Hello, my name is Andy and welcome to my live blog of the Monday Night Football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton.
Both teams go into the game in contrasting form. In their last five Premier League games, Wolves have won three, drawn one and lost one. Meanwhile, Everton have won one, drawn one and lost three
Wolves, make two changes from the side that drew 1-1 away to Leeds United last weekend. Leander Dendoncker and Adama Traoré make way for Rúben Neves and Francisco Trincão.
Everton will want to make up for their 5-2 home loss to Watford last time out in the league. The Toffees make three changes, with Mason Holgate, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Alex Iwobi coming into the side in place of Tom Davies, Anthony Gordon and Lucas Diane
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is injured and has been for a number of weeks. He is in the Sky Studios tonight and spoke to the challenge ahead for his current employers.
“I think it will be a tough game. I’ve always found it tough going to Molineux. They’re well set up and well organised. The lads will want to rectify last week’s result”.
And the teams are out. The fans welcome both sides to the pitch, with ‘High-Ho Silver Lining’ belting in the background as they await the kickoff.
Remembrance Sunday is honoured, with the usual rendition of the ‘Last Post’ that is seen at every ground in the build up to November 11th.
Commentator tonight Bill Leslie has just given us an incredible fact. This is the first time that Wolves have played in front of their fans under the floodlights since Valentines Day 2020.
5 min: So far, we have seen Wolves play the best football. They have controlled possession but have yet to test Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
8 min: Again, it is a nice passage of play from Wolves. Ait-Nouri tests the Everton defence, forcing a corner.
9 min: Great save from Pickford. João Moutinho’s corner was headed away by Coleman and Neves got onto the end of it. His powerful shot was met excellently by England’s number one, who does well to also deny the rebound. England manager Gareth Southgate, who is in the stands, will be happy with what he has seen from his goalkeeper.
13 min: Once again, Pickford is the hero. Moutinho finds Trincão, whose curling effort is denied by the strong hands of Pickford as the score remains 0-0. He follows this up by punching away the resulting corner.
15 min: WOLVES TAKE THE LEAD. And it’s that man again. Wolves set upon a brilliant move, with Raul Jiménez moving around the box, finding Hee Chan Wang who hits a low effort that hits the bar and subsequently into the net.
Or is it a goal? VAR has been called upon by referee Martin Atkinson. The goal has been ruled out and this looks to be the correct decision.
17 min: There were some handball appeals from Wolves that are rightly not given. Everton have to be careful here as they are struggling to contain this Wolves side, particularly in the midfield battle that is allowing the Midlands side to frequently get into the penalty area.
19 min: Wolves have a free kick after Holgate brings down Trincão. Neves is the man to take it but his effort goes right of the net.
24 min: Everton are once again struggling together anything going. Wolves haven’t had another clear cut chance but they are controlling possession, with 76% posession so far according to the Sky Sports graphics shown on the television coverage.
25 min: Everton finally cause a threat. A good one-two from Iwobi and Richarlison sees the former Arsenal man fail to supply Demarai Gray with a good enough ball to get a shot on target. According to Leslie, this is the first time the Toffees have touched the ball inside Wolves’ penalty area.
26 min: Wolves are back at it. They immediately go down the other end and force a corner.
27 min: 1-0 WOLVES. And this time it is going to count. It’s Max Kilman who gets the opener, his first for the club. Air-Nouri corner was met by the centre-back, who used his strength to head down with ease low past Pickford.
30 min: Wolves are once again threatening the Everton penalty area. The blue half of Merseyside do not see to know how to deal with the hosts.
32 min: 2-0 WOLVES. Jiménez. Everton attempt to play out from the back and it costs them. Michael Keane plays a ball to Godfrey, who takes a touch before a horrendous back pass sees the Mexican capitalise before cheekily lobbing the ball over the head of Pickford. Everton need to wake up.
37 min: Another Sky Sports graphic shows Everton to have won the most points from behind, with 7 so far this season. They almost prove the stat right, but Gray fluffed his lines in the penalty area.
41 min: Lots of pinball-esque play at the moment, with the ball constantly going back and forth from team to team. Both teams seem content with the current scoreline as halftime looms.
