Zaha gives Eagles win at Wolves
Last Updated: 02/10/12 10:28pm
Zaha: Celebrates at Molineux
Wilfried Zaha's brace helped Crystal Palace come from behind to beat Wolves 2-1 and end the hosts' four-match winning run in the Championship.
The winger was in inspired form at Molineux on Tuesday night 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.
Sky Bet Championship
Tue 2nd Oct
Barnsley0 - 2Peterboro
Cardiff2 - 1Birm'ham
Hull City2 - 3Blackpool
Bristol C1 - 1Millwall
Brighton1 - 1Ipswich
Burnley3 - 3Sheff Wed
Charlton1 - 2Watford
Wolves1 - 2C Palace
Huddsf'ld0 - 2Leicester
Bolton2 - 2Leeds
Sky Bet Championship
|20||Brighton and Hove Albion||34||37|