Crystal Palace produced a sensational first-half performance to further damage Wolves’ top-four hopes with goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and a Wilfried Zaha penalty.
The hosts were punished for their slow start and have now lost their last three Premier League games to leave them seven points adrift of Manchester United in fourth.
Palace set the tempo from the start with Mateta scrambling in the opener after 19 minutes before Max Kilman brought down Jeffrey Schlupp in the box, and Zaha expertly dispatched the spot-kick.
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Patrick Vieira’s side have now lost just twice in their last 11 matches across all competitions and were deserved winners at Molineux to lift them up to tenth.
Wolves: Sa (7), Hoever (6), Marcal (6), Neto (6), Neves (6), Podence (6), Coady (6), Kilman (6), Hwang (6), Saiss (6), Moutinho (6).
Subs: Jimenez (6), Jonny (6), Chiquinho (6)
Crystal Palace: Guaita (7), Mitchell (7), Guehi (7), Olise (7), Kouyate (7), Zaha (8), Mateta (8), Schlupp (8), Andersen (7), Clyne (7), Gallagher (7).
Subs: Milivojevic (6), Hughes (6), Benteke (6)
Man of the Match: Wilfried Zaha
Wolves’ season, in contrast, is in danger of petering out with this game the latest in their goal-shy campaign that has seen them score only 24 times.
They rarely looked like scoring and had goalkeeper Jose Sa to thank for a string of saves to keep them in the match. He denied Michael Olise superbly just before half-time, sprawling to his right to keep out the Palace winger’s curling shot.
Raul Jimenez remained on the bench for Wolves despite Bruno Lage making three changes from their last Premier League outing against West Ham.
Pedro Neto was back in the starting line-up in place of Fabio Silva while Daniel Podence also started in favour of Francisco Trincao.
Leander Dendoncker dropped to the bench as Joao Moutinho returned..
Vicente Guaita started in goal for Crystal Palace as Jack Butland dropped to the bench.
James McArthur was not in the matchday squad despite starting their last Premier League game against Burnley although he did miss Palace’s FA Cup tie against Stoke on Tuesday. Cheikhou Kouyate replaced him in midfield.
Jean-Philippe Mateta was the third change made by Patrick Vieira as Luka Milivojevic made way.
Then he saved from Conor Gallagher early in the second half as Wolves tried to launch a comeback. Raul Jimenez was brought on to try and inspire them, but had little impact on the final 30 minutes.
Wolves sub Chiquinho, a January signing, did have a good chance late on yet was denied by Vicente Guaita, who went largely untroubled across the afternoon.
Vieira: First-half performance one of the best
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Patrick Vieira was full of praise for how his side played, highlighting, in particular, their first-half performance.
“It was a really good performance,” he said. “From the first minute to the last one we played well, worked hard and I’m really pleased.
“We were brave from the first minute, we defended higher, we put them under pressure, we played forward, we created chances and the first half was one of the best since I’ve been here.
“In the second half, we got a little bit tired. In the last 20, 30 minutes it was difficult to get out of our own half but we rolled our sleeves up and defended well. I’m really pleased about the character and personality we showed. We knew that we were going to go through a difficult period in the second half and we managed it really well.
“It’s just about keeping the momentum and demanding, the players have been responding well. We want to improve as a team. We played well lately but what we were missing was the win and we managed to have the win today.”
More to follow…
Wolves will next face Watford in the Premier League on Thursday March 10 at 7.30pm.
Crystal Palace will take on Manchester City in the Premier League on Monday March 14 at 8pm, live on Sky Sports.
Tuesday 15th March 12:00am