Richarlison double earns Everton thrilling victory over Wolves
Brazilian attacker scores late winner at Goodison Park, as Iwobi scores his first Premier League goal for the Merseysiders
Everton have not exactly been a byword for excellent expenditure in recent years. Arrivals such as Sandro Ramirez, Davy Klaassen, Yannick Bolasie, Theo Walcott, Cenk Tosun and Ashley Williams dented both the bank balance and the reputation of an ambitious club.
Perhaps, however, that is changing. Richarlison’s debut year at Goodison Park suggested he will prove a fine use of £40 million (Dh178.6m). A brace in a 3-2 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday underlined that impression and while there was the temptation to assume that, once again, Everton had more money than sense when they paid £35m for Alex Iwobi, the early impression forged by his time on Merseyside is altogether different.
An eager runner whose record of 15 goals in 149 games for Arsenal suggested he flattered to deceive has now scored on both starts for his new club. Everton, who had looked so sterile in defeat to Aston Villa, were rejuvenated by the introduction of summer signings.
Fabian Delph flourished in midfield and if Moise Kean, a third man making his first league start, did not make such a spectacular impact, he nevertheless contributed to Richarlison’s opener.
“Fabian and Alex know the Premier League,” said manager Marco Silva. “For them, nothing is new; just that they are playing now in our blue shirt.”
He felt his team might not have had the character to recover from conceding two equalisers last season. They did yesterday. Wolves arrived at Goodison Park unbeaten. They left with only they and Watford awaiting a first league win.
A day to suggest Wolves’ Europa League exertions are already taking a toll produced unlikely entertainment. Everton could savour rather more of it. Wolves’ defending was ragged as they lost their discipline and their unbeaten record. Willy Boly, who was culpable for Richarlison’s winner, collected two of their six yellow cards to make an early exit.
“I am not upset with him,” said manager Nuno Espirito Santo. “Sometimes everybody makes mistakes.” But Wolves, as he accepted, made more than usual. “When you score two times, we should do better defensively to sustain what we produce,” he said. “We should not be happy with the mistakes we made.”
They pockmarked the performance and began early. Conor Coady, formerly of Liverpool, helped gift Richarlison’s first. His poor back-pass led to Rui Patricio’s hurried clearance which rebounded off Kean. Richarlison bounced his shot in.
Everton’s captain was as errant as his Wolves counterpart. When Adama Traore’s deep cross reached Seamus Coleman, the ball bounced off the right-back to give Romain Saiss a tap in. Some 207 days after Gabriel Jesus scored for Manchester City, Everton belatedly conceded at Goodison Park again.
Traore undid that fine work by leaving Iwobi unmarked to head in Gylfi Sigurdsson’s enticing cross. It has been a mantra of Silva’s that he wants the arrival from Arsenal to score more often. Iwobi seems to be heeding that message.
Jordan Pickford had denied Wolves a second equaliser with a fine save from Patrick Cutrone who, like Kean, was an expensive Italian striker making a full Premier League debut. The Everton goalkeeper was beaten when Ryan Bennett’s long throw was met by Boly who, in the one uplifting moment of his display, won a flick-on. Raul Jimenez evaded Lucas Digne to head in. “The only thing I didn’t like was the two goals we conceded,” Silva said.
Digne was swift to make amends, Boly soon to err. He was a static figure when Richarlison rose above him to meet the left-back’s cross. The defender’s inability to halt the Brazilian legally was illustrated when he fouled him to collect his second caution. Yet if it left Wolves’ squad looking stretched, Nuno made an odd claim. “I have more than 60 players available,” he said.
Updated: September 1, 2019 10:45 PM