(Reuters) - EVERTON 1 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 3
Wolverhampton Wanderers equalled their highest tally of 11 victories in a Premier League season, dating back to their 2010-2011 campaign, with an impressive 3-1 win at Everton on Saturday.
Goals by Ruben Neves, Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker sank Everton in an entertaining clash, with Andre Gomes scoring the home team’s solitary goal — his first for the club since he joined them from Barcelona on loan in August 2018.
The result left Wolves seventh on 38 points from 25 games and their effervescent, counter-attacking performance pleased their Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
“We are proud of the work we did today,” he told the BBC.
“It requires a lot of shape and being compact but when we achieved the third goal the game was done for us. It’s tough to come here with (the) atmosphere but we will go game by game, this is the approach we have.”
Neves fired the visitors ahead with a seventh-minute penalty, after Leighton Baines had tripped Matt Doherty, before Gomes rifled in the equaliser in the 27th with a thunderbolt from the edge of the penalty area.
Dendoncker missed a gilt-edged chance to make it 2-0 and Theo Walcott also came close at the other end before the equaliser as end-to-end action kept fans on the edge of their seats in the opening half.
Jimenez restored Wolves’ lead on the stroke of halftime with a fine header at the near post after Joao Moutinho had floated in an inch-perfect free kick, as the visitors threatened every time they came forward.
Belgium defender Dendoncker put the icing on the cake for Wolves in the 66th minute when he volleyed home from close range after Diogo Jota’s shot had been blocked, capping another lightning break by the visitors.
A black cat that somehow found its way on to the turf after that goal held up play for several minutes, eluding players and stewards as it ran the full length and width of the pitch before it was eventually chaperoned out.
The interruption by the startled animal did little to dent Wolverhampton’s sound display but Espirito Santo was not purring with delight at the sight of it.
“Where I come from in Portugal the black cat is bad luck so I never want to see cats (on the pitch) again,” he said.
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Clare Fallon