Everton's festive rot continues in limp defeat at Wolves

Everton's festive rot continues in limp defeat at Wolves

Dec 31, 2023

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WOLVERHAMPTON, England (AP) — Captain Max Kilman’s first goal in two years inspired Wolves to a dominant win over struggling Everton by 3-0 in the English Premier League on Saturday.

The defender’s opener was followed by Matheus Cunha’s tap in and Craig Dawson’s strike at Molineux.

Wolves celebrated with teammate Mario Lemina’s shirt after the midfielder missed the game following the death of his father.

For the Toffees, their Christmas holidays decline continued. Four straight wins in December have been followed by three successive league defeats and a League 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 — were unbeaten in eight games at home and earned a third straight league win for the first time in almost two years. Wolves remained 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 and earned their first clean sheet since August.

Wolves took the lead after 25 minutes when Everton only half-cleared a corner. The ball was 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 and dedicated the goal to Lemina by lifting his teammate’s shirt to the heavens.

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

Top scorer Hwang Hee-chan, heading to the Asian Cup with South Korea and potentially not returning until mid-February, teed up Cunha early in the second half. Pablo Sarabia’s cute pass set Hwang 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.

Dawson added the 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.


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