Non-league Chorley put in a valiant display against Wolves, but a stunning first-half goal from Vitinha was enough to hand the visitors a narrow 1-0 win.
Separated by five divisions, there was little expectation that the home side could replicate their 1986 FA Cup heroics against a Wolves team boasting a whole host of international stars – but that didn’t stop the hosts from pushing the Premier League side to the limit.
In truth, the visitors were very poor in a game that lacked quality, and the contest was only really illuminated by a stunning strike from Vitinha; one that arrowed into the top corner from at least 30 yards out after Chorley failed to close him down.
The home side were inevitably dogged, and the game did feature some crunching tackles and a hilarious exchange that saw Chorley manager Jamie Vermiglio laugh in the face of Adama Traore after a bit of handbags.
Right, enough of all that, let’s rate the visitors surprisingly strong team.
John Ruddy (GK) – 6/10 – Called into action far more frequently than he would have expected. Alert early on to deny Elliot Newby when the game had only just got going.
Willy Boly (CB) – 7/10 – Expected to dominate in the air and did so for the most part. A calming presence in a system very familiar to him by now.
Conor Coady (CB) – 6/10 – Looks far more assured playing in a back three, and mopped up well under some fairly intense home pressure.
Max Kilman (CB) – 6/10 – Recalled to the side and will feel that his performance on the night may be enough to convince Nuno that he should revert back to this shape in the Premier League.
Ki-Jana Hoever (RWB) – 5/10 – Offered little in the final third and should be disappointed to have not influenced the game more. Was a big chance to show what he can do and didn’t take it.
Joao Moutinho (CM) – 5/10: Has Moutinho been cloned and replaced with somebody not quite as good? Looks a shadow of the class player we all know he is.
Leander Dendoncker (CM) – 6/10 – Combative in midfield but misplaced a number of passes. Not his finest hour in a game he should really have dominated.
Vitinha (CM) – 8/10 – Scored a goal worthy of winning any game. Has plenty of maturing to do, but can use this display as a stepping stone for bigger and better things.
Rayan Ait-Nouri (LWB) – 5/10 – Another player who didn’t really show Nuno what he can do. Is highly rated and has obvious talent, but must do more to engage himself in the game.
Patrick Cutrone (ST) – 5/10 – Can tell he’s been away on loan, and was alarmingly off the pace. Opportunity missed.
Fabio Silva (ST) – 6/10 – Worked hard up front but failed to stamp his authority on the game. Is young and will learn, but must do so quickly given his enormous price tag.
Pedro Neto (LW) – 5/10
Adama Traore (RW) – 5/10
Ruben Neves (CM) – 5/10