Wolves 1-0 Crystal Palace FA Cup Player Ratings

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Wolves progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a routine win at home to Crystal Palace under the lights at Molineux on Friday evening. Adama Traore’s stunning strike midway through the first half was enough to seal Wolves’ first win in six, while the clean sheet was Wolves’ first since their league victory at home to Palace In October. The game saw Nuno field a string side following his pre-match promise of aiming to go as far as possible in the competition. Morgan Gibbs-White and Patrick Cutrone both made their sudden and unexpected comebacks from the bench and will prove to be useful attacking options going forward for the rest of the season. 

 

John Ruddy

 Could not have wished for an easier evening to restore his own personal confidence following recent mistakes ahead of what he will hope will be a cup run in which he will keep his place in the team. Came to claim Palace’s late corner, relieving the defence of any pressure late on. A solid evening’s work but he is sure to be tested far more in the later rounds of the competition. 7/10 

Nelson Semedo 

After a shaky start to his Wolves career, Semedo is finally starting to show signs of real quality, particularly going forward. The right back looked confident when on the ball, aiming to stride forwards whenever possible and also looked to be beginning to form a partnership with Adama Traore. Defensively he was not tested and there may still be some improvements needed, but during a patch of inconsistent results, Semedo has started to shine through. 8/10

 

Conor Coady 

A routine afternoon for Coady who organised his defence well and demonstrated the leadership skills we have come to know and expect. He cut out various crosses which Palace put into the box with relative ease and was otherwise untroubled for the majority of the match. 7/10 

 

Romain Saiss

Like Coady, it was a quiet night for Saiss who dealt with anything Palace threw at him with ease. He looked assured on the ball, looking to start attacks where possible, and is really starting to look at home in a back four despite little experience playing in this formation prior to this season. 7/10 

 

Ryan Ait-Nouri

 Another start for the young left back and it was another solid performance. With every game played Ait-Nouri seems to become more assured defensively, particularly in picking up the right positions and tracking runners down the flank. He looks confident when going forward, and with his technical ability, should be looking to take players on whenever possible. 7/10 

 

Joao Moutinho 

Moutinho recovered from his costly mistake at Brighton to produce a solid if not spectacular display at home to Palace. He broke up play on numerous occasions, particularly important in the closing stages of the game when Wilfred Zaha was on the pitch, while also looking to support attacks where possible. 7/10

 

Leander Dendoncker

A very welcome return to the team for Dendoncker and, as if often the case this season, when he plays Wolves win! Dendoncker’s non-stop running and pressing was vital in Wolves winning the ball back high up the pitch, while his physicality in the middle has been desperately missed in recent weeks. He had a golden chance to put the game beyond doubt mid-way through the second half, highlighting the one glaring weakness to his game. If Dendoncker could finish, he could easily be hitting double figures for Wolves this season. 8/10

 

Ruben Neves

 A superb performance from Ruben Neves who looked to be at his very best in Friday night’s win. He played various cross field balls, all of which were accurate and effective in switching the play as Wolves looked to break Palace down in the first half. His tackling when tracking back was also spot on and vitally important at times, a much-improved aspect of his game this season. 9/10

 

Adama Traore 

What a performance from Adama Traore. Like Neves, he looked back to his very best. Scored a superb goal cutting in on his left foot before unleashing a rocket beyond Jack Butland. Was a danger throughout the game down the right flank and also cutting inside aiming to make things happen in different areas of the pitch. This is an important trait which Traore must continue to develop to avoid predictability and ensure he can showcase his talent which when at his best, will ultimately win Wolves games. 9/10

Fabio Silva

 He once again showed some good touches and intelligence in his movement, but it was a disappointing night for Wolves’ young Portuguese star. His header from point-blank range early on was well over the bar, and Silva’s chance for a corner was likewise nowhere near. With his obvious natural intelligence, goals will almost certainly come, but Nuno must work to ensure his confidence does not drop as each game goes by without a goal from open play.  6/10

 

Pedro Neto 

It was yet another impressive performance from Pedro Neto, the shining light of the season so far. He had the better of Nathaniel Clyne, particularly in the first half where he created a number of chances, most notably his brilliant run and skill to cross for Silva to head over. 8/10

 

Subs: 

Morgan Gibbs-White

 A return to the side for the Stafford-born midfielder who impressed on loan at Swansea. Brought in to bolster the attacking options in this new formation, Gibbs-White could yet prove to play a big part in the second half of the season if he can make the step up. He had little impact on the game here, but they could prove to be important minutes for the youngster to familiarise himself with this new way of playing. 6/10

 

Patrick Cutrone 

Like Gibbs-White, this substitute appearance could be vitally important for Cutrone to improve his match sharpness and familiarise himself with the new formation. He pressed well from the front in the closing stages and will help in taking the burden off Fabio Silva in the coming months. 6/10

 

KI-Jana Hoever 

A late substitute cameo for the youngster in the competition he made his senior debut in for Liverpool. He slotted in at right wing-back as Wolves reverted to a back five for the final stages of the game, and he looked to bring the ball forward on numerous occasions to relieve any pressure on the defence. He will perhaps have been disappointed to not start this game in particular, but he is yet to make a mistake in a Wolves shirt and will get plenty more opportunities throughout the rest of the season. 6/10 

Ciaran Barker is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.