Everton succumb to a second home defeat in two as a lack of goal scoring prowess once again dooms the toffees.
Everton were back at home for the second time in the Premier League this campaign, this time hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers. Sean Dyche made a couple of changes to the starting eleven, with Lewis Dobbin getting the start at wing and Jarrad Branthwaite slotting in for a poorly performing Michael Keane at center back. Danjuma led the line as Calvert-Lewin recovers from a broken cheekbone, and Alex Iwobi missed out due to an injury suffered in last week’s match against Aston Villa.
Dyche’s side started out strong and aggressive against Wolves, playing a high press that was really frustrating the visitors early on. Onana, Gueye and Doucoure did well to control the tempo in the midfield, and from the opening whistle there seemed to be a relieved sense of anxiety with Branthwaite mopping up on the backline. 14 minutes in Everton found their first chance of the match as Danjuma was slipped in by Onana, he fired at Goal but Jose Sa was able to divert the ball off the post, the flag eventually went up.
Lewis Dobbin looked bright and ambitious early on, replacing Iwobi in the eleven who had started 52 consecutive league games for Everton. The youngster nearly opened his Everton account in the 28th minute, as a powerfully struck James Garner effort came off Dobbin’s chest near the goal line, but Sa was once again equal to the effort when perhaps it should have been 1-0 to the hosts. Everton, controlling the physicality and tempo of the match, almost scored again in the 37th minute. Patterson whipped in a great ball for Danjuma who met it on the half-volley, but he could only direct his effort just wide of the post. Everton continued to exert themselves on the match for the remainder of the first half, but could not find the knife’s edge, and the score remained 0-0 heading into halftime.
Everton came out of the second half once again playing well, and nearly scored twice inside 10 minutes. The 53rd minute saw a neat free kick routine when Young lobbed the ball to Danjuma who managed to get a strike at Sa’s near post that was saved. Then, a minute later, Sa made a double save right after as Garner’s volleyed effort and Branthwaite’s rebounded effort were once again both saved. 5 minutes later, Wolves looked like they had scored from their first chance of the match, as Fabio Silva tucked in Bueno’s cross neatly after just beating out Branthwaite. However, the flag went up for offside keeping the match 0-0, and not for the last time.
Silva would have a one on one opportunity with Pickford a couple minutes later that he somehow didn’t score, and then Wolves would nearly score again in the 64th minute. Neto’s whipped corner would come off an Everton man and come whizzing towards the bottom corner, forcing Pickford to make a stunning one handed stop to keep the match level. Following the wonder save, Yourself Chermiti would come on for Lewis Dobbin, with the youngster making his Everton debut. The hosts would then nearly score right after, as Patterson found Doucoure with a great delivery, the midfielder headed down into the ground and the ball looked as if it was going to fly into the net, but Sa made a remarkable one handed save falling backwards to keep the score level.
In the 80th minute, it looked as if Everton had finally scored their first goal of the season, as Chermiti and Garner linked up beautifully around the box. Garner would find Doucoure who finally would beat Sa, but VAR would eventually find that he had just mistimed his run and the goal was ruled out for offside. Then, in the 87th minute, another hammer blow for the toffees. A cross came in that would land right between Tarkowski and Patterson, and Kalajdzic would rise to head home for his first Premier League goal, winning Wolves the match 0-1.
If you watched the Wolves match, this one felt shockingly similar. A match that Everton controlled and also a match that Everton once again could not score in. The toffees have now dropped their first 3 league matches and scored 0 goals in the process for the first time in the club’s history. It is speculated that highly rated Serie A striker Beto from Udinese looks set to be unveiled for the toffees, and Sean Dyche desperately needs him at the moment. There is only one league game to go before the international break, and hopefully, with any luck, those with injuries are fit to return after and with a couple new signings, this team could look quite different come September 15th at Goodison Park.