Adama Traore scored his first goal of the season as Crystal Palace were beaten by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup on Friday night.
Wolves were by far the better side as the Eagles struggled to create many chances, with Connor Coady making a last-ditched tackle to deny Michy Batshuayi after he combined with Wilfried Zaha.
Roy Hodgson would have been well aware of the threat posed by Wolves ahead of the FA Cup clash at the Molineux Stadium as Palace were beaten by Nuno Espirito Santo’s side in the Premier League last year after teenager Rayan Ait-Nouri scored on his debut.
But the Palace boss would have been expecting his players to offer more in pursuit of victory upfront as they did not have a shot on target.
However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Hodgson, as it seems there was one silver lining in the form of Palace midfielder James McCarthy, who has been heavily linked with the Selhurst Park exit in the January transfer window.
As per SofaScore, McCarthy was awarded a high rating of 7.1 out of ten for his efforts – second only to Jack Butland – as he made one clearance, one interception, blocked two shots and managed more tackles (three) than Eberechi Eze (one).
The 30-year-old took 59 touches and tried to get the ball rolling as he produced 43 passes from 49 attempts (88%) and had one shot off target.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Hodgson heaped praise on McCarthy as he said: “McCarthy and Riedewald did a good job.”
In just his fifth appearance for the first team this season, the Scotsman looked every inch the leader in the midfield as he dominated most of his individual battles (4) but was ultimately powerless to prevent Wolves from taking a well-deserved lead.
He was one of only two Palace players to receive a rating higher than seven from SofaScore, bettered only by four Wolves players including Coady, Ruben Neves, Roman Saiss and Traore.
It was ultimately the defence that proved to Hodgson’s undoing but McCarthy will have sent the Palace boss a timely reminder of his obvious qualities. We were wrong to dismiss the £4m-rated gem so easily, that’s for sure.
AND in other news, Crystal Palace must avoid signing Seny Dieng at all costs…