MATCH CENTRE

Richarlison Strike Beats Wolves On Raucous Goodison Evening

Evertonians maintained their 100-per-cent Premier League home record on an uplifting night at Goodison Park as Richarlison’s brilliant second-half header defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers.

And with Tottenham Hotspur beaten at home by Aston Villa, Everton go to Manchester City for Sunday’s final game with a puncher’s chance of European qualification.

It was only 2,000 supporters making the difference when Everton sent Chelsea and Arsenal home empty-handed in successive December weeks.

Backed by 6,500, Goodison’s biggest crowd since 1 March last year, Everton fought and scrapped and defended resolutely and attacked with purpose.

And in Richarlison the home team had the player who produced the night's stadnout piece of quality.

The striker soared highest in a crowded penalty area to meet Gylfi Sigurdsson’s flighted 48th-minute corner with a header from 12 yards that was too powerful and well-directed for John Ruddy in Wolves’ goal.

Only the most flint-hearted of souls wouldn’t have been moved by the spine-tingling noise that greeted the first bar of Z-Cars and grew and grew as Everton’s players stepped into the Goodison Park sunshine.

The difference in atmosphere from the flat, unnatural occasions that became normalised across the past year was apparent long before kick-off.

This video is for Season Ticket Holders, Official Members and 21/22 Hospitality Members

You need to log in to watch.

If you already have an Official Membership or 21/22 Season Ticket, just login to watch the video.

If you are interested in an Official membership, you can find out how to buy one here.

Also check out our streaming FAQs.

This content is available for free to Digital Members

Login or register to access

Free Digital Membership will provide you with the best possible experience when logged into the website, including access to the latest digital content.

Digital members will receive a monthly newsletter and get access to exclusive videos and regular member competitions offering money can’t buy prizes.

Your Digital account will also enable you to buy any tickets on general sale, and if you’re an Official member or Season Ticket Holder, the same login will allow you to access and manage your ticketing account.

To view this content you need to be a Season Ticket Holder, Hospitality Member or Official Member.

Login to watch or click below to buy an Official Membership

As well as access to live pre-season matches, Official Members receive a range of other benefits, including exclusive content and welcome pack.

MORE INFO - BUY A MEMBERSHIP - STREAMING FAQs

WOMEN'S TEAM 06:42 Fri 26 Nov 2021

MAGILL & GRAHAM TAKE ON THE APPLE IN A BOWL CHALLENGE

Everton Women stars Simone Magill and Lucy Graham take on the ultimate game of bluff. There can only be one winner as the duo attempt to have the apple on their side of the table.


The cheering of players’ names being read aloud and guttural roar when Everton’s starting players darted towards the tunnel after completing their warm-up were a reminder of football’s instinctive sounds.

We got the first real taste of what fans bring to the action, the human response and emotion, after eight minutes.

Ben Godfrey crunched into a tackle on Adama Traore in the shadow of Goodison’s Main Stand. Even with the volume up, the thud boomed around the ground.

The reaction was raw and raucous and unanimous. Everything football has desperately missed. Michael Keane chased back to forcefully slide-tackle Traore after 64 minutes and they were on their feet in the Main Stand for that one.

Godfrey created a sense of audible anticipation after 58 minutes, carrying the ball down the right at speed. He is going to cause a stir at Goodison for a long time to come.

Everton drew on the energy from the stands. Their football was busy and aggressive.

Lucas Digne was a consistent threat down the left, exposing the minimal protection in front of Wolves right wing-back Nelson Semedo.

Digne varied his delivery shortly before half-time, cutting the ball a long way back for Godfrey. He took the shot on the run but the sting was removed by a cluster of bodies and Ruddy easily gathered.

Allan crossed from a similar position after 11 minutes, checking onto his right foot to find fellow Brazilian Richarlison, whose header was straight at Ruddy.

Jordan Pickford was Everton’s most notable contributor in the opening half.

Not because the hosts were under the pump, especially. Carlo Ancelotti’s side generally did a good job of keeping Wolves at arm’s length, the visitors’ neatest football taking place in front of Everton’s backline.

Wolves did, however, earn 10 corners in the opening 45 minutes.

Keane cleared one on the quarter hour but only as far as Morgan Gibbs-White.

The midfielder’s volleyed strike from 25 yards was caught sweetly, bending away from Pickford, who covered the ground to make an excellent save to his left.

It got better from Pickford. Keane won the first header, again, from a left-wing Joao Moutinho corner.

The ball fell for Traore, who had been a menace with his direct, buccaneering and very fast running to this point.

The Spaniard took aim with the outside of his right boot, a skilful, rising effort that Pickford touched over his bar.

Everton’s goalkeeper had his eye in for that sort of stop because he’d not long made one that was very similar.

A succession of ricochets eventually saw the ball alight with Fabio Silva in the box.

It was a scruffy passage of play and didn’t necessarily grow any more attractive when Silva’s shot on the turn looped up off Yerry Mina.

The save from Pickford to tip over, though, that was very pleasing on the eye.

Other than that, the openings were bitty.

