Player ratings as late goal earns Julen Lopetegui maiden Premier League win
A late, late goal from substitute Rayan Ait-Nouri earned Julen Lopetegui a win in his first Premier League game as Wolves manager.
A first half goal from Yerry Mina was cancelled out by Daniel Podence in a fiery game at Goodison Park, before Ait-Nouri popped up in the 94th minute to give Wolves a crucial win.
Tempers flared on a number of occasions throughout the game which, despite both sides’ best efforts, lacked many moments of genuine quality.
Everton were the much more impressive team in the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead in the seventh minute through Yerry Mina. The centre-back rose highest from a Dwight McNeil corner kick to cannon a header into the bottom corner of the net.
Wolves responded well to going behind and began to press forward with an intent that they’ve rarely shown all season. That intent would be rewarded in the 21st minute when Daniel Podence made it 1-1. The tiny forward stole in the back post to latch onto a fantastic outside-of-the-boot volleyed pass (look it up, it was incredible) from Joao Moutinho to side-foot past Jordan Pickford and draw his side level.
The visitors continued to dominate for a period thereafter and Diego Costa could’ve – probably should’ve – given his side the lead on the half hour mark. After some more great play from Podence down the flank, the Portuguese man found Costa unmarked around the penalty spot. The Spaniard was unable to get any power on his resulting header, however.
That miss seemed to wake Everton up a bit and, moments later, they created a great chance of their own. This time it would fall to Anthony Gordon who, after being played clean through on goal by Idrissa Gana Gueye, was unable to beat Jose Sa in the Wolves goal.
In the second half the game turned into somewhat of a midfield battle – an aggressive one at that.
The only real chance of the opening 30 so minutes of the half would fall to Alex Iwobi. The former Arsenal man latched onto a loose ball in the penalty area after some rather poor set piece defending from Wolves, but was unable to get any real purchase on his free header from just outside the six-yard box.
Business would pick up a bit in the final 10 minutes as, in dire need of a win, Everton pushed forward in search of a second goal. The closest they would come to said second goal would be in the 83rd minute when, after Jose Sa flapped at a set piece delivery into the box, the ball would fall to Ben Godfrey. The substitute, with the goal gaping, however was unable to side-foot past the Wolves defenders standing between himself and the net and Ruben Neves was able to clear the ball.
Everton’s galavanting forward would then prove costly deep into stoppage time as Rayan Ait-Nouri gave Wolves a vital three points. A quick counter attack led by Adama Traore culminated in the full-back controlling inside the penalty area and then drilling past Pickford in the Everton goal.
Starting lineup: GK: Jordan Pickford (6); RB: Nathan Patterson (7), CB: Yerry Mina (8), CB: James Tarkowski (7), LB: Vitaliy Mykolenko (7); CM: Alex Iwobi (7), CM: Amadou Onana (7), CM: Idrissa Gueye (8); RW: Anthony Gordon (6), ST: Neal Maupay (7), LW: Dwight McNeil (7).
Subs: Demarai Gray (6), Ben Godfrey (6), Thomas Cannon (6), Abdoulaye Doucoure (6).
Starting lineup: GK: Jose Sa (6); RB: Nelson Semedo (7), CB: Nathan Collins (7), CB: Max Kilman (6), LB: Hugo Bueno (6); CM: Joe Hodge (6), CM: Ruben Neves (7), CM: Joao Moutinho (7); RW: Hwang Hee-chan (6), ST: Diego Costa (6), LW: Daniel Podence (8).
Subs: Rayan Ait-Nouri (8), Adama Traore (6), Matheus Nunes (6), Goncalo Guedes (6), Toti Gomes (6).
Player of the match – Daniel Podence
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Arsenal pre-season 2023/24: Fixtures and schedule
Having reached new heights in the Premier League in 2022/23, Arsenal will soon be beginning their preparations for the new campaign with a pre-season tour to get ready for 2023/24.
Preparations for last season took place in Germany for Arsenal but with the Covid-19 pandemic a bit more of a distant memory for many, it is expected that more teams will be heading further afield again to either the United States of America or Asia.
Arsenal are yet to announce a full training camp location for their pre-season but they do have one fixture already confirmed which drops a big clue.
The Gunners are going to be coming up against an MLS All-Star team in Washington D.C. which will be coached by Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney. That takes place on July 19 and it is hard to imagine that Arsenal will only play one game in America.
A semi-regular fixture of Arsenal’s pre-seasons in recent years has been the Emirates Cup, but there has not been any word on whether an edition of that will be taking place or not this summer. If there is, then Arsenal could be splitting their time between America and London.
All times BST.
As is the case for almost every big club in football now, all of Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies are expected to be televised live on Arsenal.com and their official app with a subscription.
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