Belfast Telegraph

Wolves fightback gives boss Nuno something to cheer

Wolves were twice behind but recovered each time to earn a point.

Nuno Espirito Santo hailed the character of his Wolves team after they battled back to draw with Everton.

Wanderers’ return to the Premier League began with a 2-2 draw as they twice came from a goal down to earn a point against the 10-man Toffees at Molineux.

Debutant Richarlison, Everton’s club-record signing, scored a goal in each half either side of Ruben Neves’ equaliser from a free-kick, awarded after Phil Jagielka was shown a straight red card late in the first half.

It looked like Wolves’ first home Premier League match for six years would end in disappointment, but Nuno’s team replied again 10 minutes from time as Raul Jimenez capped a fine individual display with a headed goal.

“I am satisfied with the way we came back, always being behind and then drawing. The character of the team is the positive,” said the Wolves head coach.

“The character pleases me to get the strength to react and chase and it has taught me a lot. It has also taught me we have much to improve. We were nervous to start with, maybe over playing and over-doing some movements.”

Neves was instrumental in Wolves’ fightback, scoring one goal and setting up the other, but Nuno was quick to emphasise it was a team effort.

“Neves, he is very young, just 21. So he has a lot of progression. He has played at high levels and the talent is there but I am not one to praise an individual,” he said.

“It is about the team for me and we came back really well with all the players playing in the style and the movement that we should be doing.

“We are in a process of developing and growing as a team and a group and there are positive things to take into the next game, for sure.”

Everton boss Marco Silva felt referee Craig Pawson was wrong to send off Jagielka.

Jagielka saw red after 40 minutes. A loose touch from a routine pass along the back line from fellow centre-half Michael Keane left Jagielka having to stretch to challenge Diogo Jota.

He caught the Wolves forward on the ankle with his studs and Pawson was quick to pull out a red card. Neves curled in the resulting free-kick.

Silva said: “We came to win the match and we started well but then the red card gave them their one chance to score in the first half. I don’t feel the referee made the right decision in that moment.

“It is not a red card. It is a harsh decision and it had a big impact on the game.

“But I think we were better organised and better even with the 10.”

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