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Richarlison scores twice but Wolves come back to draw 2-2 with Everton

Raul Jimenez is on-loan at Wolves from Benfica

Richarlison scored twice on his debut but 10-man Everton were left frustrated as Wolves claimed a point on their Premier League return.

The Brazilian winger stabbed home his first from close range, before stroking in a delightful second.

The Toffees had been in control for the opening 40 minutes, but skipper Phil Jagielka was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Diogo Jota, and saw their opponents come from behind twice.

Wolves levelled at 1-1 from the resulting free-kick with midfielder Ruben Neves curling into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Raul Jimenez struck straight at Jordan Pickford from close range in the second half, but the on-loan Mexican made amends by burying a header with 10 minutes remaining from Neves’ cross.

Wolves spoil Richarlison-Silva reunion

New Everton boss Marco Silva was linked with a move to Goodison Park last season but Everton appointed Sam Allardyce instead, who oversaw an eighth-place finish.

Silva was sacked by Watford in January with the Hornets blaming Everton’s interest for a downturn in form. The Toffees finally got their man this summer after dismissing Allardyce.

The Portuguese’s first signing was Richarlison from his former club and much was made about the £50m fee, particularly having not scored for Watford since last November.

But it looks to be a shrewd move by Silva to link up again with the 21-year-old, who displayed his qualities both inside and outside the box.

Playing from the left, he posed a dangerous threat to Wolves wing-back Matt Doherty and his 13 sprints during his 86 minutes on the pitch was bettered only by team-mate Seamus Coleman (15).

Richarlison opened the scoring with a opportunistic strike as Wolves failed to clear a Leighton Baines free-kick into the box, while his second was a measured finish into the far corner.

He also came close to making a goal when his knockdown fell nicely in the box for Theo Walcott, but the former Arsenal man’s scuffed shot failed to threaten Rui Patricio.

Battling Wolves impress on return

Wolves won the Championship with ease last season, claiming 99 points as they returned to the top flight for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign, when they finished bottom.

They spent big money in the summer on eight recruits, helped by agent Jorge Mendes’ contacts, including the signings of former Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Patricio and international team-mate Joao Moutinho from Monaco.

In all, Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santos fielded five compatriots – the most by any Premier League club – and he will be pleased by the fighting spirit shown by his team.

Although they struggled to impose themselves on the game early on, Wolves battled back to earn a point on a day when fellow promoted sides Fulham and Cardiff went down to 2-0 defeats.

Ex-Porto captain Neves was one of the best players in the Championship last season and he impressed on his step up by scoring one goal and making the other.

He looked comfortable in possession too – his 111 touches on the ball and 93 passes were more than any other player on the pitch – and he contributed defensively by winning the ball back six times.

Wolves have been tipped by many pundits to claim a top-half finish this season and they could well achieve that target after making a promising start to the new campaign.

Man of the match – Ruben Neves (Wolves)

Could Neves do it in the Premier League? He sure can. A brilliant all-round performance, which included a stunning free-kick

Wolves player’s long wait – the stats

  • Wolves are now seven league matches without a victory against Everton (D5 L2) since a 2-1 win in May 2004.
  • Everton have drawn their past three opening day Premier League matches against newly promoted sides, also doing so in 2014-15 against Leicester City and 2015-16 against Watford – all finished 2-2.
  • Richarlison found the net with his first two shots in the Premier League for Everton, having failed to score with any of his last 53 shots as a Watford player.
  • Since the start of last season, Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in the top four tiers of English league football (seven).
  • Everton’s red card was their 90th in the Premier League – more than any other side.
  • Wolves defender Matt Doherty made his second Premier League appearance – 2,513 days after his first in September 2011; only two outfield players have had a longer wait for their second appearances – Erik Nevland (3,667) and Darren Pratley (2,835).

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