Wolverhampton 1 Crystal Palace 0 – Adama Traore’s strike helps Wolves progress to 4th round
2020-21 FA Cup 3rd round report: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Crystal Palace.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Crystal Palace 0
Nuno Espirito Santo's Wolves beat Crystal Palace to move to the fourth round of the FA Cup on the back of a first-half goal at the Molineux stadium on Friday.
Both sides had some good exchanges early in the game with Fabio Silva heading Pedro Neto's cross over from close range and Eberechi Eze firing Michy Batshuayi's pull back from the line high over the Wolves' crossbar.
Palace keeper Jack Butland, making his first appearance for the season was forced into action on 21 minutes when he parried off Nelson Semedo's powerful low drive and a little later making a comfortable save from another Silva attempt. But the Palace custodian could do little to prevent Traore from getting the opener in the 34th minute. The powerful 24-year-old displayed deft skill while waltzing past Eze before shifting the ball onto his right foot and unleashing a shot beyond Butland from the edge of the box. The Palace keeper managed to get a hand to the ball but the shot was just too strong for him to keep out.
The second half started with the Wolves looking to extend the lead. Silva missed one more golden opportunity a few minutes post the interval when he directed a free header wide from a Neto corner with an empty goal in front of him. The Eagles tried putting pressure on the Wolves goal early in the second half but were not able to trouble their keeper John Ruddy. Manager Roy Hodgson introduced Wilfried Zaha with 20 minutes to go and it seemed to have injected life into the Palace game with the
Ivorian forward teeing up Michy Batshuayi but Wolves center-back Conor Coady spotted the move in time to effect a last-minute block off the line.
The Wolves went close in the dying stages of the game as Neto sent a shot narrowly wide. Palace applied some late pressure to find the elusive equalizer but seemed to have run out of ideas.
Hodgson cut a sorry figure in his technical area given the fact that Palace looked the better side on paper against a host outfit that was beset with injuries. “I thought we had quite a lot of control in the second half but we were a goal down to an incredible strike,” said a dejected Palace coach.
Wolves starting Xi: Ruddy (goal), Nelson Semedo, Coady, Saiss, Ait Nouri, Dendoncker, Neves, Traore, Joao Moutinho, Neto, Fabio Silva.
Subs: Gibbs-White, Cutrone, Hoever.
Crystal Palace: Butland (goal), Clyne, Tomkins, Sakho, van Aanholt, Ayew, McCarthy, Riedewald, Eze, Benteke, Batshuayi.
Subs: Kouyate, Zaha, Mitchell, Townsend.
Man of the match: Adama Traore
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