Wolves hosted Everton at Molineux in the home side’s first Premier League game in six years. Both teams impressed in the transfer window – in the case of the Toffees signing three from Barcelona and Wolves themselves bringing in a host of Portuguese stars.
Summary of result: A thrilling game for the neutrals as it ultimately finished 2-2.
Wolves went on the hunt, pressing Everton heavily in the first 15 minutes, but Richarlison tapped in a from 6 yards out after the Wanderers failed to clear a set-piece.
The home side continued to keep possession, albeit without threatening the goal, but grew frustrated with the lack of decisions from the referee and started committing more and more fouls.
Everton didn’t challenge debutant Rui Patricio for the rest of the half. The closest to a second for the toffees was a failed through ball by Richarlison in a two-on-one counter. However, the half was to conclude in spectacular fashion.
Phil Jagielka was sent off in a controversial decision, five minutes before the half-time whistle, leaving Marco Silva fuming. The defenders loose touch saw the ball roll away and run onto by Diego Jota on the edge of the box. Jagielka was not only the last man, but thundered a reckless challenge into the midfielder, and referee Craig Pawson delivered a straight red.
The resulting 20 yard free-kick from Ruben Neves rocketed past a despairing Jordan Pickford into the far corner. The England stopper anticipated the shot over the wall but the strike was curled wonderfully into the top right corner.
An Everton corner tested the Wolves defence and Patricio before the Pawson blew up to bring an end to what was a thrilling first half.
The second half started with both teams improving with the ball and both goalkeepers were forced into good point blank saves the game began to open up.
Despite Everton being a man down they began to see more of the ball than in the first half. That extra possession showed when Richarlison got his and the Blues’ second with a beautifully placed shot into the bottom right corner of the net on 66 minutes.
Everton continued to look lively and continued pressing the hosts, despite being a man down. However, as the game progressed, the 11 men of Wolves started to grasp a stronger hold on the game.
Eventually, persistence paid off for the home side. Neves whipped in a perfect inswinging cross to put the ball on a plate for Raul Jimenez and his precisely placed header landed into the corner of the net in the 80th minute to get Wolves back on level terms again.
Both teams were evenly matched and continued with the fast pace in the second half. Despite pressing from both sides, the two could not be separated.
Both teams look like they can score a good number of goals this season. A share of the points was a fair result had it been 11 vs 11 for the whole match, the scoreline could well have been different.
Wolves setup in a 3-4-3 formation and gave Rui Patricio, Willy Boly, Joao Moutinho, Diogo Jota, Raul Jimenez and Jonny Castro their Premier League debuts.
The visitors began using a 4-2-3-1 system and the only new signing to receive a debut was Richarlison. After Jagielka’s dismissal, Holgate was introduced for Gylfi Sigurdsson to help protect Everton’s slender lead.
Both teams can be positive going into next week with a point on the board. Wolves have to show they can compete away from home with their game at Leicester City. Everton open up their home account next week against Southampton.