Chorley from outside the league put on a brave display against Wolves, but a superb first-half goal from Vitinha was enough to give the visitors a narrow 1-0 victory.
Separated by five divisions, the home side was hardly expected to be able to replicate their 1986 FA Cup heroes against a Wolves side boasting a host of international stars – but that didn’t stop the hosts to push the Premier League team to the limit.
In truth, the visitors were very poor in a game that lacked quality, and the contest was only really lit by an astonishing strike from Vitinha; the one who arrowed into the top corner at least 30 yards after Chorley failed to close it.
The home side were inevitably tenacious, and the game featured crunchy tackles and a hilarious exchange that saw Chorley manager Jamie Vermiglio laughing in Adama Traore’s face after a few handbags.
Okay, enough of all that, let’s rate the surprisingly strong team of visitors.
John Ruddy (GK) – 6/10 – Called to action much more often than he would have thought. Alert early to turn down Elliot Newby when the game had just begun.
Willy Boly (CB) – 7/10 – Should dominate in the air and most did. A calming presence in a system that is now familiar to him.
Conor Coady (CB) – 6/10 – It feels a lot more assured to play in a third back, and wiped well under some pretty intense pressure at home.
Max Kilman (CB) – 6/10 – Recalled to the side and will have a feeling his performance of the night might be enough to convince Nuno that he should return to that form in the Premier League.
Ki-Jana Hoever (RWB) – 5/10 – Offered little in the last third and should be disappointed that he didn’t influence the game more. It was a great chance to show what he can do and didn’t grab it.
Joao Moutinho (CM) – 5/10: Has Moutinho been cloned and replaced by someone who is not as good? Look at the shadow of the class player we all know he is.
Leander Dendoncker (CM) – 6/10 – Combative in the midfield but lost a number of passes. It’s not his best hour in a game he really should have dominated.
Vitinha (CM) – 8/10 – Scored a goal worthy of winning any game. Has a lot of maturing to do, but can use this screen as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
Rayan Ait-Nouri (LWB) – 5/10 – Another player who hasn’t really shown Nuno what he can do. Is highly rated and has obvious talent, but needs to do more to engage in the game.
Patrick Cutrone (ST) – 5/10 – I can say it was loaned out and was alarming. Missed opportunity.
Fabio Silva (ST) – 6/10 – Worked hard up front but failed to score his authority on the game. Is young and will learn, but must do so quickly given the huge price tag.
Pedro Neto (LW) – 5/10
Adama Traore (RW) – 5/10
Ruben Neves (CM) – 5/10