Nick Parkes reports on Wolves excellent 3-0 win against Everton to wrap up 2023 in style.
Wolves wrapped up 2023 in style with an excellent performance against Everton. A game full of positives and smiles all around Molineux as we scored 3 goals in front of the Molineux faithful, put 3 points on the board and finished the Christmas period with our 3rd win in row. A very good end to a very good week.
(Oh! And Pedro Neto’s back)
There were 2 changes from the 4-1 thumping of Brentford earlier on this week. With the sad news of talisman Mario Lemina’s father passing away, Gary O’Neil brought in Tommy Doyle as Lemina’s replacement and also Dawson returned to the starting 11 after recovering from his cut knee picked up against Chelsea.
Sa, Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Toti, Ait-Nouri, Doyle, Gomes, Sarabia, Hwang, Cunha
The constant chorus of Mario Lemina’s chant rang loud around the ground and Wolves played with a team spirit from the off. We played on the front foot and from the first whistle looked to put Everton under pressure. A great pass from Gomes found Hwang running down the left and into the box, he twisted and turned to beat defenders but couldn’t find Cunha in the box and his cross was cleared. Hwang was involved again 5 minutes later and really should have done better as Cunha won the ball back in our half then sprinted forward into open ground and found Hwang with Everton outnumbered, but he tried too hard to beat people instead of shooting. Great chances spurred but great attacking play.
Cunha in particular looked very dangerous, dropping deep to pick up the ball, he drove at Everton several times and had the beating of them every time. Having Cunha in form really shifts Wolves forward. He was eventually involved in the opening goal on 24 minutes. A recycled corner had Cunha put in a beautiful cross and Dawson got to the ball first, his shot was saved but the ball trickled to Kilman who stabbed home for his first goal of the season. He ran straight to the touchline to collect Lemina’s number 5 shirt and surrounded by others showcased the team spirit within this Wolves team. We continued to press and could have gone 2-0 up shortly after when a cross from Semedo just evaded Sarabia in the box for a certain goal.
Half time came after a scuffle on the half way line as Doyle got booked after a clash with an Everton player. But Wolves went into the break on top and deservedly in front. A real attacking performance but solid in possession and defence.
Wolves did not let the momentum of the first half drop as straight away we looked for the second goal with a run down the right that ended with a cross/shot from Semedo just going over. Some of the link up play at times was a delight to see and the confidence which oozed through the players was incredible. Patient build up in the middle of the park led Doyle to spray the ball out wide to Sarabia on the right, he drove forward and played a beautiful ball to Hwang in the box, a quick look up and a low cross picked out Cunha who tapped in to make it 2-0 just before the hour. This move epitomised Wolves’s performance; fluid movement, precise passing, and clinical finishing.
Wave after wave of Wolves attacks continued to pound on Everton’s goal with Hwang having his shot saved onto the post. Another unlikely player found his name on the score sheet as an excellent ball into the box from half way in Everton’s half found Dawson stretching out a foot and putting the ball passed the Everton ‘keeper’ 3-0 Wolves and effectively game over. Another goal involvement for Cunha and he ended the game with 1 assist and 1 goal.
Wolves went on to score 2 more goals but both were chalked off for offside, the first from Hwang (who could count himself very unlucky not to be on the scoresheet) who curled his effort on the right of the box into the net and the second disallowed goal was from the returning wonder boy Pedro Neto who came on in the 80th minute. He also put his shot away into the net but with Hwang offside in the build up it was ruled offside.
POST GAMe THOUGHTS
Despite beating Man City this season, this performance has to go down as the best so far this season and with the tragic news of Lemina’s father passing, Wolves really came together to support him and also to show our fighting spirit with the team, players and staff. It has been an incredible first half of the season with us tipped by most pundits as favourites to go down. We sit in 11th with 28 points, playing very attacking football with high energy and passion. The work that manager O’Neil has done is remarkable and proves that with the correct attitude and awareness of what you have, you can achieve great things. Wolves are closer to the champions league places than the bottom 3 and this past week has Wolves fans dreaming of Europe again. A great performance, a great Christmas and a great half of the season.
Wishing you all a happy New Year and roll on 2024!
ARTICLE BY NICK PARKES
Hi, I’m Nick! Born in Wolverhampton and currently living in Barcelona. I’ve been a Wolves fan since birth (dad’s choice) and was a north bank season ticket holder in my younger days. My favourite all-time player, Bully!
I’m an English teacher by trade and when I’m not scolding teenagers in the class, I’m either running, gardening or watching cricket!