44 min: Holgate has been saved by the offside flag. Townsend’s corner fell to the centre-half in the box but he hits his shot over the bar from just yards out. The flag was raised, to save his embarrassment.
First half ends 2-0. This has been pretty much a perfect first half from Wolves. Equally, Everton have been poor but Bruno Lage’s men have been excellent. They have pressed well when losing the ball and have completely controlled the middle of the park.
In the Sky Sports studios, Jamie Carragher spoke to Everton’s struggles.
“That’s not good enough for Everton.”
The second half is about to get underway, with one substitute made by Everton manager Rafael Benítez. Gbamin is the player to make way, with Fabian Delph the one to come on.
47 min: Good start from Everton as Townsend puts in a testing ball which is headed away by Wolves captain Conor Coady for a corner. They deal well with the counter attack, forcing Pickford to come out of his goal to clear the ball away.
52 min: Everton appear to have woken up. They win it. back, Allan found Townsend who then plays in Gray, who takes a shot that is deflected out for a corner. Wolves soon get back and win a corner of their own, that can only be clear by Keane.
54 min: Wolves almost allow Everton back into the game. José Sá will be relieved. Wolves pass around in their own half before Sa, attempting to find a teammate, hits it straight at Richarlison before both he and Coady get the ball away.
58 min: Everton are trying their upmost best to get back into this game and are testing this Wolves defense. However, they cannot find the cutting edge to half the deficit.
59 min: Almost three and game over. Jimenez finds Trincão on this left hand side who plays a ball into Semedo on the far side of the penalty box. He plays it back into Wolves’ number 9, whose header hit the post.
64 min: Everton get themselves towards Wolves’ penalty area but fail to create any real danger for their opponents.
66 min: 2-1. EVERTON ARE BACK IN IT Iwobi. Gray collects the ball on the left hand side and finds Godrey. His low driven shot is blocked but Iwobi is there as his first time effort beats Sá. Game well and truly on.
68 min: Wolves almost double their lead. A brilliant pass from Neves unlocks Hwang, who finds Trincão before taking a touch and somehow hitting his effort wide of the goal.
73 min: PENALTY WOLVES. Holgate is deemed to have fouled Trincão in the box. However, a free kick has instead been given after VAR intervened.
74 min: The free kick is truly wasted.
77 min: Wolves threaten, with both Hwang and Jiménez failing to break through this Everton defence.
78 min: Gordon, who started the Watford loss, is on for Iwobi. Trincão is also taken off for Wolves, with Daniel Podence the man to take his place.
84 min: Everton threaten and win a corner. Richarlison holds the ball up, before Coleman arrives on the overlap and his cross is booked for a corner. There was VAR check but this was over as quick as Nuno’s reign at Tottenham. From the resulting corner, Gordon’s header forces a good save from Sá.
89 min: Jiménez is taken off with a round of applause. Dendoncker is subbed on with just minutes left. Rondon is also brought on for Gray.
Benitez is seen shouting instructions at his players. Can they salvage a draw out of this game in what has been a much improved second half performance.
90+3 min: Everton continue to get at Wolves but can not find a cross that is worthwhile for Rondon. Fábio Silva is on for goalscorer Hwang. Everton’s throw in could only find Sá. Jiménez is named man of the match by Sky’s Karen Carney.
AND THAT IS THE FINAL WHISTLE. It has finished 2-1 to Wolves. Lage fistbumps the air as they earn a well-deserved win. This now moved them to seventh place and just four points off fourth-placed West Ham United. Everton lost again, with this result leaving them in tenth place. Carragher spoke of the two team’s performances at the final whistle.
“Everton had to improve. It couldn’t have been any worse than the first half. It’s a different Wolves but the same system. It’s a better watch. They are getting their just rewards these past few weeks, something they didn’t perhaps get early on this season.”
Calvert-Lewin spoke of their disappointment.
“It took us a while to get into the game but the second half there was some positives to take.”
Overall, Wolves will be happy with the win but Everton will travel back to Liverpool with plenty of questions to ask themselves.