Report | Wolves 0-2 Crystal Palace

Wolves 0 Crystal Palace 2 (Mateta 19, Zaha pen 34)

Wolves suffered a third successive defeat in the Premier League, as Bruno Lage’s side never recovered from falling two goals down in the opening period against Crystal Palace. Jean-Philippe Mateta’s scruffy goal opened the scoring, and once Wilfried Zaha fired in from the spot, Wolves had no response.

The hosts did improve after the break, and enjoyed plenty of the ball, but didn’t create enough to put the Eagles under severe pressure. Substitute Chiquinho was denied by Vicente Guaita, while a number of other half-chances came and went on an afternoon to forget at Molineux.

Earlier in the season at Selhurst Park, Wolves suffered what Lage described as the worst performance of his tenure, and this was another testing afternoon. First, Mateta headed straight at Jose Sa, before Daniel Podence relinquished possession and Jeffrey Schlupp was in down the left, but his low effort fizzed past the far post.

The Eagles did eventually find that breakthrough however, as Conor Gallagher played in Zaha down the right, and after squeezing in a low cross under pressure from Conor Coady, his ball found Mateta, who flicked the ball over Sa and knocked into an open goal.

However, a disappointing opening half got worse for the hosts. They were already grateful to Coady for blocking Mateta’s effort, but as Palace recycled the ball, Schlupp charged into the area and was tripped by Maximilian Kilman. Wolves could have no complaints with the decision and Zaha fired home from 12 yards.

Wolves were struggling to gain any foothold in the game, and once Kilman gave the ball away to Mateta, Gallagher let fly with a curling effort which Sa had to turn around the post at full-stretch.

That wasn’t Sa’s only impressive save of the half – he saved his best to tip over Michael Olise’s curling strike. While at the other end, Guaita’s only real save of note came in stoppage time, as he turned behind Daniel Podene’s snapshot at the near post.

Half-time | Wolves 0-2 Crystal Palace

Wolves did improve after the interval and, with a little bit of luck, could have found an early route back into the game. Hee Chan Hwang had a sight of goal, but held on to the ball for too long, before Marcal’s low cross was fumbled by Guaita, but substitute Raul Jimenez couldn’t reach to turn in the rebound.

However, despite the improvements, the Palace goalkeeper still wasn’t being called into real action, as Hwang’s ambitious volley towards the back post flew over his bar. Then, his defence did the work for him soon after, as Kilman tried to turn home a nod down by Romain Saiss.

With time running out, Lage threw Chiquinho into the mix and he managed to unsettle Palace. When he was played through, a delicate chip almost beat Guaita, when Ruben Neves whipped an effort wide of the near post, and then had one palmed away, however that would spell the end of the action, as Wolves were left disappointed again.

Full-time | Wolves 0-2 Crystal Palace

Wolves | Sa, Hoever (Jonny 25), Kilman (Chiquinho 79), Coady, Saiss, Marcal, Moutinho, Neves, Neto (Jimenez 63), Hwang, Podence.

Unused subs | Ruddy, Ait-Nouri, Boly, Dendoncker, Trincao, Silva.

Palace | Guaita, Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Kouyate (Milivojevic 69), Gallagher, Schlupp, Zaha, Olise (Hughes 82), Mateta (Benteke 69).

Unused subs | Butland, Kelly, Riedewald, Eze, Ayew, Edouard.