Wolves – Everton: Alex Iwobi and Michael Keane scored as Everton overcame a blown lead with a 2-1 bounce-back win over Wolves at the Molineux on Tuesday.
Everton has won five of six to move back into the top four, four points behind leaders Manchester United and a point off of second-place Liverpool.
Ruben Neves scored Wolves equalizer but Nuno Espirito Santo’s men continue to flail without Raul Jimenez.
Wolves are 14th, 11 points clear of the bottom three but seven points off seventh.
Three things we learned from Wolves – Everton
1. Carlo’s new recipe cooking up success: Everton stormed out of the gates this season with Richarlison, James Rodriguez, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin pouring pressure on the opposition and producing lots of goals. James’ injury made Carlo Ancelotti turn to the defense and the Colombian’s return saw him playing a more complete role. Defense is in no way James’ strong suit, but Everton’s lack of possession and 13-5 deficit in shot attempts is misleading in that the big chances were hard to find for Wolves. Some nice moments again from keeper Jordan Pickford, who was poor to start the season.
2. Recovering Raul’s absence haunting Wolves: Mexican star Raul Jimenez remains out following his terrifying head injury suffered in the 2-1 defeat of Arsenal on Nov. 29. Wolves have one win and two draws in the eight matches since the El Tri hero was hurt, scoring seven goals in that stretch (including three in one match). Wolves were 5W-2D-3L at the conclusion of the Arsenal match and weren’t exactly lighting up the score sheet but Jimenez does so much for the club up top. He also hasn’t been able to groom young Fabio Silva, which is a double whammy.
3. Everton dialing it up at right time: The Toffees can challenge for the FA Cup and lofty Premier League table placement, especially if they take a win over fellow dark horse Aston Villa this weekend. The Toffees will not have Champions League schedule congestion when it faces Chelsea and Liverpool, who certainly will be more taxed by the months ahead. The Champions League is far from certain but absolutely in play.
Man of the Match: Ruben Neves
Scored and could’ve had two, the Wolves midfielder physical and dynamic in the middle of the pitch. Just wasn’t enough in a losing effort. Keane and Iwobi were also good, the goal scorers definitely the best players on the pitch.
Wolves – Everton recap
Everton went ahead after five minutes through Iwobi, who started the move on the left end line before zipping toward the 18 for his goal. He had acres of space to hammer Lucas Digne’s cut back of a James Rodriguez cross for 1-0.
Neves answered off a corner kick, alone at the back post when Ait-Nouri crossed the initial service back over the fray for a tidy near-post finish.
Everton keeper Jordan Pickford put his team in an awkward spot with a parry of a corner but soon made a terrific stop on Fabio Silva as the action continued into the 18th minute.
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Keane made it 2-0 in the second half, thumping a header past Patricio off a sweeping cross with 15 minutes to play.
Ruben Neves clipped the bar with an 85th-minute free kick, a bid for a brace and equalizer just missing at home.