Late Substitute Kalajdzic Secures Wolves’ Victory over Everton

Sasa Kalajdzic, a substitute for Wolves, scored a decisive late goal merely two minutes after stepping onto the pitch, compounding Everton manager Sean Dyches decision to introduce new faces, resulting in a frustratingly familiar outcome.

Despite dominating the Premier League match, with 15 shots, Everton found themselves goalless and without points in the first 270 minutes of the season. Wolves, with their solitary shot on target in the 87th minute, capitalized on their opportunity, securing a victory that echoed past struggles for the Toffees.

While fans left Goodison Park with a sense of déjà vu, recalling a similar performance against Fulham a fortnight ago that ended in a 10 loss, Wolves supporters celebrated their first win of the campaign. The visitors triumph was orchestrated by Sasa Kalajdzic, who made only his third appearance after recovering from an ACL injury suffered in his debut match last season. This win marked Wolves third consecutive victory at Goodison Park.

The fixture held an unusually weighty significance for both teams, touted as a “must-win” encounter despite being played with almost a week remaining in August. The struggles anticipated for both clubs, who were recently lifted from the bottom two positions in the table, conferred a sense of a “relegation six-pointer.”

Wolves manager Gary O’Neil derived satisfaction from the outcome, as his last match as Bournemouth manager in the previous season ended with a 1-0 defeat against Everton, ensuring their survival for a second consecutive year.

Wolves executed a classic “smash-and-grab” strategy, capitalizing on Everton’s inability to convert chances. Although Everton displayed newfound vigor under Dyche’s reliance on youth players, including 20-year-old Lewis Dobbin and 21-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite, the team’s toothlessness persisted.

Despite promising attacking runs from Dobbin and Arnaut Danjuma, Everton struggled to find the cutting edge needed to secure goals. Wolves’ Fabio Silva briefly found the net, only for the offside flag to negate the effort.

However, Wolves capitalized in the 87th minute, as Kalajdzic headed home Pedro Neto’s cross, dealing Everton another setback in their quest for points and goals.