Wolves 2 (Podence 41, Jonny 68) Crystal Palace 0
Daniel Podence scored his first goal in gold and black as Wolves put in a dominant performance at Molineux against Crystal Palace to secure a record Premier League points tally.
The Portuguese winger broke the deadlock minutes before half-time after getting his head on a Matt Doherty cross close to the goalline to end a stunning passage of play before Jonny notched his second of the campaign with a sumptuous finish on the turn midway through the second period.
It was a fairly even-fought opening period to the game in the Wolverhampton sunshine, with both sides putting their opposing defences under pressure during the first 15 minutes of the contest, without being able to show their teeth in front of goal.
Following a pair of stoppages for Palace injuries, the first of which saw Mamadou Sakho limp from the pitch, it was the visitors who had a glaring opportunity to take the lead.
A loose pass from Willy Boly, who had made the switch of the left of the back three with Leander Dendoncker coming in on the right, was picked up by Wilfried Zaha who found Jeffrey Schlupp in space on the left. The midfielder raced forward to the edge of the box and tried to catch Rui Patricio out across goal, but fortunately for Wolves, his lowly driven effort flew wide of the far post.
Podence almost caught Palace out just after the half-hour mark when he acrobatically got on the end of an Adama Traore cross high across the box, but the Portuguese winger, who was being closely watched by a pair of visiting defenders, couldn’t keep his audacious bicycle kick from sailing into the North Bank.
Wolves keeper Patricio was forced into a comfortable save by Andros Townsend after the England international set aim from a free-kick 30 yards out from goal. The midfielder, who won the set-piece after clashing with Jonny in the air, got the ball up and over the wall, but Portugal’s number one was able to get down low to make a routine save.
In a first-half lacking in quality, it took one moment of magic late on for Wolves to put themselves ahead. Joao Moutinho lifted a delightful pall over the top of the Palace defence and straight into the boot of Doherty, who had made a deft run at the far post.
The Irish wing-back got past Tyrick Mitchell before lifting the ball with his first touch into the centre of the box and onto the head of Podence, who had the easiest of finishes from two yards out.
Half-time: Wolves 1 Palace 0
Wolves began the second-half on the attack, with Ruben Neves launching one of his trademark 50-yard pingers onto the boot of Jonny as the wing-back raced forward on the left. The Spaniard tried to pull the ball back, but with no-one in a gold shirt up with him, the play petered out.
After scoring his first Wolves goal with his head, Podence came close to a second using his bonce when he gets on the end of a Traore cross to the far post, but Palace did enough to stop the Portuguese from an almost impossible angle.
The hosts continued to put pressure on the Palace defence and had a pair of opportunities in quick succession to extend their advantage. Firstly, Traore got in round the back before forcing a good save from Vicente Guaita, who beat the ball away to Podence, but his shot was blocked by the Palace defence. Wolves were also calling for a penalty as Raul Jimenez went down as he tried to reach for the ball after Traore’s shot was deflected, but to no avail.
However, it didn’t take long for Wolves to double their lead, and once again, it came from a spark of genius. Traore burst between three Palace players before laying the ball into the box towards Jimenez.
From the boot of the Mexican, the ball found its way to Jonny, and the wing-back, who had his back to goal, looked to lay the ball off to a teammate before turning and striking a perfect effort into the far corner of the net.
Both keepers continued to be tested, but Traore and Zaha’s respective low efforts from distance did little to trouble either Guaita or Patricio.
Despite being in complete control of the second period, Palace came close to getting a goal back when the ball found its way to Zaha after bouncing around the box, but with Wolves defenders putting their bodies on the line, the forward was unable to cause Patricio trouble.
Although Bruno Jordao was stripped and ready to make his Premier League debut in the dying minutes, the Portuguese midfielder will have to wait for another opportunity after the game came to an end without the ball going out of play, with the final whistle indicating Wolves had reached 59 points in a Premier League season for the first time.
Full-time: Wolves 2 Palace 0
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty, Dendoncker, Coady, Boly, Jonny, Neves, Moutinho, Traore (Neto 81), Podence (Jota 72), Jimenez.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Kilman, Buur, Vinagre, Saiss, Gibbs-White, Jordao.
Palace: Guaita, Ward, Dann. Sakho (Kouyate 22), Mitchell, Townsend, McCarthy, McCarthur, Schlupp (Riedewald 73), Ayew, Zaha.
Unused subs: Henderson, Kelly, Woods, Kirby, Meyer, Pierrick, Gordon.
Referee: Peter Bankes