Wolves player ratings gallery vs Crystal Palace: One scores 9/10 but three 6s in 2-0 victory

Player ratings from Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Crystal Palace, as one scores 9/10, two get 8/10s but also two 6s.

Wolverhampton Wanderers continued their brilliant recent home form with a resilient 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Tuesday evening, extending their Molineux winning streak to three matches. Roared on by a loud crowd under the lights, Julen Lopetegui’s side moved nine points clear of the Premier League relegation zone, all but securing their top-flight status. The Eagles’ high press caused problems at times with Wolves’ back line forced into some tricky situations to maintain possession, but the storms were weathered and Wanderers held on for a vital three points.

It took just three minutes for Wolves to take the lead and it came from a bizarre own goal after a scramble in the box, with a delightful Ruben Neves corner nudged into his own net by Palace defender Joachim Andersen. The ball rebounded off the crossbar and into the ground, causing confusion at first, but referee Robert Jones soon signaled to say it had crossed the line. The set piece came from a big early opportunity as Diego Costa brought down a Hugo Bueno cross on his chest brilliantly and got a shot away at goal, forcing Sam Johnstone into a save. There was definitely some good fortune to get the goal, but it was probably deserved after a bright start.

The hosts looked the better of the two teams after taking the lead - at least until the 40th minute or so - with a lot of joy coming down the flanks. Hugo Bueno and Nelson Semedo often broke free into space to deliver crosses into an awaiting Costa, though no clear-cut openings were created before the break. Palace, meanwhile, looked dangerous with energy off the ball and had the odd counter attack. Their best chance came to Sambi Lokonga, who struck first-time from a Will Hughes knockdown just 10 yards from goal. Hitting it cleanly on the half volley, Lokonga would’ve scored if it wasn’t for a brilliant diving save from Jose Sa. The Portuguese did very well to react quickly, keeping the score at 1-0.

Palace reacted well at the immediate start of the second period with some sustained possession but it was Wanderers who looked the more threatening, with the roles reversing from the first 45. Neves’ deliveries from set pieces were causing Roy Hodgson’s team all sorts of problems with both Craig Dawson and Max Kilman going close with headers. The Eagles began to show some more promise after making an array of substitutions with Eze coming close to scoring from just outside the area on a couple of occasions. The first attempt was tipped over brilliantly by Sa, whereas the second was blocked away by a brave Dawson.

The pressure certainly mounted in the second half and the referee got a lot of stick for some questionable decisions, but he got it right when it mattered, pointing to the spot for a late Wolves penalty to put the game beyond doubt. Into added time at Molineux, Wanderers’ attackers pressed Palace goalkeeper Johnstone into trouble and he was dispossessed before making a lunging challenge to put substitute Pedro Neto on the deck. Neves stepped up to convert with confidence to make it 2-0, capping off an excellent performance for himself and the whole team. Here are our player ratings.

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