In his pre-match press conference Carlo Ancelotti had said that the lineup he picked wouldn’t matter, it was the reaction to their humbling defeat to already-relegated Sheffield United was what he was looking out for.
On the basis of that first half, Everton have not learned their lesson. The Blues started well against Wolves, passing the ball around confidently. However, as soon as Wolves were able to get Adama Traore going and running against the home team, everything changed.
With Gylfi Sigurdsson committing to help Lucas Digne against the speedy winger, suddenly Everton were getting overrun by Wolves. The visitors heaped pressure upon pressure as they won a series of corners from deflected shots, ten to be precise.
Yet they really didn’t create any significant chances and Everton’s defensive shape held pretty well until the break.
However, whatever Ancelotti said to the players in the dressing room at halftime needs to be bottled and stored because the Blues came out a fired-up side. Ben Godfrey charging forward won the Blues a corner. Gylfi Sigurdsson’s delivery was inch-perfect and Richarlison rose majestically to head into the far, unguarded corner. 1-0 Everton and the fans were singing again!
The goal boosted Richarlison’s confidence, but also served to spark the whole team as they passed the ball with a lot more composure and endeavour. After a push for a quick second, the Blues settled into playing keep away from Wolves as they seemed a lot more energized, going into tackles with more vigour and running more willfully when in possession.
As the game got to the last ten minutes Everton had settled into their defensive shape looking to see out the game. Tom Davies and Andre Gomes came on for Seamus Coleman and Sigurdsson respectively and still Everton held.
The last few minutes saw Everton bunker down as Wolves mounted a challenge, but it was nothing like what they had managed in the first half and the Blues had enough in the tank to hold on for a crucial win. With Tottenham Hotspur losing at home to Aston Villa, Everton are still in with a chance to make Europe next season.