Crystal Palace crashed out of the FA Cup after Roy Hodgson’s side suffered a 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday night.
Wolves winger Adama Traore fired the hosts ahead in the 35th minute and the Eagles couldn’t get back into the game as they failed to muster a single shot on target.
Palace failed to pose much of a threat to Wolves during the FA Cup clash at Molineux, with Hodgson’s side made to look rather lost for ideas upfront in the absence of Wilfried Zaha.
Even the introduction of Zaha in the second half failed to have the impact Hodgson might have been hoping for as the Ivory Coast international was unable to influence the game.
In any case, it’s fair to say it was too little too late by then anyway and it would simply be wrong to pin the blame on Zaha.
A large portion of the blame needs to go in Hodgson’s direction when it comes to the disappointing result. Palace made nine changes from the Premier League win over Sheffield United, but that doesn’t excuse the shocking display by some who were handed a surprise start, none more so than misfiring Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi, who earns around £100,000-per-week at Selhurst Park.
Batshuayi joined Palace on loan from Chelsea on transfer deadline day during the extended summer transfer window, with Hodgson’s side having an option to buy.
However, his latest showing will surely have left Palace chairman Steve Parish with little desire to sanction such a move.
SofaScore graded the 27-year-old as the worst player on the pitch from either side with a miserable 6.4 rating – he made fewer passes than his strike partner Christian Benteke – as he strayed offside once, won just two duels from eight attempts (25%), Zaha won three in just 20 minutes on the field, committed two fouls and failed to record a single shot on target or register a single assist.
Similarly, football.london gave him a low grade of 5/10 and claimed he ‘didn’t make a convincing argument to be starting in any of the next couple of games,’ whilst The Evening Standard were also harsh in their assessment and insisted that he is ‘really struggling to make a mark during his second spell on loan with the club.’
He did fashion half a chance for Eberechi Eze in the first half but generally struggled to get a foothold in the game with his teammates Jordan Ayew and Zaha managing to win more duels despite playing far fewer minutes.
Batshuayi’s sixth start of the season could be his last for some time after his latest showing with a trip to Arsenal next on the agenda, as Benteke has re-established himself as a first-team regular starter whilst Ayew and Zaha featured off the bench, so his place in the starting line-up is by no means secure.
AND in other news, Crystal Palace must avoid signing Seny Dieng at all costs…