Everton narrowly managed to contain the threat of Wolves talisman Adama Traore as Richarlison’s headed effort helped secure a crucial three points at Goodison Park.
James Rodriguez was not in the Everton squad for their final home Premier League match of the season against Wolves. Gylfi Sigurdsson replaced the Colombian in Carlo Ancelotti’s side, while Yerry Mina returned from an adductor problem to replace Mason Holgate with Josh King named among the substitutes.
John Ruddy started in the Wolves goal as Rui Patricio was named among the substitutes, one of five changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Tottenham as Willy Boly, Max Kilman, Rayan Ait-Nouri and Ruben Neves came into the side.
The game’s first major opportunity arose in the 12th minute when Allan picked out Richarlison with an accurate delivery.
The Brazilian evaded Conor Coady and met the cross with a firm header, but couldn’t force Ruddy into anything more difficult than a regulation stop.
Ruddy’s opposite number was then called into action, palming Morgan Gibbs-White’s long-distance effort out for a corner.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Seamus Colean both saw chances come and go, but it was the visitors who were controlling the tempo and direction of play in the central areas.
Adama Traore was causing prolems for Everton’s backline throughout, and came close to breaking the deadlock after the half-hour mark.
Michael Keane’s half-clearance from a corner fell to Traore, but the winger could only muster a prodded effort after his first touch let him down.
Despite both sides posing significant threats from set pieces, neither side could open the scoring as half-time neared.
The relative malaise soon gave way after the break when Everton took the lead three minutes after the restart. Goodison Park roared as Richarlison rose above Willy Boly to head home Sigurdsson’s out-swinging corner.
“The Goodison roar booms out!”
Richarlison rises to head Everton into the lead and Goodison Park erupts!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 19, 2021
If Wolves were to find a response, it would likely come at the feet of Traore. Taking it upon himself, the speedster embarked on a 40-yard run that left Allan and Keane in his wake. As so often has been the case this campaign, however, the final act left a lot to be desired as Traore smashed his effort straight at Pickford fro an increasingly acute angle.
Traore was again at the center of things when Wolves voices went up un unison for a penalty. His cross appeared to strike the arm of Abdoulaye Doucouré, though VAR did not see enough to advise the awarding of a penalty.
Sigurdsson sought to seal the contest with 15 minutes remaining with a ranged effort, though the Icelandic veterans radar was marginally off as the strike rifled narrowly wide.
The Goodison crowd’s nerves were audible as Carlo Ancelotti’s side sought to see out a crucial victory that would enhance their European aspirations.
Traore continued to menace Everton’s backline, but neither he nor Wolves could find the breakthrough as Everton hung on to claim a vital three points.
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