Wolves 0 – 2 Crystal Palace

Wolves’ European hopes suffered a further blow as they slipped to a third successive Premier League defeat against an impressive Crystal Palace at Molineux.

A dominant start by the visitors was rewarded when Jean-Philippe Mateta opened the scoring from close range after fine build-up play by Conor Gallagher and Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha then found the net himself from the penalty spot to double Palace’s lead before half-time after Jeffrey Schlupp was tripped by Max Kilman.

It could have been even better for the Eagles but for two fine saves from goalkeeper Jose Sa to deny Gallagher and Michael Olise.

The home side offered little in response, with Vicente Guaita equal to efforts from Daniel Podence and Chiquinho.

The win moves Patrick Vieira’s side into the top half of the table on goal difference, while Wolves remain eighth.

Palace boss Vieira had urged his side to maintain their focus on the Premier League despite securing a place in the last eight of the FA Cup in midweek, with the Eagles nine points clear of the bottom three going into the game.

Their progress this season has been based around defensive solidity rather than attacking prowess, with only Norwich scoring fewer than their 10 home league goals.

However, the defence was far from secure in the first half as Palace launched wave after wave of attacks, much to the frustration of an increasingly edgy home crowd.

Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever, once again deputising for the injured Nelson Semedo, struggled in particular as Palace repeatedly made inroads down the Wolves right before he was forced off with what looked like a hamstring problem.

They improved after the break, particularly when Raul Jimenez was introduced, but were held at arm’s length by a well-organised Palace side.