Roy Hodgson’s decision to recall Ghanian striker, Jordan Ayew, who ended Crystal Palace’s miserable goalscoring form as the Eagles, and it 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.
What a win! #WOLCRY
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 allowing 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 games.
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.
30: Townsend causing problems again. He cuts in and beats two players and then shoots but it’s well over.
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.
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.