Ruddy rushed from his goal to collect Coleman’s pass over the top with Dominic Calvert-Lewin chasing and aiming to cash in on a good pass.

This video is for Season Ticket Holders, Official Members and 21/22 Hospitality Members

You need to log in to watch.

If you already have an Official Membership or 21/22 Season Ticket, just login to watch the video.

If you are interested in an Official membership, you can find out how to buy one here.

Also check out our streaming FAQs.

This content is available for free to Digital Members

Login or register to access

Free Digital Membership will provide you with the best possible experience when logged into the website, including access to the latest digital content.

Digital members will receive a monthly newsletter and get access to exclusive videos and regular member competitions offering money can’t buy prizes.

Your Digital account will also enable you to buy any tickets on general sale, and if you’re an Official member or Season Ticket Holder, the same login will allow you to access and manage your ticketing account.

To view this content you need to be a Season Ticket Holder, Hospitality Member or Official Member.

Login to watch or click below to buy an Official Membership

As well as access to live pre-season matches, Official Members receive a range of other benefits, including exclusive content and welcome pack.

MORE INFO - BUY A MEMBERSHIP - STREAMING FAQs

WOMEN'S TEAM 06:42 Fri 26 Nov 2021

MAGILL & GRAHAM TAKE ON THE APPLE IN A BOWL CHALLENGE

Everton Women stars Simone Magill and Lucy Graham take on the ultimate game of bluff. There can only be one winner as the duo attempt to have the apple on their side of the table.


Godfrey slammed the door shut on Gibbs-White following a promising run into the box and Traore being crowed out by four defensive bodies as he reached Everton’s area received Goodison’s loud approval.

The 6,500 in the ground were reaching the loudest section of a rendition about Richarlison not long after the start, when Conor Coady slipped under pressure from the striker.

Coady was back on his feet like a jack-in-a box. Had he dawdled, Richarlison was clean through.

Much later in the opening half, a Digne corner from the right fell for Richarlison close to goal. There were enough old gold shirts around the Everton player to force the squirted effort off target.

He wouldn’t be denied much longer, leaping athletically for a brilliantly-executed header that left Ruddy helpless.

Everton promptly surged forwards in search of a second. Digne provided the cross at the end of a rapid counter-attack but fellow wing-back Seamus Coleman’s scuffed attempt deflected off the prone Coady’s back and wide of the far post.

Traore powered through a series of challenges but the strike was weak and comfortable for Pickford.

Ruddy then got down to his left to parry from Calvert-Lewin, who got on Coady’s wrong side to advance and shoot.

But Everton were having to do more defending than attacking.

Wolves had nothing on the line and played with relative abandon in a bid to take something from the game.

Keane and Mina were resolute in the middle of defence, the England player aerially dominant and sound in the challenge in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate.

Another destined for the European Championship with Southgate’s team in Pickford was judicious and solid.

Half of Goodison optimistically imagined Everton had doubled their lead on 76 minutes. Moutinho stopped a bustling Allan run but inadvertently turned the ball to Sigurdsson.

From 25 yards, the midfielder flashed an effort that cannoned off the stanchion and rippled the side netting.

On 81 minutes, Sigurdsson tried again, controlling a pass from Digne and shifting the ball out of his feet for an effort that appeared destined to defeat Ruddy until Max Kilman’s head sent it careering fractionally wide.

Sigurdsson’s efforts sandwiched a VAR check that determined Abdoulaye Doucoure could do nothing to avoid a Traore delivery striking his arm at close quarters.

There were more hairy moments to survive but they were worth it to hear the mixture of joy and relief filling this wonderful old ground when referee Andrew Madley blew for the full-time.

Play It Again Richy

There was an element of déjà vu about Everton’s breakthrough goal.

Richarlison climbing high to deposit a classical striker’s header beyond a Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper.

He did exactly that to win this fixture at Goodison Park last season.

The noise when Richarlison settled that match, which toed and froed for 90 minutes was ear-splitting.

The decibel levels were, perhaps, not as high on this occasion. But to ears used to the yelps of players celebrating goals, the sound was deafening.

Goodison erupted and Richarlison, making his 100th Premier League start for Everton, was totally lost in the moment.

He sprinted off to the corner flag, trailed by a giddy pack of blue-shirted players.

The goal was the product of Everton’s sixth corner of the game – Wolves had already earned 10.

A metronomic hand clap preceded Gylfi Sigurdsson’s well-hit dead ball, flat and fast and inviting.

Richarlison still needed to draw on his athleticism and skill.

The jump took him above a penalty-box crowd scene, Richarlison arcing his neck and generating power and direction to send the ball inside goalkeeper John Ruddy’s right post.

It was the Brazilian’s fifth goal against Wolves, the most he’s scored against any opponent.

He has 13 for the season, seven in the Premier League.

For Sigurdsson, this was a fifth Premier League assist of the campaign and 10th assists across the competitions.

Whatever the goal counts for at the end of the season it is one all those who saw it will fondly remember.

This video is for Season Ticket Holders, Official Members and 21/22 Hospitality Members

You need to log in to watch.

If you already have an Official Membership or 21/22 Season Ticket, just login to watch the video.

