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Sasa Kalajdzic, a substitute who faced a challenging start to his Wolves tenure due to an ACL injury, emerged as the protagonist with a decisive late header that secured Wolves’ first Premier League win this season. The goal plunged Everton to the league’s bottom position without a single point.
Kalajdzic, the Austrian striker who became a part of Wolves during the previous season but had his debut cut short by injury, soared above Nathan Patterson to convert an accurate cross from Pedro Neto, igniting Wolves’ campaign on a positive trajectory.
In the initial stages of the match, both teams grappled to find an incisive edge in the attacking third, resulting in a forgettable opening period. However, the game underwent a notable transformation, evolving into a more captivating spectacle during the second half.
Wolves struggled to place a shot on target during the first half and had a goal disallowed shortly after the halftime break. Fabio Silva’s close-range finish was annulled due to an offside decision, tempering his celebrations. The Portuguese forward had another opportunity later in the game when Everton’s defensive line faltered, but unfortunately, his shot veered off target.
The two goalkeepers exhibited their prowess with remarkable saves: Jordan Pickford’s rapid reflexes thwarted Jarrad Branthwaite’s inadvertent attempt, while Jose Sa impressively tipped Abdoulaye Doucoure’s diving header over the crossbar.
With just 11 minutes left on the clock, Everton supporters believed their team had secured victory when Doucoure slotted in a goal following an impressive buildup. However, the assistant referee’s flag indicated an offside, and Wolves capitalized on this shift in momentum. Kalajdzic struck late, leaving the home crowd stunned and securing a triumphant outcome for his team.
Kalajdzic and Sa emerged as the heroes for Wolves on this occasion.
Despite the match being playfully dubbed a “relegation six-pointer,” it was Wolves who exhibited resilience and determination to seize all three points.
Despite confronting significant changes over the summer, including the substitution of manager Julen Lopetegui with Gary O’Neil and the departure of key players, Wolves managed to secure victory at Goodison Park. Kalajdzic, often overlooked due to his injury setback, emerged as the match-winner, converting one of Wolves’ two shots on target.
Center-back Jarrad Branthwaite, making his first appearance of the season, put forth an impressive performance and even had an opportunity to score, but his header was directed straight at Sa.
Arnaut Danjuma, on loan, initiated the game but couldn’t surpass Sa, who deflected his shot onto the post and successfully parried another attempt.
As the final whistle blew, home fans expressed their dissatisfaction with jeers, as Everton continued their quest for both their inaugural point and goal of the campaign.
Next, Everton faces another substantial challenge in an early kick-off match against Sheffield United next Saturday (12:30pm).