Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Crystal Palace to reach the FA Cup fourth round with “a special goal from a special player”, says boss Nuno Espirito Santo.
Adama Traore’s scorching left-foot drive was decisive for the hosts against a much-changed Palace side.
Prior to his strike from the edge of the box the Spain winger had not scored for Wolves since 27 February 2020.
“I am very happy because I think this goal will boost his confidence,” Nuno said.
On an evening when the finishing was otherwise lacking in quality, the Wolves manager appeared to turn and say “wow” to his bench following Traore’s sparkling effort.
The 24-year-old cut in from the right and lashed a powerful shot past Palace keeper Jack Butland.
“He has been really trying in training sessions and that is why I am so happy. It was a special goal from a special player,” Nuno added.
“We have to have patience with everybody. It has been a hard season for everybody, all the teams, players and managers. You can see how the situation affects everybody.
“Adama is a versatile player, who can play in a couple of positions and one thing we are sure about is that every time he is on the pitch he always has an impact.”
A largely first-choice Wolves side dominated possession and could have won by a greater margin but for some wasteful finishing.
Palace, who made nine changes from the Premier League win over Sheffield United, did not have a shot on target.
Eagles manager Roy Hodgson cut a despondent figure in his technical area as he watched his side barely venture out of their own half during a first period dominated by Wolves.
While Palace improved after the break, Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend were unable to retrieve the situation after being introduced as late substitutes.
“I thought in the second half we had quite a lot of control but we were a goal down to an incredible strike,” said former England boss Hodgson.
“We have suffered from a few of those in recent weeks. It meant Wolves could sit back and defend, which they did well.”
- 22Nélson Semedo
- 3Aït-NouriBooked at 66mins
- 32DendonckerSubstituted forHoeverat 85′minutes
- 28João Moutinho
- 37TraoréSubstituted forGibbs-Whiteat 69′minutesBooked at 85mins
- 17Fábio SilvaSubstituted forCutroneat 78′minutes
- 11Rui Patrício
- 12SakhoSubstituted forKouyatéat 45′minutes
- 3van Aanholt
- 9J Ayew
- 22McCarthyBooked at 62minsSubstituted forMitchellat 70′minutes
- 20BentekeSubstituted forZahaat 70′minutes
- 23BatshuayiSubstituted forTownsendat 85′minutes
Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Crystal Palace 0.
Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Crystal Palace 0.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Rúben Neves.
Offside, Wolverhampton Wanderers. João Moutinho tries a through ball, but Ki-Jana Hoever is caught offside.
Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ki-Jana Hoever replaces Leander Dendoncker.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Andros Townsend replaces Michy Batshuayi.
Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Romain Saïss.
Attempt blocked. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by João Moutinho.
Attempt blocked. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Eberechi Eze.
Foul by Patrick Cutrone (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
James Tomkins (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Crystal Palace. Eberechi Eze tries a through ball, but Michy Batshuayi is caught offside.
Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Patrick Cutrone replaces Fábio Silva.
Attempt missed. Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Rúben Neves following a fast break.
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