If you are interested in an Official membership, you can find out how to buy one here.

Also check out our streaming FAQs.

This content is available for free to Digital Members

Login or register to access

Free Digital Membership will provide you with the best possible experience when logged into the website, including access to the latest digital content.

Digital members will receive a monthly newsletter and get access to exclusive videos and regular member competitions offering money can’t buy prizes.

Your Digital account will also enable you to buy any tickets on general sale, and if you’re an Official member or Season Ticket Holder, the same login will allow you to access and manage your ticketing account.

To view this content you need to be a Season Ticket Holder, Hospitality Member or Official Member.

Login to watch or click below to buy an Official Membership

As well as access to live pre-season matches, Official Members receive a range of other benefits, including exclusive content and welcome pack.

MORE INFO - BUY A MEMBERSHIP - STREAMING FAQs

WOMEN'S TEAM 06:42 Fri 26 Nov 2021

MAGILL & GRAHAM TAKE ON THE APPLE IN A BOWL CHALLENGE

Everton Women stars Simone Magill and Lucy Graham take on the ultimate game of bluff. There can only be one winner as the duo attempt to have the apple on their side of the table.


Everton’s Milestone Men

Richarlison made his 100th Premier League start on Wednesday, while Seamus Coleman became the 25th man to reach 350 matches for the Club.

Prior to this meeting with Wolves, the younger man had 32 goals from 99 top-flight starts and 41 from the 111 matches he’d begun across the competitions.

Emerging to warm-up and greeted by the sight of a well-populated Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End, Richarlison broke into the broadest of grins.

The song about him costing £50m and being brilliant was reaching its crescendo early in the match when Richarlison nearly forced last-man Conor Coady into what could have been a very expensive mistake.

When Richarlison scored the first goal in front of Goodison Park’s biggest crowd since 1 March last year he celebrated with a gusto rarely seen when fans were watching from home.

It was a seventh Premier League goal of the season for the 24-year-old but that figure is a little unflattering viewed in the context of 13 in all competitions this season.

Coleman, inevitably, relished the sound and fervour of supporters. He drew on the emotion, giving Rayan Ait-Nouri the hurry-up inside 60 seconds.

The Irishman was in an advanced position, ahead of Ben Godfrey on Everton’s right, and filled with sufficient energy to run up and down all night.

He hoisted one very good ball over the top for Dominic Calvert-Lewin from deep. Higher up the pitch there was a full-blooded tackle on Fabio Silva for which Coleman thought he was unfortunate to be punished.

Richarlison, meanwhile, in an authentic striking partnership with Calvert-Lewin, hounded and chased defenders.

He occupied good positions when the ball went wide and escaped his markers for a header at John Ruddy when Lucas Digne hooked in a cross from the left.

How refreshing to hear the Sir Philip Carter Park End growling its approval as Richarlison quickened Ruddy’s pulse with an energetic piece of closing.

Even better was the reaction to Richarlison’s goal, soon followed by an enthusiastic ovation for Coleman after keeping pace with Adama Traore to block a cross.

When Coleman made way to a loud ovation, he was replaced by Tom Davies, the 22-year-old on for his 150th Everton appearance and helping his team home.


Fans Key To Home Rule

We’ve suspected all along that the absence of supporters was a big factor in Everton’s recent home strife.

It felt important for Carlo Ancelotti’s team tonight, then, with Evertonians back inside the stadium, to begin repairing the Goodison Park fortress.

Everton have won 11 and drawn four of 18 away matches when a cold and clinical approach has been the order of the day.

Deprived of the emotion provided by fans, however, home performances and results nosedived.

Until tonight, the two most complete and focused Goodison displays this season were in victories over Chelsea and Arsenal in December, when 2,000 Evertonians created partisan atmospheres.

In 16 home games behind closed doors, Everton won three, drew four and lost nine.

The difference in outcomes is too stark to write off as coincidence.

This was an opportunity to underline that point and ensure an upbeat final Goodison memory of 2020/21.

The result isn’t going to wash away the frustration of a campaign in L4 that has undermined European qualification attempts.

But it does point towards the issue as a short-term problem.

Ancelotti, still smarting from Sunday’s defeat by Sheffield United, talked in his pre-match press conference of contrasting performances depending on his side’s tactical outlook.

In 21 Premier League matches, said the Italian, when Everton have prioritised disciplined defence and sought to exploit strengths on the counter-attack and at set-pieces, they’ve won 14.

On the 15 occasions Everton have planned to “build from the back… put more players between the lines… more players in front”, they’ve won twice.

Ancelotti didn’t identify the two victories but West Bromwich Albion and Brighton & Hove Albion were beaten 5-2 and 4-2, respectively, in the opening two Premier League home games.

Given the option, you wouldn’t hand-pick anyone other than Ancelotti to address the footballing flaws he’s identified in the meantime.

But Evertonians evidently play their part, too. They boast a 100-per-cent league record this season – three wins from three.

In advance of next term, when we fervently hope for full stadiums and when Ancelotti’s Everton evolution will truly start taking shape, this reminder of supporters’ influence was very welcome indeed.