  

Sarabia had a shot well blocked and the clearance set up another attack through Calvert-Lewin. Mina did well to contain 

Everton worked hard to build a tricky attack with lots of players forward. but the intricate passing broke down and Traore ran half the length of the field, his shot pushed out by Picjkofrd straight to Hwang who could not miss.

Onanan was overrun in midfield and Wolves came too close to scoring a second, Pickford parrying the heading the rebound onto the roof of the net. 

Traore switched sides and just steamed past everyone, Mina getting in to shepherd the ball back to Pickford. Iwobi shot weakly from distance. But Wolves now had their tails up and surged forward again, Doucoure giving up a free-kick.  Neves, straight into the Bue wall. 

Calvert-Lewin advanced under close attention, Neves catching his heel for a dangerous  Garner free-kick that was very poorly executed, well off target. Gueye seemed to have been caught on the ball in his own area but recovered very well. 

Onana tried to play in Calvert-Lewin who was blocked by Collins and twisted around, grasping his thigh before going down, head in hands. We all know what that means. Demarai Gray came on during the 4 minutes of added time. 

Everton were shell-shocked but tried to pay out the half without any more damage being done, Podence eventually shooting wide. Dawson fouled Onana and was carded but Everton could do nothing with the free-kick. 

What a disastrous half with two forced changes after getting so close to scoring in well-constructed moves that could have yielded three goals for – rather than one against. 

Everton restarted with a massive task ahead of them to reverse their dismal fortunes. It didn't start well with Onana getting roughed up by Gomes and needing treatment. 

From a free-kick Keane almost got a chance to flick the ball goalward.  Wolves physicality was a serious problem with Toti diving in on Gueye. Everton tried to work an attack and Iwobi shot toward the top corner but not have enough pace to beat Bentley.

Garner blocked Traore very cleverly as Everton tried to stay alert to the counter. Mina was the next to suffer as Neves trod full on his foot. The play was pretty ragged now with attacks harder to construct as gold shirts swarmed around the field to deny Everton time and space.  

Semedo fired a long distant shot over the angle. At the other end, Gray crossed low across the 6-yard area but no-one was moving in to score. Another counter through Traore, Sarabia blazing just wide. Wolves kept coming at Everton, Sememdo lashing wide. 

Everton were simply unable to keep the ball, Gray fouling Collins to get ahead of him on a lofted ball. Podence was next to volley wide. Semedo collided with Gray and Everton were fortunate to get the free-kick. It came back out to Iwobi whose poor volley flew wide. 

Neves was adjudged to have brought down Keane, winning a dangerous free-kick, Garner taken off set-piece duty. Gray did nothing to beat the wall – what a pathetic free-kick from Gray. 

Keane tried his arm at the long throw that saw Bently take out his defender. Gtar id a lot better with a shot that Bently got his hands to it. More song and dance for the Everton corner, Bentley clutching it out of the air after DOucoure had been a real pest. 

On the counter, Pickford had to be alert and very lucky to stop Costa. Doucoure tried to force his way through but his shot was blocked. McNeil crossed in from the left but it was easily cleared. 

Costas tried to force his way to goal but Mina blocked his efforts. Onana was just too casual in midfield but Everton struggled to get forward effectively. Graner tried to beat his man but inadvertently handled the ball.

Everton struggled again to get penetration into the Wolves area, Semedo going down clutching his face from Tarkowski's flailing arm. 

A last throw of the dice was Maupay and Holgate on for Onana and Gueye. But Everton were finding it really hard work to create any kind of a chance against this tough, quick, physical Wolves side. 

Another long throw, another distant Iwobi strike, perhaps his best of the day, deflected wide. The corner was punched clear. McNeil and Gray combined on the left but it broke down and another footrace was on, halted by Mina and Pickford. 

Into the last 5 minutes and absolute desperation from Everton, Maupay trying and failing to imitate Gundogan from last week with a twist and flick in the Wolves goal area. 

Wolves cleverly choreographed a long celebration for the substitution of Neves, the referee allowing him to give everyone a hug with time running out. Garner was forced to take out Nunes, as the game entered 9 minutes of added time. 

Everton tried to build yet again but it was far too slow and the massed Wolves defence quickly switched to counter-attack Nunes doing everything he could but Pickford got a foot out to deflect his shot wide. 

Everton kept pushing up, Nunes cynically taking out Mina. The futility was summed up by Pickford striding a long way forward and hoofing the ball over everyone and out behind for a Wolves goal-kick. 

Gray tried another shot that was deflected behind for another corner, headed away but put back in and winning yet another Everton corner but again it was defended away well for an Everton throw-in.

