Entertainment, Sports

Jean-Philippe Mateta and Wilfried Zaha fire Crystal Palace to victory at Wolves

Crystal Palace extended their unbeaten away run in 2022 to five games with a 2-0 victory over Wolves at Molineux.

It is the first time since June 2020 that the Eagles have claimed consecutive league wins away from Selhurst Park, having beaten Watford 4-1 in their previous road trip.

Jean-Philippe Mateta opened the scoring from close range in the 19th minute with his second goal in three games after Palace started the game brightly.

Their lead was doubled through Wilfried Zaha’s 34th-minute penalty and the visitors held firm to secure a third consecutive victory over the Wanderers, lifting Patrick Vieira’s side up to 10th place in the process.

Palace began well and missed the chance to break the deadlock in the opening 15 minutes with Mateta and Jeffrey Schlupp squandering chances.

French striker Mateta was unable to bundle the ball home from a Michael Olise corner after a clever header from Joachim Andersen at the front post sent the ball in the 24-year-old’s direction.

Moments later, Schlupp’s tame shot did not trouble Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa after the winger successfully negotiated his way into the Wanderers box with neat footwork.

Vieira’s side made up for their missed chances in the 19th minute when Mateta poked the ball home after good work from himself and Zaha.

After receiving the ball from Conor Gallagher, Zaha did well to break free from Conor Coady on the right before Mateta beat Sa at the front post and tapped the ball home.

Wolves struggled to steal control of proceedings and were faced with a mountain to climb when Max Kilman was penalised for bringing Schlupp down in the penalty area.

Zaha stepped up and calmly placed the ball into the back of the net for his third goal in three games and hand Palace a deserved two-goal lead before the break.

Palace’s dominance continued with Gallagher going close on two occasions either side of half-time. The first forced Sa into a smart diving save before his second was stopped by the Portuguese after the Chelsea loanee got past Marcal.

Wolves boss Bruno Lage introduced striker Raul Jimenez early in the second half after leaving the Mexican on the bench for the second consecutive fixture.

Jimenez, who remains without a goal now in four games, failed to make the impact he would have liked as Palace remained defensively solid.

A mixture of quality defending and poor finishing halted a potential Wolves comeback in the final 15 minutes with Hwang Hee-chan denied from close range.

Romain Saiss’ header across goal was held up well by Kilman in the penalty area and the English defender laid the ball off for the Korean forward, but he was denied by a well-timed block by Marc Guehi.

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