A fairy-tale late winner from Saša Kalajdžić handed Wolves their first points of the Gary O’Neil era. It was a far from convincing display, but Wolves fought hard to leave Merseyside with a vital three points.
Jose Sa – 9
Although it was Kalajdžić who scored the winner, it is undoubtedly Sa who Wolves fans have to thank for leaving Goodison Park with anything. In what was comfortably is best performance for a long while, Sa responded to recent criticism with seven saves, including an all-time classic from a bouncing Doucoure header that left him flat-footed.
Nelson Semedo – 7
A much improved performance from Semedo after his struggles last week. The right-back seemed to have a lot more confidence playing out from defence and his positioning was sound throughout.
Craig Dawson – 7
A strong display from Dawson who made several vital clearances and headers. He was caught out in behind on a couple of occasions, but overall the veteran defender bounced back well from the Brighton catastrophe.
Max Kilman – 7
Like Dawson, the skipper bounced back well and fought hard to help earn Wolves a clean sheet. Also like his defensive partner, he still has room to improve in dealing with balls over the top.
Hugo Bueno – 6
In his first start this season, Bueno struggled to have any influence in the first half but was at the heart of most attacks in the second half and worked tirelessly down the left flank. He reminded fans that he has one of the better deliveries into the box out of the entire squad, which could come in handy with the emergence of Kalajdžić.
Mario Lemina – 7
A typical Lemina display in which he did not stop running. He fulfilled his defensive duties excellently and, in a not so physical team, was the key physical presence in the middle of the park in what was a scrappy game at times. His passing range and creative influence is limited, but Wolves would struggle massively without his intelligence and energy in midfield.
Joao Gomes – 7
Like his midfield partner, Gomes did not stop battling for ninety minutes and also produced some nice passes and turns in a game that generally lacked quality.
Pedro Neto – 6
Neto was deeply disappointing in the first half, from being too one-footed (and surely playing on the wrong side) to mistiming runs to miscommunications with teammates. However, his work rate was fantastic and he was rewarded for his persistence in the form of a beautiful assist for the winner. This sign of promise, as well as his passion during the celebrations, will have won him more support and confidence from the fans.
Hwang Hee-Chan – 5
Hwang was regularly covering the left side of defence well but struggled to have any impact going forward before he was subbed at half-time. Hopefully his injury is not serious.
Matheus Cunha – 5
A rare anonymous performance from Cunha, who had arguably been Wolves’ best player so far this season.
Fabio Silva – 5
Fabio’s performance can be summarised as deeply frustrating but with some lingering signs of promise. His hold-up play and physicality were a let down throughout the first half, and his one-on-one miss in the second half will undoubtedly haunt him and irritate fans. However, his delightful run and finish a few minutes before the miss that was ruled offside, as well as the run for the one-on-one, showed he can get in dangerous positions and be the fox in the box that Wolves have missed for so long.
Rayan Ait-Nouri 46′ (Hwang Hee-Chan) – 7
It is no coincidence that Wolves improved after Ait-Nouri’s introduction. He linked well with Bueno down the left throughout the half, troubling Everton right-back Patterson on several occasions with his energy and skill. Perhaps he could be a viable option on the left wing this season?
Pablo Sarabia 74′ (Fabio Silva) – 6
Sarabia seems slightly more comfortable in the second striker role rather than out wide. He had a couple of efforts blocked in stoppage time, but perhaps he should have gone towards the corner.
Toti Gomes 85′ (Hugo Bueno) – NA
Brought on to shore up the left side as Bueno tired during the latter stages.
Saša Kalajdžić 85′ (Matheus Cunha) – 8
With just his second touch, a year of pain was finally undone for Kalajdžić who sent the travelling Wolves fans into delirium with a header into the far corner. It does not matter that it was mistimed, nor that Wolves were lucky to win; above anything else it was a truly amazing moment for a good guy who fully deserved this moment of reward. A moment no one will forget.