Wolves 3 (Jimenez 45, Dendoncker 46, Jota 74) Everton 0
Wolves returned to winning ways in style with a stunning victory over Everton as Nuno Espirito Santo’s men ran riot at Molineux.
A Raul Jimenez penalty just before half-time gave Wolves a first-half lead for the first time since February, before Leander Dendoncker’s header doubled the advantage in the opening minute of the second period. Substitute Diogo Jota sealed his side’s first win in three matches with 15 minutes remaining after latching on to Ruben Neves’ outstanding pass before hitting the back of the net.
Ahead of kick-off, the Wolves and Everton players stood for a minutes silence in honour of Jack Charlton, the England 1966 World Cup winner who passed away earlier this week, aged 85.
Making three changes to the side which began the mid-week defeat to Sheffield United, Nuno introduced Dendoncker, Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence to the starting line-up, and it was the latter who had the first chance at goal in the evenly-contested early stages.
After wriggling free down the right, the Portuguese winger tested Jordan Pickford by going for goal across the Everton keeper, but Pickford was able to get down low and smother the shot. Everton had a similar chance up the other end moments later, and this time, Rui Patricio saved Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s effort.
Wolves were putting Everton under pressure early, and Matt Doherty almost capitalised after playing a one-two with Leander Dendoncker, but after teeing himself up, the Irish wing-back scuffed his shot harmlessly wide.
Clever work by Raul Jimenez in the centre of the pitch almost saw the Mexican set Pedro Neto into clean air over the top of the Everton defence, but as Neto attempted to break forward, he was knocked to the ground by Lucas Digne, with the defender handed a yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor.
Following the first-half drinks break, Wolves had a glorious opportunity to take the lead. Podence played a perfectly-paced through ball into the run of Neto on the right side of the box, but Pickford was quick off his line and, through a combination of himself and Digne, was able to cut out the pass.
Moments later, the Portuguese forward almost got on the scoresheet himself as he got free of Michael Keane and Theo Walcott before firing low to the near post, however Pickford was able to stop the ball from crossing the goalline as he palmed the ball out for a corner.
From the resulting set-piece, the ball was being headed around the area for what seemed like an eternity before Jimenez got the ball to his feet and sent an overhead kick goalbound, but once again Pickford was able to make a comfortable save.
Wolves continued to boss possession against an Everton side who had matched up their opponents 3-4-3 formation man-for-man, but into two minutes of added time in the first-half, Wolves took the lead.
Podence, who had been a nuisance for the Toffees’ defence the entire opening 45 minutes, took on three Everton players, twisting and turning his way into the penalty area before being clipped by Digne, with the referee pointing for a penalty.
From the resulting spot kick, Jimenez stuttered in his run-up to send Pickford the wrong way and score Wolves’ first first-half goal since the restart, as well as maintaining his record of scoring every time he has faced Everton.
Half-time: Wolves 1 Everton 0
Just seconds after the break, Wolves doubled their advantage. From a free-kick on he right flank, Neto lifted a tantalising ball into the box, only for Dendoncker to flick a headed effort across goal and behind the reach of Jordan Pickford.
Wolves suffered a blow minutes later when Neto pulled up with an injury. After a few minutes of stoppage to allow the medical team to treat the winger he was then assisted from the pitch where he was replaced by Jota.
The hosts came inches away from making it three with half-an-hour left on the clock when Podence played a clever one-two with Dendoncker to get in down the right byline, and after his initial low cross was cut out, Podence tried a shot from a narrow angle. Pickford spilled the initial effort, but the Everton goalkeeper was able to recover the ball just before it crossed the goalline.
Jota was next to be in with a chance of extending Wolves’ lead after beating the offside trap from a ball over the top of the Everton defence by Neves. Through one-on-one with Pickford, Jota decided to try and take it round the keeper but stumbled as he reached the box. Jimenez tried an effort from the rebound, but it was deflected over the crossbar.
Everton had a rare chance mid-way through the second-half, with a free-kick being part cleared by Wolves, but only as far as Digne who, with space on the left, attempted to catch Patricio out at his far post, but the defender’s effort flew wide of the post.
The visitors would have been ruing that missed chance as Wolves netted their third seconds later. A stunning defence-splitting pass by Neves – which took three defenders out of the game – found Jota on the left, and with no time to think, the forward smashed a first-time shot beyond Pickford at his near post.
It could and maybe should have been four to Wolves in the dying minutes of the game as Jota raced through on goal from a Patricio pass and instead of shooting himself set up fellow substitute Adama Traore, but from six yards out and with a gaping open goal in front of him, the speedster smashed his shot against the crossbar.
Wolves continued to dominate the Toffees through Traore’s pace, but with a 3-0 victory, the hosts became the first English club to ever win two competitive matches in different Julys in the same season, and headed back up to sixth in the Premier League table.
Full-time: Wolves 3 Everton 0
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Jonny, Neves, Dendoncker, Neto (Jota 56), Podence (Traore 69), Jimenez (Moutinho 78).
Unused subs: Ruddy, Kilman, Buur, Vinagre, Gibbs-White, Jordao.
Everton: Pickford, Walcott (Bernard 56), Keane, Mina (Coleman 31), Digne, Baines (Branthwaite 46), Davies, Sigurdsson, Gordon (Iwobi 56), Richarlison (Kean 63), Calvert-Lewin.
Unused subs: Stekelenberg, Virigina, Sidibe, Baningime.
Referee: Anthony Taylor