Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Wolves 0 Crystal Palace 2: Ayew and Milivojevic send Eagles soaring

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Jan 2019


Roy Hodgson’s decision to recall Jordan Ayew paid dividends at Molineux on Wednesday as the striker scored in Crystal Palace’s 2-0 win over Wolves.

Palace have struggled in front of goal this season and it looked as though they would fail to score in a Premier League game for the 10th time this season until Ayew lashed home his first goal for the club with seven minutes remaining.

Captain Luka Milivojevic doubled their tally in stoppage time to complete the victory after Wilfried Zaha had been felled by Ryan Bennett.

For Wolves it is back down to earth with a bump after their win over Tottenham on Saturday, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side falling to a fifth home defeat of the campaign.

After an entirely forgettable opening 20 minutes that saw Raul Jimenez balloon the only chance over the crossbar, Palace went close to the game’s opening goal through Milivojevic.

Willy Boly was dispossessed by Andros Townsend in the Wolves half and the Palace man charged towards the penalty area, the winger found Milivojevic but his effort was deflected over by Conor Coady and Rui Patricio.

The impressive Townsend continued to pose the greatest threat, but repeating his stunning strike against Manchester City proved beyond him, the winger blazing over another Palace opening.

His wastefulness should have been punished as half-time approached but Boly and Matt Doherty – who were both unmarked – failed to convert an Ivan Cavaleiro corner.

Chances continued to be at a premium after the restart with Jonny Castro and Helder Costa wasteful for Wolves, while Ayew – recalled to allow Zaha the chance to move back out to the wing – blazed over for Palace.

He made no mistake in the closing minutes, though, as he showed great touch to control Patrick van Aanholt’s shot before beating Rui Patricio to register his first Premier League goal since April.

The three points were secured with the last kick of the game as Milivojevic converted from 12 yards to register a third Palace win in five matches.

What does it mean? Missed opportunity for Wolves

Victory would have seen Wolves move back above Leicester City into seventh place in the table, instead they remain two points behind the Foxes in ninth. Meanwhile, the win boosts Palace’s battle against the drop, moving them six clear of the relegation places.

Townsend delivers everything but a goal

Tenacious in the tackle, exciting in possession, precise with his passing, it was a fine display from Townsend that just lacked a finishing touch. A goal is the least his performance deserved, although his accuracy was not working as well as other areas of his game.

Boly blunders almost costly

Since making his move to Wolverhampton last season Boly has impressed at the back, but Wednesday was not his finest hour as he was caught in possession all too often. Boly’s errors went unpunished, but Wolves came unstuck late on.

Key Opta Facts

– Crystal Palace have won consecutive away Premier League games within the same season for the first time since April 2017.
– Wolves have lost five of their last seven Premier League home games (W2 D0 L5) after remaining unbeaten in their first four at Molineux this season (W2 D2 L0).
– Only Liverpool (12), Chelsea (10) and Tottenham (9) have kept more Premier League clean sheets this season than Crystal Palace (8).
– Jordan Ayew scored his first Premier League goal for Crystal Palace, last netting in the competition for Swansea City against Everton in April 2018.
– Since the start of last season, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has won eight Premier League penalties, two more than any other player.

What’s next

Both sides are in FA Cup third-round action in the coming days with Palace hosting Grimsby Town, and Wolves welcoming Premier League leaders Liverpool to Molineux.


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