Jan 2 (Reuters) - WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 0 CRYSTAL PALACE 2
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ impressive Premier League campaign hit the buffers on Wednesday as two goals in the dying minutes enabled Crystal Palace to take all three points with a 2-0 win at Molineux.
Looking out of sorts at the start of the year, Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves had only needed a draw to become the first promoted team to garner 30 points after 21 matches in a top flight season since Birmingham City in 2009-10.
Instead, their hopes of rising as high as seventh were spoiled as Palace deservedly took the spoils with Ghanaian international Jordan Ayew firing home his first goal for the club in the 83rd minute.
Luka Milivojevic then converted from the penalty spot, five minutes into added time, after Ryan Bennett had brought down Wilfried Zaha.
It gave Palace consecutive away wins in the same Premier League season for the first time in two years and Roy Hodgson’s team were well worth the points.
“I thought we were the team pushing for the goal and when we eventually got it I think we can say we deserved it,” Palace’s former England manager told the BBC.
Of Ayew’s goal he added: “Jordan worked so hard and it was fitting he could score the goal that has eluded him and us for so long.
“I’m really pleased with the performance, discipline and delighted to win a game away from home because it makes the Christmas period quite a good one for us.”
Palace dominated the first half, with only their profligate finishing letting them down - with Andros Townsend’s dismal ballooned right-footed shot and James Tomkins’ missed header proving the most glaring examples.
Wolves, as befits their reputation this term as second-half revivalists, looked much sharper on the resumption, creating more chances in the opening four minutes after the break than in the entire first-half.
Having now overseen five defeats in their last seven home league games and watching his side muster only one shot on target all night, Nuno understandably sounded concerned by this latest Molineux setback.
“There’s no excuses. We didn’t perform well. Palace had one day less to prepare than us, so there’s no excuses,” the Portuguese told the BBC.
Reporting by Ian Chadband; Editing by Alison Williams and Pritha Sarkar