Wednesday night saw Wolves take on Crystal Palace at Molineux in their first match of 2019. With Wolves lacking creativity in attack, Crystal Palace were able to take advantage and go on to win the match 2-0. Let’s take a look at the statistics to learn more about the defeat.
The possession was pretty evenly shared between the two teams with Wolves just edging it with 51%. Going forward they didn’t really offer anything and only managed to get one shot on target all game, which is their joint-lowest tally in a Premier League game this season.
Palace had 17 shots overall, which is almost double the number of shots that Wolves had (nine). They came to Molineux well prepared and able to cut off a lot of Wolves options.
Wolves committed nine fouls, one of which led to the extra-time penalty which doubled Palace’s lead and picked up four yellow cards. They also had to make a whopping 40 clearances over the 90 minutes.
They have now lost five out of the last seven home games they have played in the league.
For me, Romain Saiss was one of the best players on the pitch against Palace. I feel like I’ve been singing his praises a lot lately, but I have really been impressed with the performances he has been putting in. If you look at the heat map below, you can see just how hard he worked on Wednesday.
In the 73 minutes he played he made one clearance, blocked one shot, won 10 out of 14 duels and won three out of five tackles. These statistics show just how solid he was in defence. While he did get given another yellow card, I think the fact that he is not afraid to get stuck in and make tackles is one of his best qualities.
Going forward he wasn’t as impressive as he has been recently, however, I think he still offered more than João Moutinho, who looked a mere shadow of the player we saw against Tottenham. Saiss had 79% passing accuracy, played six long balls (four of which were accurate), made one cross and one successful dribble.
A disappointing start to the new year, however, there’s no need to panic. Palace are established in the league and beat Manchester City just weeks ago; it was always going to be a tough match. Wolves still sit happily in the top half of the table in 9th place, and for their first year back in the Premier League, the team are doing incredibly well.
Their next match is in the FA Cup against title contenders Liverpool. The meeting will take place at Molineux on Monday night, and with Liverpool losing to City in a tough match just last night, Wolves could take this opportunity to pounce and go out all guns blazing.
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