Report | Wolves 1-1 Everton
Everton struck nine minutes into injury time to deny Wolves a fifth straight home success in the Premier League, as the curtain of a difficult campaign closed at Molineux with the points shared.
For a long time, it looked like Hee Chan Hwang had scored the winner for the Old Gold when he turned home the rebound after a lung-bursting run and powerful effort from Adama Traore, and his side could have put the game beyond doubt with chances either side of the break at Molineux.
Instead, relegation-threatened Everton earned their point at the death when James Tarkowski beat Dan Bentley in the air and Yerry Mina turned in from close range, on an afternoon where Wolves were able to enjoy their survival, which was already secured after a strong finish to the campaign on home soil.
For one final time this season, Wolves took to the Molineux pitch ready to draw a line under a challenging campaign, rest assured of another top flight campaign next time out. Everton, meanwhile, weren’t sitting so comfortably in the relegation battle, and they started the better in the Molineux sun.
In Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the Toffees had the biggest danger on the pitch, and he had three attempts within the opening 11 minutes in the West Midlands. First, he shot into the side netting, after Mina had beaten Nathan Collins in the air, before the England international headed over twice from promising positions.
However, the visitors would be made to pay for those missed chances when Traore picked the ball up in his own half and took charge. The Spaniard was on a mission, shrugging off challenges from Idrissa Gana Gueye and Amadou Onana and having a low drive turned away by a strong Jordan Pickford arm, but fortunately Hwang was on hand to turn the rebound home and give his side the lead.
That goal kicked Wolves into life, and it could have been two in double quick time as Joao Gomes won the ball in a dangerous area and stung the palms of Pickford, who was grateful to see Daniel Podence’s rebounding header bounce on to the roof of the net.
Everton’s troubles worsened by the loss of Calvert-Lewin to injury, and moments after his departure Wolves threatened again. Traore got to the byline and hung up a crossed which was only cleared as far as Podence, but after trying to turn his man, the Wolves number ten dragged his side wide of the near post.
After the interval, Everton upped the intensity and on his home debut for the club, Bentley made saves to deny Michael Keane and Alex Iwobi, while Wolves’ momentum was being slowed by a series of irritating challenges and refereeing decisions, before Semedo let fly and shot just over.
That Semedo half-chance set the ball rolling for a series of presentable opportunities – one of which at least should have brought the second. First, Traore worked the ball to Pablo Sarabia, who came inside on his left foot, but curled wide of the far post, before Podence set up Semedo to shoot wide of the near post and Podence himself they volleyed a Toti cross wide.
Everton’s need for the points was greater however, and substitute Demarai Gray tested Bentley when cutting inside and driving goalwards. At the other end, the introduction of Diego Costa naturally livened things up for Wolves and when Traore played him in, Pickford had to race off his line to keep the score to one.
In the closing stages Julen Lopetegui rang the changes and one of those introduced was Matheus Nunes, who came so close to adding a late second, when he picked the ball up in the middle of the park and carried it into the penalty area, only to be denied by the outstretched foot of Pickford.
However, the final string in the tail arrived nine minutes into added time when a deep cross was met by Tarkowski, and with Bentley out of his goal, Mina turned past Craig Dawson on the line to earn the visitors a point on the final Molineux afternoon of the season.