Wolves succumbed to their third Premier League defeat in a row this afternoon with a 2-0 loss against Crystal Palace at Molineux.
An opening goal from Jean-Philippe Mateta followed by a penalty from Wilfried Zaha in the first half secured the three points for Patrick Vieira’s side, who will be travelling back to south London in a buoyant mood.
Despite the disappointing result from a Wolves point of view, one player who did anything but disappoint Bruno Lage in terms of his performance was Fernando Marcal.
With the full 90 minutes under his belt, the Brazilian showed his manager just how useful he can be in an attacking and defensive sense with and without the ball.
Having racked up 80 touches of the ball against the Eagles, Marcal ended up making 46 accurate passes, which included two long balls and one key pass.
In addition, the 33-year-old – who was tipped to add a “huge amount of experience” to the team by Jeff Shi when he arrived at Molineux in 2020 – posted one shot on target and completed all three dribbles that he attempted.
From a defensive point of view, the £1.35m-rated Brazilian made five tackles, three interceptions and one clearance, also blocking one shot and winning 80% of his ground duels, which goes to show how important he was in making sure his side didn’t have an even worse day at the office.
This display ultimately earned the defender an overall match rating of 7.6/10 from SofaScore, making him the highest-rated outfield player for the Molineux outfit on the day and arguably Lage’s only shining light on what was another frustrating afternoon for the 45-year-old.
With the Old Gold now losing three consecutive league games for the first time since the opening weeks of the season, the manager now has a challenge on his hands to revive their fortunes if he wants them to be in with a shot of securing European football for 2022/23.
Taking into account Marcal’s performance today, it would seem likely that he could be an important figure for Wolves in the next few weeks and months, especially if he can keep delivering consistently strong displays up and down the pitch.