Mina earns Everton potentially season-defining point but opens the Prem safety door for Leeds
Yerry Mina’s late equaliser against Wolves could be the difference between safety and relegation for Everton, but their fate is now in the hands of Leeds.
Football brings out every single emotion in you throughout the course of a season. Unfortunately for Everton fans, the ones they have felt have mostly been negative. Relegation would likely have repercussions that are beyond repair and Sean Dyche was brought in to ensure that does not happen. The win against Arsenal was the biggest new manager bounce of the season yet he has been unable to do what Frank Lampard did last season: ensure Everton’s Premier League status before the final day.
Wolves away is one of the trickier games in the division currently. Julen Lopetegui’s side had won four in a row at home without conceding, with their last defeat coming against Leeds United on March 18 – only their second home loss in the Premier League since the turn of the year. They have beaten Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Brentford in what has been a superb turnaround under the Spanish manager.
You would not think this was the case having watched the opening exchanges on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Midlands. Everton were on top. They created chances and after half an hour had six shots to the hosts’ zero. None of those attempts hit the target, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin probably should have scored at least once.
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Against the run of play, they went behind a few minutes after Nathan Patterson picked up an injury and was replaced by Michael Keane, which tipped the game more in Wolves’ favour. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s sloppy pass saw Adama Traore pick up the ball and he proceeded to do what he does best. Idrissa Gueye should have fouled him yet didn’t as the Wolves winger burst up the pitch. Amadou Onana could and should have fouled him, but he also opted not to. Onana then f**ked it again by watching Adama shoot at goal, with his shot rebounding off of Jordan Pickford’s palm and into the path of Hwang Hee-chan, who had an open goal and a load of space to convert thanks to the young Belgian, who clearly did not realise he was there.
The goal put Wolves firmly in control of the game and things went from bad to worse when Calvert-Lewin went off injured, becoming the Toffees’ second enforced change of the opening half. Everton have a huge decision to make with the injury-prone striker, but they have much more pressing issues at the moment.
Everton played pretty well in the second half and ended up snatching a goal in the 99th minute. Yerry Mina provided the finishing touch in what was a bit of a scramble in the box. But nobody knows how crucial this point will be.
The most important game for Dyche and his players is West Ham versus Leeds on Sunday afternoon. This is a very good fixture for the latter. West Ham’s key men could be struggling with a European hangover having reached the Europa Conference League final on Thursday evening. Furthermore, those key men might be a little less committed than usual when it comes to 50/50s and such battles; one short-term injury could rule them out of a European final.
On the flip side, it is a chance for David Moyes’ fringe players to stake a claim. It is hard to predict, but Leeds should be hungrier than the Hammers and you would be brave to bet against them, even taking into account how rubbish they have been this season.
Everton’s point at Wolves could be monumentally massive. It also could be two points dropped in a game they had enough chances to win. A Leeds win puts the Toffees in the bottom three going into the last day of the season. They face Bournemouth, which is a favourable fixture, while Leeds host a Tottenham side woefully out of sorts.
Thankfully we have something to look forward to on matchday 38 with the title race done and the battle for top four all but over. Cheers, Everton.
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