EPL

Wolves breeze past struggling Everton for third straight Premier League victory

By Sports Desk December 30, 2023

Max Kilman’s first goal in two years inspired Wolves to a dominant win over struggling Everton.

The defender’s opener, Matheus Cunha’s tap in and Craig Dawson’s strike wrapped up an impressive 3-0 win at Molineux.

The squad celebrated with team-mate Mario Lemina’s shirt with the midfielder missing the game following the death of his father.

For the Toffees, their Christmas decline continued, four straight wins earlier in December have now been followed by three successive Premier League defeats and a Carabao Cup exit.

They remain a point above the relegation zone after an insipid and powderpuff performance.

Wolves – with nine goals in their last three games – are now unbeaten in eight at home and earned a third straight Premier League win for the first time in almost two years to remain 11th in an increasingly impressive season.

Boss Gary O’Neil stressed pre-game he did not see Everton as a struggling side – without their 10-point deduction the Toffees would be above Wolves – but the hosts were never troubled.

A early break from Cunha, with Hwang Hee-chan and Pablo Sarabia for company, ended with the South Korean forward being crowded out and unable to find a finish after rounding Jordan Pickford.

It was a waste yet Wolves kept probing and Cunha’s 20-yard effort dropped wide.

The hosts coped without Lemina, who returned to France on Friday, with Joao Gomes snapping at the Toffees in midfield.

As a result, Everton were nullified as an attacking force and it was little surprise when Wolves took the lead after 25 minutes.

The Toffees only half-cleared a corner with the ball recycled to Cunha on the right to deliver a low cross.

Pickford pulled off a brilliant reaction save to stop Jarrad Branthwaite turning the ball into his own net but, in the ensuing scramble, Kilman poked the ball in – dedicating the goal to Lemina by lifting his team-mate’s shirt to the heavens.

It was just the skipper’s second goal for Wolves in 128 appearances – with his other also against Everton in November 2021.

There was little response from the visitors, bar Dominic Calvert-Lewin shooting across goal, and Wolves remained comfortable despite being unbale to fashion more first-half chances.

Passive and reactionary, Sean Dyche’s outfit desperately needed to improve after the break, but they fell further behind eight minutes into the second half.

Top scorer Hwang underlined why his team-mates will need to fill the void now he heads to the Asian Cup with South Korea – potentially not returning until mid-February – when he teed up Cunha.

Sarabia’s cute pass set him free on the right to outpace Michael Keane and it was a simple ball for Cunha to accept the gift for his sixth goal of the season.

It was the cue for Wolves to run riot and Hwang struck a post before Dawson added a third on the hour.

Everton struggled to clear and, when Cunha returned a fine cross, Dawson was left inexplicably unmarked to stick out a leg and find the corner.

The hosts’ only clean sheet of the season came in their 1-0 win at Everton in August, but they had little to fear at Molineux, even if Dwight McNeil rattled a post from distance.

Gomes and Hwang tested Pickford before the striker had a goal chalked off for offside, while the hosts also had the luxury of welcoming back Pedro Neto after a two-month injury absence.

The substitute even had a comeback goal ruled out for offside as Wolves were forced to settle for three.

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