Crystal Palace leave it late to hunt down Wolves

Posted Thursday, January 03, 2019 by PA

Crystal Palace leave it late to hunt down Wolves

Crystal Palace’s late show earned a deserved 2-0 win at Wolves.

Jordan Ayew and Luka Milivojevic, from the penalty spot, scored in the final seven minutes to ease Palace’s goal woes.

The Eagles’ loan pursuit of Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke looks over with doubts over his fitness while Wilfried Zaha stretched his goal drought to 14 games.

Wolves are chasing Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, currently on loan at Aston Villa, and both teams showed why they needed fresh firepower in a forgettable game.

Willy Boly wasted Wolves’ best opening, making a hash of a free header, as they dropped to ninth in the Premier League.

Palace stay 14th but they were good value for the win despite the game failing to spark.

Joao Moutinho fired over during a subdued start at Molineux as Palace controlled the game without setting pulses racing.

The pre-game fireworks had offered more entertainment than the opening 20 minutes with the Christmas schedule appearing to take its toll on both sides.

Crystal Palace leave it late to hunt down Wolves
Crystal Palace’s Wilfred Zaha wins a penalty (David Davies/PA)

Eventually Boly’s error gifted Andros Townsend the chance to break before Milivojevic’s tame effort was turned over by Rui Patricio.

It failed to break the monotony and Palace remained on top but rarely looked like stepping up from a pedestrian pace.

Townsend sliced his 20-yard drive well over while Wolves offered nothing until Boly blew a glorious chance 10 minutes before the break.

He was left unmarked to reach Ivan Cavaleiro’s corner but miscued his header from 12 yards and Matt Doherty could only nod the spinning ball over.

It was a rare opening for Wolves, who looked leggy after their 3-1 win at Tottenham on Saturday.

Patrick Van Aanholt tested Patricio from distance but Palace had drawn a blank in their previous two games and showed little signs of ending that run.

Wolves improved after the break and Cavaleiro’s cross caused panic in the Eagles defence before the underworked Vicente Guaita claimed it.

But Jonny summed up Wolves’ lack of attacking nous when he ballooned over from the edge of the area after an hour.

Crystal Palace leave it late to hunt down Wolves
Luka Milivojevic scores from the spot (David Davies/PA)

Zaha was stuck on the fringes for Palace and after three goals in his first four matches this season the forward’s struggles will be a growing concern for boss Roy Hodgson.

Yet, despite Palace’s minimal attacking threat, they grabbed the opener with seven minutes left.

A piece of penalty box pinball ended with the ball coming to Van Aanholt on the edge of the area and his mishit shot fell to Swansea loanee Ayew to fire home his first goal of the season from six yards.

Ruben Neves nearly levelled in stoppage time but Guaita palmed his deflected drive wide and Milivojevic wrapped up Palace’s win, burying a penalty, after Ryan Bennett fouled Zaha.




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