REPORT | Wolves 2-1 Everton

Everton fell to their third defeat in a row away at Wolves with pressure mounting on Rafael Benitez.

First-half strikes from Max Kilman and Raul Jimenez fired the hosts 2-0 ahead before Alex Iwobi scored on 66 minutes in what turned out to be a mere consolation for the Toffees.

The defeat means the Blues have won just won of their last seven matches in all competitions as Benitez’s honeymoon period at the start of his Goodison tenure has undoubtedly faded.

After last week’s humiliating capitulation to Watford, Everton set up with a suffocating, compact formation but the inclusion of Jean-Philippe Gbamin, understandably off the pace making his first league start in over two years, meant Bruno Lage’s side found it easy to pick holes in their opposition.

They thought they had taken the lead when red-hot Hwang Hee-Chan prodded home from close range, but the South Korean was correctly adjudged offside.

However, Wolves did take the lead on 28 minutes, capitalising on their opposition’s vulnerability from corners, as Max Kilman headed home his first ever goal for the club.

Four minutes later, Ben Godfrey’s backpass allowed Jimenez in and his delicate chip over Jordan Pickford doubled his side’s advantage.

An incredibly lacklustre first half from their team prompted boos from Everton fans at the interval and Fabian Delph was introduced at half-time to try and provide some much-needed resilience to the midfield.

It seemed to work as the 31-year-old’s willing to screen the defence allowed more freedom for Allan and the Blues began to press their opponents more, forcing errors and Richarlison was unlucky not to score when Jose Sa’s clearance bounced straight off him.

The Toffees did pull a goal back midway through the second half as Iwobi slammed home his third league goal for the side, all coming against Wolves, but it wasn’t enough and Everton slump to another defeat.

Predictably after his controversial appointment in the summer, Benitez has been at the centre of most of the anger from Evertonians throughout this poor run of form and the Spaniard definitely got things wrong at Molineux.

His decision to try and set up a low block with a two-man midfield that lacked an adept holding midfielder was bizarre, as was benching Anthony Gordon, who had yet another impressive cameo after coming on at 78 minutes.

The absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin was felt more strongly than ever last night, with the articulate centre-forward producing a superb punditry job in the Sky Sports studio.

Defending set-pieces is another issue that has still not been addressed as Benitez persists with a zonal marking system that the players seem incapable of perfecting.

The changes made at half-time undoubtedly made a difference and it seems crazy to think that Delph being brought on improved the side but it is unquestionable.

Everton drop to tenth with that loss and with the run of fixtures not getting any easy, the mood is only going to get tougher to endure for the manager.

He needs a response from his players and fast.

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