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Venue: Molineux, Birmingham
Premier League
 Sunday 6 May 2012; 2:00pm
0 0
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 25,466
Fixture 37
Referee: Lee Mason

Match Summary

Everton completely dominated the early stages, passing the ball nicely and getting close a couple of times. One chance did come through to Cahill at the far post but his low drive was easy for De Vries to save.

There was a little pressure on Howard's goal, mostly coming from a strange non-defensive header by Cahill that almost saw Wolves score, the ball screwing harmlessly wide off a Wolves attacker.

More Route One and a knockdown by Jelavic set up McFadden but his shot was very weak. After letting Wolves get away with one foul, Referee Lee Mason finally called Ward for clipping Jelavic but McFadden's delivery from a very dangerous position was a hopeless disgrace.

On another Everton attack, the ball spun out to Hibbert in space and he went for the shot, the ball careening off a defender and just over the Wolves goal. Pienaar then tried a curler into the top corner but De Vries was watching it all the way.

Heitinga was penalized and Hunt swung a great ball to the far post that Berra headed wide. Pienaar should have scored when he stole the ball as Stearman slipped and the God-fearing South African skipped forward but completely messed up his shot. Then he played in Jelvaic beautifully who ran forward and slotted home only to be wrongly called for offside when he was definitely onside.

Everton kept building their attacks with fairly slick passing but were having trouble manufacturing real chances, one falling to Osman for a typically pathetic shot lacking any power, straight at De Vries. And that was pretty much the story of the half: total domination, nothing to show for it.

Wolves came out with more desire to score and came close to doing so, Stearman unable to convert from a narrow angle. At the other end, an inviting cross from Hibbert was headed over by Fellaini who got too far underneath it.

A nice break, Pienaar played in Jelavic but he was running too wide and his cross-cum-shot was easily picked out by De Vires. Henry gave away another dangerous free-kick that Jelavic took this time, forcing a save from De Viries. Stracqualursi then came on to replace McFadden, who had been poor. Everton playing 4-4-2?

Despite the change, Everton were showing less and less creativity, epitomized by a toitally lame cross from Osman, who should have done far far better. The momentum had been switched to Wolves seem the break and their long-suffering fans decided to try influencing things after a quiet first half.

Cahill was then removed for Magaye Gueye but there still little form or shape to Everton's second-half pla, Stracqualursi ambling around aimlessly. Fellaini finally pulled the trigger from distance but his hot was well wide. Jelavic got forward on a long ball but he dragged his shot across goal and well wide.

Everton scored when Stracqualursi forced the ball over at the far post but again it was ruled out because Fellaini was offside. Distin won a corner that Gueye swung over that Jelavic then Gueye tried to drive in but all shots were blocked.

A good move should have finally produced a valid goal but Osman decided to shoot rather than play in Stracqualursi. The Jelavic got the ball on the left of the Wolves area again after Straqualursi bundled his way into the area but the Croatian played a weak ball in when a stronger shot or cross was required.

Everton finally found their shooting boots going into the last 10 minutes, Hibbert again going for a goal and again his shot careened off a defender.

Heitinga went down badly on his back, jarring his spine as Mason played advantage but Jelavic was again pushed too wide and could not finish as the crowd did their best to inspire a goal from a strangely goalless game, as 4 added minutes failed to produce anything of note, a final corner from Gueye producing nothing, with Ross Barkley sitting out yet another game on the Everton bench.

Michael Kenrick

Match Preview

Everton go into their penultimate game of the 2011/12 season looking for a victory over relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers that would leave them needing just a point against Newcastle United next week to clain seventh place.

The Blues lead Liverpool and Fulham by three points going into this week's round of games and have a superior goal difference to both clubs.

David Moyes has a few injury concerns for the trip to Molineux, though, after Victor Anichebe limped out of the action against Stoke.

He joined Phil Neville, who pulled a hamstring in training, and Darron Gibson in the treatment room where Leighton Baines has been making progress on his own hamstring problem. The England international is unlikely to be fit for Sunday, however, and that will mean continuation in the left-back slot for Sylvain Distin.

The line-up is likely to be largely unchanged from the side that played the bulk of the 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium. Leon Osman, Steven PIenaar and either Maroune Fellaini or Tim Cahill — one of the last two will slot in behind Nikica Jelavic — will form the core of the midfield with perhaps Magaye Gueye or even Ross Barkley getting the nod on the left flank.

Moyes is keen to finish as high as possible —not least because each place is likely to be worth around £800,000 — but he will be wary of playing a side that has had all the pressure lifted off them by the confirmation that they will be returning to the Championship next season.

Terry Connor's side went to Swansea without a care in the world last weekend and scored four times in an entertaining score draw where defence was seemingly relegated to an afterthought. Everton, and Jelavic in particular, will be hoping to exploit those defensive frailties in a fixture they won handsomely 3-0 a little over a year ago.

Victory this weekend would also, of course, complete the double for Everton over Wolves and would represent the fourth double for the Blues this season after home and away successes over Swansea, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham.

Lyndon Lloyd

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WOLVES (4-4-2)
  De Vires
  Berra (54' Elokobi)
  Kightly (71' Forde)
  Fletcher (60' Eubanks-Blake)
  Subs not used

EVERTON (4-5-1)
  Cahill (68' Gueye)
  McFadden (58' Stracqualursi)
  Subs not used
  Anichebe (injured)
  Baines (injured)
  Gibson (injured)
  Neville (injured)
  Rodwell (injured)
  Drenthe (disciplinary)
  Bidwell (loan)
  Garbutt (loan)
  McAleny (loan)
  Nsiala (loan)
  Wallace (loan)
  Yobo (loan)

Premier League Scores
Arsenal 3 - 3 Norwich
Aston Villa 1 - 1 Tottenham
Bolton 2 - 2 West Brom
Fulham 2 - 1 Sunderland
Man United 2 - 0 Swansea
Newcastle 0 - 2 Man City
QPR 1 - 0 Stoke
Wolves 0 - 0 Everton
Blackburn 0 - 1 Wigan
Liverpool 4 - 1 Chelsea

Team Pts
1 Manchester City 86
2 Manchester United 86
3 Arsenal 67
4 Tottenham Hotspur 66
5 Newcastle United 65
6 Chelsea 61
7 Everton 53
8 Liverpool 52
9 Fulham 52
10 West Bromwich Albion 47
11 Sunderland 45
12 Swansea City 44
13 Norwich City 44
14 Stoke City 44
15 Wigan Athletic 40
16 Aston Villa 38
17 Queens Park Rangers 37
18 Bolton Wanderers 35
19 Blackburn Rovers 31
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 25


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