That was the performance of a soft midtable side.
Disappointing but not entirely unpredictable.
We exchanged punches with Palace in a dull first half but when they upped the pace in the second, we simply fell away.
It’s for Bruno Lage to determine why that was and in doing so he must also look at his own inactivity during a game that was clearly slipping away from us well before they eventually scored.
Why not introduce Traore or Podence or switch to a back four to try and change the game while it’s still in the balance?
If we’re trying to be more proactive on the pitch, the same logic must be applied to the dugout.
Both goals were soft with Wolves showing an inability to clear their lines following repeated concessions of the ball.
VAR wasn’t our friend either but I don’t think you could argue against Zaha being onside for the opener. Ait-Nouri’s penalty claim was more contentious as I’m not sure it was conclusively proven that the foul was outside the box and as the ref had given it on the pitch we might consider ourselves unfortunate it was overturned.
That was really the only glimmer of serious attacking threat we showed and I felt one key difference between the sides was that the ball stuck with their front three and continually bounced away from ours.
I do have some sympathy for Raul and co though as we simply couldn’t work the ball forward with Palace always hurrying our defenders into panicked clearances or misplaced passes.
We have to find a way to live with teams that press high and be brave enough to keep the ball. Otherwise we’ll just end up defending and knocking it long as we did today and at Leeds and for spells in that second half against Everton.
Whether we can achieve that with the personnel at Bruno’s disposal remains to be seen. I certainly think another combative midfield option would stop us getting overrun and out muscled in the spaces in front of the back three as we were in the second half.
Connor Gallagher really put us to the sword by occupying those spaces and driving forward, as we saw with the second goal.
With 16 from 11 I can forgive and forget but I hope this kind of listless defeat doesn’t become an all too regular occurrence.
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