Wilfried Zaha’s second half strike capped a superb second half from Crystal Palace as his goal completed a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Wolves. Patrick Vieira’s side netted twice after the break to earn a vital win that lifts them into the top half of the table.
Both teams fired warning shots in the opening minutes as Cheick Doucoure rattled the woodwork with a thumping 25-yard effort for the hosts, while Diego Costa should have done better after breaking into the box before seeing a close range poke saved by Vicente Guaita.
Palace were the better of the two teams, with Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze proving a handful, but Wolves defended their box well, restricting the Eagles to shots from distance. That all paid off for the visitors as Adama Traore fired them in front on 31 minutes, heading into the bottom corner after being picked out by Hugo Bueno, who delivered a terrific cross from the left wing.
The visitors almost grabbed a second on the stroke of half-time, with Ruben Neves hitting the woodwork with a whipped 25-yard free-kick that left Guaita motionless on his line. They were left regretting that as the hosts equalised through Eze little more than a minute into the second period, heading home at the back-post from Michael Olise’s perfect cross.
From then on, the Eagles dominated. Odsonne Edouard was unlucky when an overhead kick went just the wrong side of the post, but the former Celtic striker then turned provider as Zaha completed the comeback, coolly slotting into the bottom corner after being superbly found in acres of space in the box.
TALKING POINT – WOLVES MUST GET MANAGERIAL SITUATION SORTED
Steve Davis has been in temporary charge of Wolves since the sacking of Bruno Lage earlier this month, and he may have been fancying his chances of getting the job permanently at half-time when his side led 1-0.
The visitors were well off the pace after the break though, and eventually suffered a deserved defeat that deepens their problems in a relegation battle few saw coming.
They have still scored only five times this season, a club record low after this number of games, a problem that must be addressed. Peter Bosz, formerly of Lyon, QPR manager Michael Beale and ex-boss Nuno Espirito Santo have been linked with the role, which must be filled quickly.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace). The striker was well marshalled in the first half, when he was maybe a touch slow with his final ball and got forced to shoot from unpromising positions.
He came into his own after the break though, putting in an electric performance that shows exactly why he is so well loved at Selhurst Park, with the Wolves defence unable to get close to his twinkling toes.
He created chance after chance and looked a threat every time he broke forward, including when somehow holding off three defenders before starting an attack that ended in Edouard firing wide. He eventually got his goal and was a worthy match-winner.
CRYSTAL PALACE: Guaita 7; Ward 6, Anderson 6, Guehi 7, Mitchell 7; Schlupp 6, Doucoure 7, Eze 7; Edouard 7, Olise 6, Zaha 8. Subs: Ayew n/a, Mateta n/a, Riedewald n/a
Subs: Goodman, Johnstone, Tomkins, Ebiowei, Balmer, Milivojevic
WOLVES: Sa 6, Semedo 7, Kilman 6, Collins 7, Bueno 7; Nunes 6, Boubacar Traore 6, Neves; Adama Traore 7, Costa 6, Podence 5. Subs: Guedes 6, Moutinho 6, Hodge 6, Hee-Chan n/a
Subs: Sarkic, Jonny, Mosquera, Campbell, Ronan
5’ DOUCOURE HITS THE WOODWORK! Cheick Doucoure has never scored for Palace, but he comes mightily close as a driving run from midfield ends in a 25-yard shot that rattles the woodwork. Superb effort
31’ GOAL! PALACE 0-1 WOLVES (Adama Traore). Against the run of play, Wolves have the lead! Brilliant play down the left hand side by Hugo Bueno, who surges down the left and whips a terrific cross towards the back post, where Adama Traore sends home a thumping header
45+4’ NEVES HITS THE POST. With practically the last kick of the half Neves sends a curling 25-yard free-kick that thumps the woodwork, while Guaita is motionless on his line. What a let off for Palace
47’ GOAL! PALACE 1-1 WOLVES (EZE). Wow! What a start to the second half! Eze heads home at the back post to equalise, but he has Olise to thank for a delicious cross that picked him out perfectly
70’ GOAL! PALACE 2-1 WOLVES (Zaha) IT. HAS. BEEN. COMING! Zaha is in acres of space in the box when he’s picked out by Edouard after a rapid attack. He coolly finishes into the bottom corner. Selhurst Park is bouncing