Palace up to ninth with win over Wolves
Crystal Palace 2
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Goals from Wilfried Zaha and a deflected effort from Conor Gallagher were enough for Crystal Palace to see off Wolves 2-0 at Selhurst Park this afternoon.
Zaha’s 61st-minute effort was originally flagged offside, but the first of two huge VAR calls to correctly go the way of the home side allowed it to stand.
Then Gallagher settled matters – helped by a huge deflection off the body of the other Conor on the pitch – Wolves’ Coady.
The visitors also thought they had a penalty when the score stood at 1-0, but the spot-kick awarded was downgraded to a free-kick outside by the box when VAR cast its beady eye over referee Graham Scott’s decision.
Palace just about shaded the first period, but most of their play was in front of the Wolves back line, defending high up the pitch as they were, and the visitors would have been the happier with the blank score line at the break.
Palace’s best chance of the first period came midway through the half when good link-up play between Odsonne Edouard and Zaha ended with a shot from inside the box from the former which was stopped by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa. Sa spilled the ball and was injured in saving the rebound from Gallagher.
Edouard then saw a looping header drift over the bar from a Gallagher free kick
At the other end Francisco Trincao fluffed his lines when well placed inside the Palace box, before Raul Jiminez’s header for Wolves from a Nelson Semedo centre was straight at Vincente Guaita – a yard either side would have seen the net bulging.
Palace upped the tempo in the second half - Zaha causing problems down the left, Edouard with a couple of snap-shots and Cheikhou Kouyate firing over early on.
Benteke then had a great chance to put Edouard through on goal but his ball was intercepted. He almost made up for it immediately with a bullet header from the corner which was well stopped by Sa.
But Palace then did take the lead. Zaha calmly stroking the ball past Sa – and although the goal was initially chalked off by the linesman, VAR did exactly what it was designed to do and correctly overturned the offside decision.
Nine minutes later Wolves were awarded a spot-kick when referee Graham Scott felt the retreating Joel Ward had upended Rayan Ait-Nouri. VAR said he had, but that the infringement crucially happened just outside the box rather than in it. “We love VAR” chanted the home fans.
Edouard then had the chance to settle matters but his shot was well stopped by Sa with his legs.
But the points were safe with 12 minutes to go – the ever-impressive Gallagher benefitting from a huge deflection off his namesake Coady which left Sa with no chance.
After a number of results which did not reflect their good performances earlier in the season, Palace are now up to ninth, with six points in a week – three at Manchester City, and an equally important three here.
Palace: Guaita, Ward, Mitchell, Guehi, Kouyate, Zaha, Andersen, McArthur (Schlupp, 80), Benteke (Ayew, 89), Edouard (Olise, 80), Gallagher
Wolves: Sa, Ait-Nouri, Neves, Jiminez, Trincao (Podence, 68), Coady, Semedo (Traore, 68), Kilman, Hee-Chan (Fabio Silva, 90), Saiss, Moutinho
Referee: Graham Scott