Crystal Palace 2-1 Wolves: Wilfried Zaha winner helps Eagles come from behind for victory

Wilfried Zaha.

Wilfried Zaha again proved he is the man to shoulder responsibility at Selhurst Park as his well-taken winner capped Crystal Palace’s terrific turnaround against managerless Wolves.

Adama Traore’s header earned the visitors a deserved half-time lead that was almost doubled when Ruben Neves hit the post right on the stroke of half-time at Selhurst Park.

But Palace never looked back once Eberechi Eze nodded them level from Michael Olise’s pinpoint cross just 63 seconds into the second half.

Zaha then took Odsonne Edouard’s pass in his stride before drilling past Jose Sa for his fifth goal of the season to lift Palace up to 10th place in the Premier League table.

“We had to dig deep – we were playing well in the first half but the goal was a massive blow,” Zaha told BBC Sport after leading Palace to back-to-back home wins.

“We had to keep going. This is what it takes in the Premier League – we knew we had it within us and we got what we deserved.”

Wolves, linked with former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Bosz as the latest name in their search for a successor to Bruno Lage, remain 17th, just one point above the relegation places.

They came close to rescuing a point in London but Neves’ late strike was superbly beaten away by Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

‘Sensational’ Zaha shines for comeback kings Palace

Only four players have scored more Premier League goals in 2022 than Zaha’s 14 – Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Ivan Toney and Erling Haaland.

Wolves are only too aware of his talents – Zaha netted in both of Palace’s 2-0 victories against them last season and followed that up with the winner here.

In addition, the 29-year-old appears to be blossoming in the capacity of senior player, aiding the development of Palace’s crop of talented youngsters including Eze, Olise, Marc Guehi and Tyrick Mitchell.

“I have shifted from just a dribbler to goals. Efficiency is all we need,” he told Amazon Prime after Palace’s win. “When I speak to the youngsters, my mindset is efficiency, I only dribble when I really have to.”

The Ivorian international enjoyed 75 touches against Wolves, the most of any attacker on the pitch, while his six successful dribbles were four ahead of any other player.

“Zaha was sensational in the second half and at times when he is in this mood, he’s unplayable – whether he is creating chances or getting chances himself, ” said former Wales and West Ham defender James Collins on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“On the other hand, you could see what it meant to him. He was back defending and working for his team.

“When they defend well and these attacking players are let off the leash for Palace, it really is a joy to watch.”

Entertaining affair surpasses humble expectations

Given Palace had scored just four goals in their previous five games and Wolves had only managed that meagre tally all season, a thriller was not exactly expected but both sides served up a pleasant surprise.

The tone was set after just four minutes as Cheick Doucoure rattled Wolves’ post from 20 yards and Guaita had to react smartly to keep out Diego Costa at the other end soon after.

Wolves then opened the scoring to end an away goal drought just five minutes shy of eight hours – 475 minutes to be precise – dating back to the opening day of the season.

It was worth the wait as 20-year-old full-back Hugo Bueno, making his first Wanderers start, put in a teasing deep cross for Traore to bury a header inside Guaita’s near post.

Adama Traore's 31st-minute effort was the winger's first headed goal in English football.

However, the game turned either side of the interval as Neves’ 25-yard free-kick came back off the post just before the break and Eze headed Palace level right after the restart.

If that was a cool finish, Zaha trumped it with the winner, sending Sa the wrong way after a clever touch from Edouard’s low ball afforded him the freedom of the Wolves box.

The Eagles are also making a habit of turnarounds, all three of their league wins this season – the others coming against Aston Villa and Leeds – have seen them fall behind first at home.

For Wolves, meanwhile, an awful away run of 10 games without a win goes on, even if there were positives for caretaker managerial duo Steve Davis and James Collins to draw on.

They will likely remain in charge for Sunday’s important home game against fellow strugglers Leicester City, by which time Wolves could sit in the bottom three if other midweek results go against them.

Player of the match

EzeEberechi Eze

with an average of 7.35

Crystal Palace

  1. Squad number10Player nameEze

    Average rating


  2. Squad number11Player nameZaha

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  3. Squad number22Player nameÉdouard

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  4. Squad number9Player nameJ Ayew

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  5. Squad number7Player nameOlise

    Average rating


  6. Squad number16Player nameAndersen

    Average rating


  7. Squad number28Player nameDoucouré

    Average rating


  8. Squad number14Player nameMateta

    Average rating


  9. Squad number6Player nameGuéhi

    Average rating


  10. Squad number44Player nameRiedewald

    Average rating


  11. Squad number13Player nameGuaita

    Average rating


  12. Squad number3Player nameMitchell

    Average rating


  13. Squad number15Player nameSchlupp

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  14. Squad number2Player nameWard

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

  1. Squad number37Player nameTraoré

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  2. Squad number8Player nameRúben Neves

    Average rating


  3. Squad number64Player nameBueno

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  4. Squad number29Player nameDiego Costa

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  5. Squad number6Player nameTraoré

    Average rating


  6. Squad number4Player nameCollins

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  7. Squad number1Player nameJosé Sá

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  8. Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo

    Average rating


  9. Squad number23Player nameKilman

    Average rating


  10. Squad number27Player nameMatheus Nunes

    Average rating


  11. Squad number10Player nameDaniel Podence

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  12. Squad number59Player nameHodge

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  13. Squad number28Player nameJoão Moutinho

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  14. Squad number17Player nameGonçalo Guedes

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  15. Squad number11Player nameHwang Hee-Chan

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Crystal Palace

Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Guaita
  • 2WardBooked at 39mins
  • 16Andersen
  • 6GuéhiBooked at 90mins
  • 3Mitchell
  • 15Schlupp
  • 28DoucouréBooked at 45mins
  • 10EzeSubstituted forRiedewaldat 90′minutes
  • 7OliseSubstituted forJ Ayewat 80′minutes
  • 22ÉdouardSubstituted forMatetaat 81′minutes
  • 11Zaha


  • 4Milivojevic
  • 5Tomkins
  • 9J Ayew
  • 14Mateta
  • 21Johnstone
  • 23Ebiowei
  • 43Balmer
  • 44Riedewald
  • 63Goodman


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Malheiro de Sá
  • 22Nélson Semedo
  • 4Collins
  • 23Kilman
  • 64Bueno
  • 6TraoréBooked at 39minsSubstituted forJoão Moutinhoat 58′minutes
  • 8Neves
  • 37TraoréSubstituted forGonçalo Guedesat 58′minutes
  • 27NunesSubstituted forHodgeat 58′minutes
  • 10Podence
  • 29Diego CostaSubstituted forHwang Hee-Chanat 75′minutes


  • 11Hwang Hee-Chan
  • 13Sarkic
  • 14Mosquera
  • 17Gonçalo Guedes
  • 19Castro Otto
  • 25Ronan
  • 28João Moutinho
  • 59Hodge
  • 77Campbell

David Coote

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Crystal Palace 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.

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