Everton suffered its third straight Premier League defeat as it fell to a 2-1 loss to in-form Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Monday.
Rafael Benitez's side, missing several key starters through injury, was clear second best in the opening 45 minutes, going in 2-0 down and although it improved in the second half and pulled a goal back through Alex Iwobi, it could have few complaints about the outcome.
After a slow start, Wolves is up to seventh having now won four of its last five games and Portuguese coach Bruno Lage is benefitting from the return to full fitness of Mexican striker Raul Jimenez.
Everton, beaten 5-2 by Watford last week, was missing defenders Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne, central midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure and striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and was on the back foot from the start.
Wolves started strongly, with Ruben Neves and Francisco Trincao forcing Jordan Pickford into two early saves and had an early effort from Hwang Hee-chan ruled out for offside by VAR.
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The pressure from Bruno Lage's side finally paid off in the 28th minute when defender Max Kilman rose well to power in a header from a Rayan Ait Nouri corner.
Four minutes later, Everton gifted Wolves a second when Ben Godfrey's ill-judged attempted back pass was intercepted by Jimenez, who coolly chipped the advancing Pickford.
Everton came out forcefully after the break and pulled a goal back in the 66th minute when Ben Godfrey's shot into box was blocked by Conor Coady but the ball fall to Iwobi, who reacted well to drill home.
The influential Trincao had a great chance to put the game beyond Everton but pulled his shot wide from close range and Wolves had its keeper Jose Sa to thank when he pulled off a fine reflex save from a Richarlison near post header.
Wolves move up to seventh, on 16 points, one point behind Manchester United and Arsenal. Everton is 10th with 14 points.
"We don't want to look at the table too much," said Wolves skipper Coady.
"We keep moving forward, we want to keep winning games. I thought first half we were outstanding. We wanted to keep that going.
"We knew it would change after half time. We conceded and had to defend but we did it," he added.
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