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Stoke City 0 Wolves 2 - player ratings

Sport | Published:

Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers rates the players after a stunning 2-0 FA Cup victory against Premier League side Stoke City.

Carl Ikeme

Unbeatable. He could have put a deckchair up in the first half, with Stoke not mustering a single shot on target. But after the break the top-flight team threw everything they could at Ikeme - and he repelled it all. In the space of one 12-minute spell he produced four top quality saves from Arnautovic, Crouch, Afellay and Allen. It wasn't just that he made the blocks - he pushed the ball to safety every time. That passage of play was the most important of the game and Ikeme was at his very best. Captain for the day too. His finest hour this season. 9/10

Dominic Iorfa

A spell out of the team looks to have done him good. Up against a very tricky customer in Arnautovic but Iorfa won the battle. Enjoyed a couple of gallops forward too. Good to see him in form again. 8/10

Mike Williamson

So apparently this guy hasn't played a minute of competitive football for 14 months. Are you kidding me? What an absolutely magnificent performance this was. Williamson slotted back into the back four like he'd never been away and Wolves duly kept their third clean sheet in the six games he's played for them. Didn't put a foot wrong all afternoon and, even more importantly, he organised and the rest of the defence. Was in almost continuous dialogue with Hause in particular. Constantly pointed and flailed his arms around like an octopus doing semaphore. Imperious. 9/10

Kortney Hause

Has come in for some criticism this season, not least in this section, but this was Hause at his very best. Won an almost endless succession of headers and when Stoke came on strong in the second half he threw his body on the line and made a series of crucial blocks. Played it out from the back but also booted it clear when he needed to. What a selection dilemma Paul Lambert has at centre half now. 9/10

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Matt Doherty

First things first, where does this guy get his energy from? He played every single league game in 2016 and yet here he was at Stoke bounding up and down the pitch, popping up in both boxes - and playing as well as he ever has done in a Wolves shirt. It was his ball that led to Costa's opening goal, it was his brilliant free kick (yes, a free kick from Matt Doherty) that sealed this fantastic victory, it was his forays forward that on another day would have seen him score a hat-trick (he lashed over after a one-two and slammed a header wide, both chances from open play) and it was his perfectly-timed last-ditch blocks that stopped two goalbound Arnautovic efforts in the second half. Chuck in a load of vital interceptions and clearances and this was the perfect performance from Doherty. Which can only mean the first full marks for a Wolves player this season. Also, someone remind him to take Shaqiri out of his pocket. 10/10

Lee Evans

With him not having featured for the under-23s yet it was a big surprise to see his name on the team sheet after five months out. But like Williamson you wouldn't have guessed he hadn't played for so long. Walter Zenga took a real shine to Evans at the start of the season and you'd imagine Paul Lambert will too after a performance like this. In the first half in particular he was excellent, demanding the ball and recycling it with minimal fuss. He and Saville dominated midfield to the extent that £18million record Stoke signing Giannelli Imbula was given the hook at half time. Faded a little after the break but that was understandable. Again, he gives Lambert a selection headache. 8/10

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George Saville

Yet another in gold and black who performed heroics. He kept things simple and tight in midfield, got through a tremendous workload and barely made a mistake. In fact how often do you see this guy make a mistake? Underrated by many. Rarely gives the ball away. Also filled in admirably at left back after Iorfa's departure. Unsurprisingly he did so with calmness and composure. 8/10

Helder Costa

Took his eighth goal of the season with the poise and class that we've come to expect from him. Saw no path to goal, so he dribbled backwards 10 yards with his trademark close control and then drove the ball in the corner from there instead. Brilliant. Gave Erik Pieters the runaround early on and created a big chance for Bodvarsson in the fourth minute. One who tired in the second half but given he looked knackered at Hillsborough on Monday that wasn't a shock. Gave everything for the team. 8/10

Bright Enobakhare

Looks very comfortable in the 4-2-3-1 system and enjoys the freedom that the number 10 role can bring. Slightly careless in possession and his decision making needs some work, but he looked threatening on the counter attack. 7/10

Joe Mason

Didn't get much joy in an attacking sense but like Costa on the opposite flank he put a proper shift in. Often drifted inside to try and link with Bodvarsson. 7/10

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson

Picked up where he left off at Hillsborough, but did so against a better class of defender. Some superb hold-up play against Shawcross and Martins Indi and he played in his team mates with some clever flick-ons. Rampaged into the box for two early chances inside the opening 10 minutes. He'll be hugely disappointed not to have scored but his all-round game more than makes up for that. Also won the free kick that led to the second goal. 8/10

Substitutes

Morgan Gibbs-White (for Mason, 61)

Being sent on with 29 minutes left with Wolves 1-0 up against one of the best teams in England...not exactly a token appearance. Gibbs-White became one of the youngest players in Wolves history aged just 16 and he did himself proud. Looked confident - taking on Glen Johnson with his first touch before clattering into a 50/50 with Joe Allen. And he looked composed. Joined in on a couple of counter attacks but otherwise he gave good cover to Doherty and then Saville at left back. Of Wolves' current crop of emerging youngsters he is rated higher than anyone. Looks like it won't be the last we see of him this season. 7/10

David Edwards (for Enobakhare, 71)

His introduction drew one of the loudest songs of the afternoon (and that's saying something) from the 4,600 travelling Wolves supporters. Has become a real fans' favourite. Added his nous and experience to help calm the Stoke storm. 7/10

Nouha Dicko (for Iorfa, 77)

As with Bodvarsson, a goal from him would have been the icing on the cake. And like Bodvarsson he had two great chances in quick succession. Hit the first one too close to the keeper when he had options to square it and then drilled inches past the post deep into added time. Keep going Nouha, it'll come. 6/10

Subs not used: Burgoyne, Batth, Coady, Price.

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