October 2, 2012
Zaha at the double
Wilfried Zaha's stunning brace inspired Crystal Palace to come from behind to win 2-1 and end Wolves' four-match winning sequence in the npower Championship.
The winger was in inspired form at Molineux and could count himself unlucky not to have been awarded a first-half penalty when controversially charged from behind by Bakary Sako.
Palace were the cause of their own downfall shortly after the break as Sylvan Ebanks-Blake capitalised on a horrible defensive mistake from the hesitant Damien Delaney to convert, with Kevin Doyle then firing against the crossbar when presented with a chance to make it 2-0.
But, in a closely-fought contest between two of the division's in-form sides, Zaha's dazzling run created a 67th-minute opening to level matters - his first goal of the season.
And if the England Under-21 international's first was impressive then his second goal was spectacular, turning with his back to goal 20 yards out and firing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
It was enough to secure a fifth win in six unbeaten matches for Dougie Freedman's side, who also took Wanderers' unbeaten home record.
Palace were dealt a blow with the omission of influential midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi, due to a suspected injury, while Wolves lost the services of Razak Boukari at the weekend for at least three weeks due to a calf injury.
The home side's patient passing and neat approach play under boss Stale Solbakken was serving them well although neither keeper was called into action during the opening quarter.
Palace midfielder Yannick Bolasie looked certain to test Carl Ikeme when he connected with Zaha's low cross but the goalbound effort was well blocked by Kevin Foley.
Bolasie and Zaha were looking particularly lively for the visitors on either flank while Sako was Wolves' inspiration, and it was from his 31st-minute cross that Julian Speroni brought off a superb save to keep out Ebanks-Blake's header.
Sako was again causing problems on the left and his cross-shot had to be parried behind by Speroni.
Joel Ward came to Palace's rescue in the 39th minute when his superb sliding tackle denied Doyle a clear shot at goal.
The first-half's contentious moment then came shortly before half-time as the away side were denied what appeared to be a blatant penalty when Sako make a clumsy challenge on Zaha.
And the decision proved even more crucial eight minutes after the restart when Delaney's hesitancy on the edge of the area was punished by Ebanks-Blake and the Wolves number nine drilled low past Speroni.
Doyle almost made it 2-0 soon after when his shot crashed back off the crossbar after Sako's initial effort had been saved.
Yet Palace drew level in the 67th minute courtesy of Zaha's mazy run in the area and angled finish.
And the wide man - linked with a couple of leading Barclays Premier League clubs over the summer - turned matters around just six minutes later when he turned Stephen Ward on the edge of the area and fired home.
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Crystal Palace|
|13 Carl Ikeme||1 Julian Speroni|
|14 Roger Johnson||27 Damien Delaney|
|32 Kevin Foley||21 Dean Moxey|
|16 Christophe Berra||2 Joe Ward|
|11 Stephen Ward||20 Jonathan Williams|
|8 Karl Henry||10 Owen Garvan|
|10 Bakary Sako||14 Darcy Blake|
|7 Slawomir Peszko||15 Mile Jedinak|
|28 Tongo Hamed Doumbia||7 Yannick Bolasie|
|29 Kevin Doyle||17 Glenn Murray|
|9 Sylvan Ebanks-Blake||16 Wilfried Zaha|
|31 Dorus De Vries||Lewis Price 34|
|5 Richard Stearman||Peter Ramage 28|
|25 Danny Batth||Andre Moritz 30|
|4 David Edwards||Jonathan Parr 4|
|26 David Davis||Stuart O'Keefe 22|
|27 Anthony Forde||Aaron Wilbraham 18|
|15 Bjorn Sigurdarson||David Goodwillie 9|
|David Davis for Karl Henry (58)||Andre Moritz for Yannick Bolasie (62)|
|Bjorn Sigurdarson for Slawomir Peszko (69)||Jonathan Parr for Jonathan Williams (71)|
|David Edwards for Kevin Foley (82)||Peter Ramage for Wilfried Zaha (88)|
|Karl Henry (32)|
|· Rosters: Wolverhampton Wanderers | Crystal Palace|