Everton manager Marco Silva described Richarlison as “the spirit inside our dressing room” after the Brazilian’s two goals gave them a 3-2 win over Wolves in an entertaining game at Goodison Park.
The Brazilian scored the first and last goal of a see-saw game to give the Toffees a hard-fought three points and add to his first goal of the season in Wednesday’s 4-2 Carabao Cup win at Lincoln.
“Richarlison is the type of player that needs good performances and if possible to win more confidence in the way he likes to play,” Silva said.
“Last season, he did all the pre-season for us. This season, he did Copa America and after was on holiday and started the first game against Crystal Palace with 13 days working with us.
“He scored two really important goals for us. He will keep improving, for sure.
“We are talking about a fantastic football player and a fantastic boy. He is the spirit inside our dressing room.”
Richarlison opened the scoring in the fifth minute, converting from 16 yards, following defensive miscommunication between Conor Coady and Rui Patricio, to spark a flurry of goals in the opening stages.
Romain Saiss pulled Wolves level from close range but Alex Iwobi converted Gylfi Sigurdsson’s pin-point cross to restore the Toffees’ lead before 12 minutes had passed.
Wolves thought they had earned a point when Raul Jimenez bravely headed home in the 78th minute, but Richarlison showed his own aerial prowess two minutes later to rise above Willy Boly and give Everton all three points.
Boly capped his side’s disappointing day by being dismissed in the closing seconds after receiving a second booking for a foul on the impressive Richarlison.
With only four Premier League games played, Everton climb to fifth in the table, while Wolves remain 17th and without a league win.
Everton’s attacking players shine
Everton came into the game having only scored one goal in their previous three Premier League matches.
But with Iwobi and Moise Kean making their first league starts, the Toffees looked transformed in the attacking third.
The summer signings added extra verve to Everton’s attack and allowed more space and time for Richarlison and Sigurdsson to work their magic.
Behind them, Fabian Delph provided some muscle and awareness to keep the Wolves midfield in check.
Kean made a telling contribution in the build-up to Everton’s first goal, his hustling causing confusion in the home defence and allowing Richarlison to pounce.
Then, after Saiss had quickly levelled the scores, Sigurdsson was afforded too much room to whip in a delicious ball that Iwobi converted unmarked at the far post.
With his side pegged back for a second time, Richarlison, determined to be to on the winning side, made an excellent run into the box and leapt high above the Wolves defence to seal a hard-fought victory for Marco Silva’s side.
Speaking about Everton’s summer signings, Silva said: “They did really well. I prefer to look at the team rather than individuals.
“For Fabian and Alex it is easier because they know the Premier League. We are talking about high-quality players. They know the league, intensity and the opponents.
“Moise did well but we are talking about a boy who was 19 in February. He worked well but he needs more time to adapt to know the players, teams and even the referees.”
Traore’s new role
Due to their successful involvement in the Europa League qualifiers, Wolves came into the match having already played five times more than opponents Everton so far this season.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo shuffled the pack and made four changes following his side’s victory over Torino on Thursday as he continued to manage European and Premier League commitments.
With Matt Doherty missing through fitness issues, Adama Traore kept his place to make his first Premier League start of the season.
Traore, featuring in the new right wing-back role he has adopted this season, played a pivotal role in Saiss’ equaliser, showing pace and power that Everton and France defender Lucas Digne couldn’t handle.
But just three minutes later, his lack of defensive awareness was exposed when he allowed Iwobi to drift into the box unmarked to put Everton back into the lead.
Wolves have gained 16 points from losing positions since the start of last season and showed resilience to come from behind at Goodison Park.
But with Wolves needing to rotate players to cope with the demands of Europe, they will require regular positive contributions from players like Traore if they are to be successful this season.
“The fight was there,” said manager Nuno Espirito Santo. “It has nothing to do [with the schedule]. The Premier League is tough, it is just football.
“It’s been a tough schedule against very tough teams and we know the next one [against Chelsea] will be tough. The assessment is good [after four games] because the players have given everything they have and we want to grow in the competition.”
Man of the match – Richarlison (Everton)
Richarlison prolific at Goodison – the stats
- Everton have won six consecutive Premier League home matches, their longest winning run at Goodison Park since an eight-match streak between January and April 2017 under Ronald Koeman.
- Wolves (P4 W0 D3 L1), have kicked off a top-flight campaign without a win through their opening four games for the first time since the 2003/04 season. They have gone on to be relegated at the end of their last four such campaigns when doing so (1964/65, 1975/76, 1983/84 and 2003/04).
- Raul Jimenez has scored in four consecutive games for Wolves in all competitions for the first time (four goals).
- Everton’s Richarlison has scored in eight home Premier League matches (10 goals), with neither Watford or Everton falling to a defeat when the Brazilian has netted on home soil (P8 W6 D2 L0).
- Romain Saïss’ goal for Wolves was the first time Everton conceded at Goodison Park in the Premier League since February last season (Gabriel Jesus for Man City), ending their run of 549 minutes without conceding at home.
- Both of Alex Iwobi’s goals for Everton this season have come via his head; one more than during his time at Arsenal, where just one of his 15 goals for the Gunners were headers.
- Since the start of last season, Everton’s Lucas Digne (four goals, six assists), is one of only three defenders to have been directly involved in 10+ goals in the Premier League, along with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (15) and Andy Robertson (11).
- Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has completed 90 minutes in each of his 111 Premier League appearances, meaning he holds the record, alongside Ali Al Habsi, for the most Premier League games while playing the full 90 minutes in every one.
Everton face Bouremouth at Vitality Stadium on Sunday, 15 September (14:00 BST), while Wolves are next in action when they take on Chelsea at Molineux on Saturday, 14 September (15:00).