Crystal Palace 2 (Zaha 61, Gallagher 78) Wolves 0
Wolves lost for the first time in six matches as two second-half goals from Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher punished Bruno Lage’s side at Selhurst Park. After a solid, if uneventful opening period, it was the Eagles who upped the intensity after the break and took the lead through Zaha.
However, rather than finding a way back into the game, it was put beyond them with 12 minutes left when Conor Gallagher’s deflected effort left Jose Sa with no chance, and saw Wolves return from South London empty handed.
After far as first-halves go, the opening 45 at Selhurst wasn’t much of a spectacle, but as the away side, Lage will have had few complaints with what his team produced, which was solid and steady. Having restricted Palace to half chances, the old gold actually enjoyed the best opening and could easily have led at the break.
After threatening with a handful of half chances, where the ball failed to fall nicely, the best opening for Wolves arrived on 38 minutes. Joao Moutinho floated in a teasing free-kick which Raul Jimenez rose highest to meet, but while his glancing header was threatening, Vicente Guaita was able to comfortably save.
His opposite number Sa had little to do either at the other end. The Portuguese was called into action to get low and smother a drive from Odsonne Edouard, which he did so bravely, before Gallagher could pounce, but otherwise it was a first-half of few chances.
Half-time | Crystal Palace 0-0 Wolves
However, while the plan will have been to kick on after the break, instead Palace were the ones to up the intensity, much to Wolves’ demise. The offside flag looked set to let the visitors off the hook with the opening goal, but VAR had other ideas, after James McArthur slipped in Zaha, the forward was in line with Conor Coady, meaning his slid effort beyond Sa counted.
In between the goals, Wolves thought they had a penalty after Joel Ward had tripped Rayan Ait-Nouri, but VAR changed the decision to a free-kick and nothing came of what followed from Moutinho. Instead, the Eagles extended their lead soon after, as Gallagher skipped inside and hit a shot off Coady, which sent Sa the wrong way and sealed the win.
After that, Moutinho’s curling free-kick was palmed behind by Guaita, but the damage was already done, and Wolves suffered a first defeat in six matches, returning to the Black Country empty handed.
Full-time | Crystal Palace 2-0 Wolves
Palace | Guaita, Ward, Guehi, Andersen, Mitchell, Kouyate, McArthur (Schlupp 80), Gallagher, Zaha, Edouard (Olise 80), Benteke (Ayew 89).
Unused subs | Butland, Milivojevic, Tomkins, Clyne, Kelly, Riedewald.
Wolves | Sa, Semedo (Traore 68), Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri, Neves, Moutinho, Trincao (Podence 68), Hwang (Silva 90), Jimenez.
Unused subs | Ruddy, Moulden, Hoever, Boly, Cundle, Dendoncker.