Wolves 0 Everton 0: Fantasy world cheers Wanderers in dead rubber
20:19 GMT, 6 May 2012
Ignore the scoreline — actually Wolves won 2-0, the day after Everton had lifted the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday. That, according to both sets of fans, was the alternative version of a dull afternoon at Molineux.
Early in the second half the home fans on the South Bank got tired of waiting for something to end their dismal home run and decided to make their own entertainment.
‘Let’s pretend we’ve scored a goal,’ they sang before leaping together in joy. And a couple of minutes later they did it again, before bursting into song: ‘We’re winning two-nil.’
Good luck: Everton's Jelavic gives Jagielka a pat before kick-off
WOLVES (4-4-2): De Vries 6; Zubar 5, Stearman 6, Berra 6 (Elokobi 54min, 5), Ward 6; Kightly 5 (Forde 71), Edwards 6, Henry 6, Hunt 5; Doyle 5, Fletcher 5 (Ebanks-Blake 62, 5).
Subs not used: Ikeme, Johnson, Milijas, Jonsson.
EVERTON (4-5-1): Howard 6; Hibbert 7, Jagielka 7, Heitinga 6, Distin 6; McFadden 5 (Stracqualursi 60, 5), Osman 5, Cahill 6 (Gueye 68, 6), Fellaini 7, Pienaar 7; Jelavic 6.
Subs not used: Mucha, Barkley, Coleman, Duffy, Baxter.
Man of the match: Marouane Fellaini.
Referee: Lee Mason 7.
Two Everton fans later ran on the
pitch to start a lap of honour with a shiny silver paper cut-out of the
trophy that their Mersey rivals Liverpool had failed to collect the day
before. It was so much more lively than the real world.
Interim Wolves boss Terry Connor said: ‘I heard the fans singing for 2-0. I’m glad they enjoyed themselves.’
After the match, however, Wolves
chairman Steve Morgan was signing autographs and chatting with fans when
one supporter came up and insulted him. There was an exchange of views
before Morgan drove off in his car.
The visitors had the better
of the chances and twice had the ball in the back of the net, but
Nikica Jelavic and Denis Stracqualursi were both denied by offside
Despite the scoreline, it was an open
game with chances for both sides, and arguably the best of the
first-half opportunities came in only the fifth minute when Marouane
Fellaini's flicked header landed at the feet of Tim Cahill 10 yards out
but he shot straight at Dorus De Vries.
Jelavic had scored six goals in his
last four league games and he had his first sight of goal in the 14th
minute when he was found by Phil Jagielka's long diagonal pass, but
Richard Stearman stayed with the striker and did very well to block his
Fall guy: Everton's Marouane Fellaini (centre) is tackled by Christophe Berra
Kevin Doyle and James McFadden both
snatched at chances while Leon Osman wanted a penalty when he went down
under a challenge from Michael Kightly, but referee Lee Mason was
It would have been a very memorable
day for Tony Hibbert had he netted his first goal for Everton after more
than 300 games, and his fierce volley would certainly have tested De
Vries had Stephen Ward not got his body in the way.
Wolves had their best opening in the
26th minute when Stephen Hunt's free-kick was header just over by
Christophe Berra, but Everton, and Steven Pienaar in particular, were
starting to take a grip on the game.
Centre of attention: Fellaini under pressure from Wolves' Stephan Ward (left) and felling Berra (right)
The midfielder might have done better
than fire over when well placed, while his clever ball found Jelavic
but he was flagged offside as he shot past De Vries in what looked a
The hosts were living dangerously,
and Ronald Zubar would have been very grateful to see his header from
Hibbert's cross drop just past the post, while at the other end an
isolated Steven Fletcher blazed over the bar.
Wolves threatened right at the start
of the second half as Hunt and Fletcher combined to play in Stearman on
the left of the area but the ball had just too much pace on it and the
defender could not control his cutback.
Frustrated: Everton manager David Moyes saw his side have plenty of possession but goals were hard to come by
Hibbert had been a real thorn in
Wolves' side down the right and another pinpoint cross should really
have been buried by Fellaini instead of placed over the bar.
De Vries was then forced into his
first real save of the match from a Jelavic free-kick 25 yards out, the
keeper plunging to his left.
Up for the cup: An Everton sends a message to Liverpool. At least they got to Wembley…
Boss David Moyes sent on
Stracqualursi for McFadden and he was into the action immediately with a
shot that was well blocked by Ward, while Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replaced
Fletcher for Wolves.
The Scot, who is likely to be a
target for Premier League clubs in the summer, received a very warm
reception from the home fans.
Wide open: Nikica Jelavic shows his frustration as another chance goes begging
There was a real lack of intensity
about the game but a burst from Karl Henry provided a shooting
opportunity for Kightly, who pulled his effort well wide.
Jelavic had been pretty quiet but he
certainly should have tested De Vries in the 72nd minute when he beat
the defence to a long ball only to pull his shot wide of the far post.
Gone: Wolves' David Edwards escapes Leon Osman
The visitors had the ball in the net
for a second time moments later as Jelavic's cross was turned in by
Stracqualursi at the far post but again it was ruled out for offside,
although it was Fellaini, who had also lunged for the ball, who was the
Everton continued to press but the Wolves defence held firm to earn their first home point since December.
Heading for a draw: Ronald Zubar (right) is challenged by Everton's Osman