Into the last minute of added time and Everton had a throw-in near the half-way line, McNel short to Gray who delivered a brilliant cross in from deep wide left, causing havoc at the far post, Tarkowski backpedalling and losing his balance but still heading it back to Keane who somehow controlled it and got it back across to Mina who stabbed it into the net amidst a crowd of yellow shirts in the goal area. An absolutely unbelievable goal to end an unbelievable game!

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Bentley, Semedo, Collins, Dawson [Y:], Toti [Y:51'], Traore [Y:17'], Gomes, Neves [Y:66'] (88' Traore), Sarabia (70' Nunes [Y:90+4']), Hwang (74' Lemina), Podence (70' Costa).

Subs not Used: Sa, Jimenez, Cunha, Kilman, Bueno.

Everton: Pickford, Patterson (29' Keane), Mina, Tarkowski, McNeil, Gana (81' Holgate) , Onana (81' Maupay), Garner [Y:90'], Doucoure, Iwobi, Calvert-Lewin (45+2' Gray).

Subs not Used: Begovic, Lonergan, McAllister, Simms, Welch.

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton's final away game of the season takes them to Molineux to face Wolves in what is yet another "cup final" in the context of the club's bid to avoid relegation.

The Blues will be looking to put last Sunday's heavy defeat to Champions-elect Manchester City behind them and putting everything into taking maximum points which, if they can manage it, would represent a huge step toward preserving their top-flight status with just one match left to play.

Sean Dyche will be dealing with the same headache he had at left-back last week with the news that Vitalii Mykolenko is almost certain to miss out with the injury that sidelined him for the City game.

The Ukrainian international strained the muscle at Finch Farm last Saturday and the problem hasn't sufficiently settled down in the interim to allow him to train.

Dyche says that it is highly unlikely Mykolenko will feature against Wolves but he has a chance of being available for the final game of the season against Bournemouth.

“I doubt he will be right for this one,” Dyche said in his press conference today. “He has got a chance for the next one. It’s a risk-and-reward scenario and he hasn’t trained. So, therefore, I doubt he will make this one.”

It means that the manager will either have to plump for a makeshift option at left-back — be that Mason Holgate again despite this struggles against Man City, Nathan Patterson on the left with Holgate on the right, Dwight McNeil dropping back, or Dyche deploying a back five as he did in the second half last weekend.

In that case, Conor Coady's ineligibility to face his parent club would likely mean Michael Keane coming in as the third centre-back.

In better news, however, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is expected to play this weekend after resting for much of the week. He was expected to rejoin the rest of the first team at Finch Farm and if he comes through the session he will be included in the squad for the trip to the Midlands.

The striker, whose fitness has been closely managed since Dyche came on board, was withdrawn as a precaution at half-time against City after feeling tightness in his groin.

Asked in the presser if he thought Calvert-Lewin would be ready, Dyche said: “Hopefully. “He’s had a few down days and it’s looking more promising. He will be with us again tomorrow for training.

Meanwhile, Andros Towsend has returned to training on grass but remains some way away from being match-fit, Ben Godfrey is still absent with a groin problem and Tom Davies is ruled out with a thigh tendon injury. 

Wolves have fewer injury worries but also have a lot less to play for than Everton, having already guaranteed their survival thanks to the work of manager Julen Lopetegui. The Spaniard came in for Bruno Lage last October and while at one point it looked as though the Midlanders were in serious danger of going down, the new boss has steadied the ship and guided them to 40 points with two games to spare.

Lopetegui won't be able to call on Francisco Tavares or Sasa Kaladjic, both of whom are ruled out, while Boubacar Traoré is rated only 50-50 as he works his way back from injury.

Though they were thumped 6-0 at Brighton three weeks ago (a result that should hearten Dyche and Everton as they prepare for this game) and they've struggled in general on the road where they haven't win since beating now-relegated Southampton in February, at home Wolves have been hard to beat.

In recent weeks they have seen off Liverpool, Tottenham, Brentford, Chelsea and Aston Villa, all top-half sides but were beaten by lowly Leeds when the Yorkshire side really took the game to them and won 4-2 having roared into a 3-0 lead. That kind of susceptibility to pressure and direct attacking is hopefully something Dyche will look to exploit to Everton's gain.

Psychologically, as well as coming into the weekend sitting outside the drop zone, the Toffees are also playing first out of the four teams still in relegation danger. A win, together with defeats for Leeds and Leicester would guarantee safety but a victory regardless of how things go elsewhere would keep things in Everton's hands going into the final weekend.

Kick-off: 3 pm, Saturday 20 May 2023
Referee: David Coote
VAR: Paul Tierney
Last Time: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 - 1 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Patterson, Mina, Keane, Tarkowski, McNeil, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin

Lyndon Lloyd

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