Everton 0-1 Wolves: Kalajdzic steals the points after Toffees pay tribute to Michael Jones

With a touching tribute to 26-year-old Michael Jones taking place ahead of kick-off at Goodison Park after the construction worker tragically died in an accident at the club’s new stadium, Everton looked to rescue their first three points of the season against Wolves.

EVE: Pickford; Young, Branthwaite, Tarkowski, Patterson; Gueye; Dobbin, Onana, Doucoure, Garner; Danjuma

WOL: Sá; Bueno, Kilman, Dawson, Semedo; Hwang, Lemina, Gomes, Neto; Cunha, Silva

A rather dull opening period lacked chances for either side in truth, with Danjuma coming closest for the hosts after fifteen minutes as his effort was palmed onto the post by Sá – but the Dutchman was offside regardless.

The Toffees should have taken the lead as the half-hour mark approached too, after a corner fell to Garner. His strike deflected off Dobbin and forced Sá into a save, just seconds before Tarkowski lashed the rebound into the side netting when presented with an open goal!

There would be one last chance for the hosts before the break, as Patterson’s cross from the right flank was delivered perfectly into the penalty area for Danjuma – though he disappointingly rolled his shot wide of the right post to ensure the game remained goalless at the interval.

A fine save from Sá was required just ten minutes into the second half to ensure the Toffees didn’t take the lead, leaping to punch away a corner delivery before producing a fine double save to deny Garner and Branthwaite.

Against the run of play, Wolves had the ball in the back of the net just before the hour mark as Silva poked Bueno’s cross past Pickford – but the linesman’s flag was promptly raised, as the forward had been in a marginally offside position when he began to make his run.

The chances were coming thick and fast for Wolves as the game progressed though, with Silva planting an effort just wide of the woodwork before Neto’s ball into the box forced Pickford into action after deflecting off an Everton defender.

With twenty minutes left to play, it was Everton that forced Sá into producing a simply magnificent save to deny Doucoure. The midfielder’s headed effort looked to catch the ‘keeper out of position, but the shotstopper recovered well to push the ball over the crossbar and behind for a corner.

And much like Wolves had been denied by the offside flag, the Toffees would be too with ten minutes left on the clock. Garner sought to find Doucoure, with the midfielder keen to get the better of Sá this time. He did so – but a VAR review found that he had been just in front of Dawson as the pass was played, and so the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.

In the 87th minute, the travelling fans were rewarded for their patience as Kalajdzic put Wolves ahead. Just moments after being introduced as a substitute, the six-foot-seven giant nodded Neto’s cross past Pickford – sealing the three points for Gary O’Neil’s side.

Wolves will host Blackpool in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, while Everton head to Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday in search of their first win of the 2023/24 season.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images