Ruben Neves netted a fantastic goal to help secure Wolves a share of the spoils on their Premier League return against Everton at Molineux, but eagle-eyed fans have spotted an issue with his thumping free-kick.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s newly-promoted side trailed to the first of two Richarlison efforts shortly before half-time on Saturday evening when their midfield magician curled a brilliant strike into the top corner after Phil Jagielka was dismissed for a foul on Diogo Jota.
While the excellence of Neves’ shot cannot be denied and supporters will argue that he is equally deadly from further out, was the free-kick taken from the correct position?
Ruben Neves scored for Wolves on Saturday as they twice came back to draw with Everton
The Portuguese midfielder curled a free-kick into the top corner to restore parity at Molineux
It appeared that the free-kick was taken yards ahead of where Phil Jagielka’s foul took place
Jagielka was sent off for his lunge on Diogo Jota, leaving Everton to play for a long time with 10
Not according to many on social media, who claim that it was actually struck from a place that was several yards further forward from where the initial challenge happened.
One Twitter user looked to prove the point by posting side-by-side pictures of Jagielka’s lunge and man of the match Neves stepping up to take the free-kick, revealing an obvious difference.
However, match referee Craig Pawson did not seem to spot the error, leading to much criticism of his officiating.
‘Look at where the ref gave the foul and where wolves took the free kick terrible refereeing from start to finish,’ the Twitter post was captioned.
‘Did not even clock that FK was too close. Shocking refereeing,’ another spectator lamented.
Others argued that Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford would have stood more of a chance of making the save if the free-kick had been taken from the correct position.
Some were quick to defend Neves, with one person stating: ‘I just hope the Everton fans upset about Neves’ free-kick being taken 5 yards ahead of the foul know that he would’ve preferred it 5 further back. Closer is tougher at that range.’
Another added: ‘Could have been another 15 back and Neves would have still put it top bins mate.’
Championship winners Wolves twice came from behind to draw with Everton, with debutant Richarlison’s second goal cancelled out 10 minutes from time by a header from on-loan Benfica striker Raul Jimenez.
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