Stalemate at Molineux
Wolves and Everton lack the killer touch in goalless draw
Last Updated: 06/05/12 4:35pm
Marouane Fellaini battles forward for Everton
Wolves played out a goalless draw with Everton in their last home match in the Premier League as the club prepares for life in the Championship.
Everton dominated the opening 45 minutes, but could not find a way through a blanket defence from the Midlands club, and perhaps at times were guilty of taking one touch too many.
It was not until the second period that Wolves started to push forward in numbers, and they created a few chances, before the match fizzled out in the final 20 minutes.
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 shot.
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 unmoved.
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.
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 marginal decision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 culprit.
Everton continued to press but the Wolves defence held firm to earn their first home point since December.
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Everton|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|0||Shots on Target||4|
|7||Shots off Target||9|
|37.5||1st Half Poss.||62.5|
|49.8||2nd Half Poss.||50.2|
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||35||37|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||34||33|
Wolves v Everton
Terry Connor was pleased to give the Wolves fans something to cheer in their final home game before relegation to the Championship.
Everton assistant manager Steve Round was disappointed his side failed to find a way past a stubborn Wolves defence.
Everton boss David Moyes says Nikica Jelavic has been sensational during his time at the club, likening his impact to Papiss Cisse's at Newcastle.