Selhurst park

Crystal Palace 2-0 Wolves – Player Ratings

Wolves’ five-game unbeaten run ended abruptly as they were convincingly beaten by Patrick Viera’s Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. It was a lacklustre performance in which Wolves never really got going, failing to live up to the heights of the performance against Everton on Monday night. Goals from Wilfred Zaha and Connor Gallagher sent Wolves home without a point, giving the home side the win that they deserved. Wolves are back at Molineux after the international break against in form West Ham United.

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Jose Sa

Made a mess of a deep cross into the box which ultimately led to the opening goal of the game, but Wolves should have defended the second phase of the attack far better. His distribution was not up to the usual standard, but he did make several saves which ultimately saved Wolves the embarrassment of a heavy defeat at Selhurst Park. 6/10


Max Kilman

Was solid defensively with much of what was thrown at him and looked to step out of defence and get Wolves further up the pitch as they failed to create. His passing was poor, and he was caught out of position several times. 6/10


Conor Coady

A poor display from the Wolves captain who once again showed his inability to defend against big and physical strikers, this time Christian Benteke. He was far too slow in pushing out the box for the opener, capping off an afternoon to forget before he departs for England duty. 4/10


Romain Saiss

Saiss like Coady, had a poor afternoon and was also partly at fault for the first Palace goal, playing Zaha onside. He was poor on the ball too, incapable of dealing with the high press that the home side forced on Wolves. 5/10


Nelson Semedo

Not Semedo’s finest afternoon in a Wolves shirt as the wing back struggled defensively for much of the game, Max Kilman often covering for him. He did however, look to get Wolves up the pitch, particularly in the first half, but had little support in doing so as Wolves failed to create a clear cut chance. 5/10


Joao Moutinho

Struggled to assert any kind of dominance in the midfield and was in truth, non-existent when Palace on the ball. For his many strengths, Moutinho is far too easy to get past in midfield and this is an issue Wolves must address. He did however go closest to getting a goal with his free kick being tipped round the post by Guaita. 5/10


Ruben Neves

Failed to build on his man of the match display against Everton last week with a poor showing in the defeat at Selhurst Park. He was poor on the ball with far too many passes going astray, while he failed to stop many Palace attacks as they drifted through the middle of the park with ease. 5/10


Rayan Ait-Nouri

Like Semedo on the opposite flank, Ait-Nouri tried to make things happen but had little support around him, forcing him to go backwards far too often. Wolves’ attacking chemistry just wasn’t quite there and that will be the biggest disappointment for Bruno Lage. 6/10


Francisco Trincao

A poor display from Trincao having put in arguably his best performance in gold and black on Monday night. Almost every pass went astray in the final third with the Portuguese winger failing to create a single chance. 4/10


Raul Jimenez

Jimenez cut a lonely and frustrated figure for much of the match, failing to link with Hwang and Trincao, and going a full game without mustering a shot for the first time in a Wolves shirt. 5/10


Hwang Hee-Chan

Failed to live up to the heights of his impressive start to his Wolves career, on a different wavelength to those around him. A day to forget for those in the front three for Wolves. 5/10



Adama Traore

Replaced Nelson Semedo with 20 minutes to go and injected some much-needed energy going forwards. He was far more direct than any other player on the day but couldn’t create anything meaningful from the more restrictive wing back position. 6/10


Daniel Podence

Came into the front three and failed to improve the movement and creativity that had been lacking all game. Will certainly be in with a chance of starting against West Ham after his impressive start to the season. 5/10


Fabio Silva

Played the final few minutes without having any time to make a real impact on the game. N/A


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

Selhurst park

Crystal Palace 2-0 Wolves Match Review

A frustrating afternoon in South London saw Wolves fall 2-0 to Crystal Palace, and a display that demonstrated tactical similarities to the second half of the game on Monday evening. Goals from Wilfried Zaha and Chelsea loanee, Conor Gallagher, sunk Lage’s men in Croydon. Wolves lacked drive, determination and cutting edge, ultimately coming second best to the better side on the day, with no argument over who deserved the victory. 

There’s something about Selhurst Park that causes an uneasiness within me. Over the years, the mixture of the Palace atmosphere and what seems like a smaller pitch never fills me with confidence. An unchanged side was named following the confident first half against Everton, leaving Wolves fans with little room for qualms regarding player selection. From the moment Wolves gained possession though, the floods of blue and red began the swarm, and this was the moment I realised Vieira’s men were not going to roll over, these Eagles came to hunt. 

One key problem many are noticing week in week out (despite the positive results recently), is Wolves’ panic when teams initiate a press. Somehow, even with the abundance of technical ability that our players possess, firing the ball into the channels becomes the adopted tactic. I can accept this if you have payers with the physicality to combat Premier League centre halves, but Francisco Trincao vs Joachim Andersen is a prime example of why weight classes exist in combat sports; it’s simply not a fair matchup. Raul was placed on the graveyard shift, feeding off scraps and praying for an error from Palace’s defensive unit.

Furthermore, an inspired performance from Kouyate prevented many an attempt to progress through the middle of the pitch, highlighting that we need urgent reinforcement in January, particularly someone with energy and dynamism to partner Neves. It’s a must.

Bar Jose Sa with some decent distribution and Kilman shutting out Zaha for much of the game, no one gave a standout performance. Conor Coady and Romain Saiss had a torrid time dealing with Christian Benteke, a pattern that has been reoccurring for four years now. Opposition teams know that pinning a physical striker on Conor will lead to results, and for all his leadership qualities, he will continue to lose important defensive duels in key moments.


Key moments  


A cagey first half affair saw Joao Moutinho booked after only nine minutes; after Odsonne Edouard dived ahead of him. Similarly, to the Leeds contest, this detracted from our midfield tenacity for the remainder of the afternoon, as Joao would be in no position to make ‘clever’ fouls, or your typical ‘cynical’ challenge in order to break up opposition threat. After half time, it was evident that the home team were keen to stamp their authority upon the contest, and Wilfried Zaha achieved this, slotting home to put the hosts ahead (after a VAR overturn). Wolves had the possibility of a penalty through a rash Joel Ward decision just beyond the penalty box, but again, VAR overturned the decision. One was not enough for the Eagles, as Conor Gallagher’s deflected effort wrongfoots Sa to double Wolves’ troubles.


Man of the Match – Max Kilman


Kilman’s impressive performances in recent weeks were rewarded midweek with an improved contract for the 24-year-old. Once again though, Wolves’ player of the season (now undeniably) proved exactly why this was his just reward. For the majority of the game, Kilman suppressed Zaha’s threat, and even if Wolves had lost the war at Selhurst Park, Max won his battles (which cannot be said for the rest of the squad). Confidence in tackling the tricky winger, combined with impressive bursts of recovery pace earned Kilman my Man of the Match.



It’s beyond clear that Bruno will not be satisfied with the performance, with a real lack of intensity throughout, Wolves got exactly what they deserved. The international break will provide time for the management team to find ‘solutions’ to resist pressing teams. We need to be much more confident in our ability to keep the ball under pressure, instead of resorting to route one football. It was a bad day at the office to say the least, but there’s a pattern to the poorer performances, that being against teams with aggressive pressing tactics.


Sam Beeken is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him here