Date: 13th August 2018 at 3:46pm
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Wolves got their Premier League season underway with a home draw against Everton which in itself is not a bad result. And what probably gives most encouragement is that the point was gained despite Wolves falling some way short of the best they can play. Probably Everton would say the same, and both teams have new signings waiting in the wings that will strengthen the squads, but if Wolves finish close to Everton in the final table that would probably represent a top half finish which would be a fine return to the top flight.

The return to this level made it a memorable day. The city centre was buzzing with fans from lunchtime, the pubs jammed solid, the atmosphere inside Molineux was electric and the game was always enthralling. Wolves looked in trouble after they fell behind with Richarlison turning the ball in after a poorly defended corner. Everton were settling into a steady and comfortable rhythm when a mistake from Jagielka let Jota in. The Everton centre-back dived in to recover the situation and caught Jota above the ankle and earned a straight red card. And to compound the moment, Neves hit the top corner of the Everton net with the resulting free kick. Richarlison restored Everton’s lead with a well-taken goal before a pinpoint Neves cross found the head of Jimenez to square things up.

Patricio 6 – didn’t have a busy afternoon but made one fine save and looked generally secure, but may have been better positioned for Everton’s second goal.

Bennett 8 – the best of the Wolves defenders with a typically solid performance.

Coady 6 – generally did ok but his passing wasn’t always on target, and may have done better for Everton’s second goal when he didn’t close Richarlison down and turned his back on the shot.

Boly 5 – looked surprisingly edgy on his Premier League debut and should have done better defending the corner for Everton’s first.

Doherty 6 – got forward regularly down the right without successfully opening up the Everton defence.

Moutinho 7 – had a good debut and will certainly add quality to the Wolves build up play.

Neves 8 – this was in many ways not one of his best games for the club with many of his passes going astray. But produced two moments of world-class brilliance to score the first and set up the second.

Castro 6 – a steady enough debut and looks likely to be a consistent performer.

Costa 5 – never seemed on his game and his defensive covering against Baines was poor at times. We know he can be much better than this.

Jimenez 9 – those who watched him in the World Cup would probably not have been impressed but in last week’s friendly against Villareal and even more so here he looks a fine centre-forward and will be a big asset this season.

Jota 5 – another who will be disappointed with his premier league debut. As with Boly and Costa we just know there is better to come.

Bonatini, Gibbs White and Vinagre came on as subs and all made a decent contribution.

Wolves have Dondencker and Traore to yet come into the team and Cavaleiro was out injured otherwise would probably have been a bench option. Also some of the stars of last season in Boly, Costa and Jota were not at their best here and despite two magical moments, neither was Neves. So the best is yet to be seen of this Wolves squad, but even on the day they matched a decent Everton team. Leicester away on Saturday is next for Wolves and there was little from the first game to dampen the preseason optimism.