May 22 2013 Latest news:
By Nick Wright at Selhurst Park
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Championship: Crystal Palace 3 Wolves 1
Andre Moritz scored two sensational free kicks as promotion-chasing Crystal Palace kicked off 2013 in style with their first win in six games against Wolves.
Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United target Wilfried Zaha has been the name on everyone’s lips at Selhurst Park of late, but midfielder Moritz stole the show here.
The Brazilian, who joined Palace during the summer after an unsuccessful trial at Rangers, struck two stunning 25-yarders either side of a Yannick Bolasie goal as the Eagles eased to victory.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake pulled one back for Wolves late on with a smart finish on the turn but the result never really looked in doubt.
After a frustrating run of four draws from their last five matches, the much-needed victory lifts the Eagles above Middlesbrough into third place, two points away from Hull City in second.
Manager Ian Holloway named an unchanged side from the 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest as he sought to get the Eagles back to winning ways.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors after eight minutes, when David Davis’s powerful effort from 25 yards flew over Julian Speroni and cannoned off the crossbar after Zaha had lost possession in midfield.
The in-demand youngster cut a frustrated figure in the opening exchanges but he soon found his swagger, jinking into Wolves’ box and pulling the ball back to Moritz, who could only drag his shot harmlessly wide from close range.
Zaha then went close himself, his shot skimming the roof of the net after 20 minutes following a clever one-two with Jonathan Parr.
Parr and Zaha linked up for a second time minutes later, when the full back’s cross was expertly controlled and fired at goal by Zaha, only for Roger Johnson to clear off the line.
Then came Palace’s brilliant opener after Zaha won a free kick 25 yards from goal. Moritz stood over it with his legs apart in a style reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Real Madrid superstar would have been proud of the stunning, curling effort that followed.
Eight minutes later Palace had their second, with Zaha again instrumental in the build up. The 20-year-old showed strength and poise to find a way through two Wolves tackles and his through ball was poked beyond Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme by the outstretched Bolasie.
Wolves were being overrun by the rampant hosts and Palace almost had a third just before the break when 22-goal Glenn Muray headed narrowly wide from Dean Moxey’s looping free kick.
Moritz’s second free kick stunner arrived seven minutes after the interval. Positioned 25 yards from goal again, the Brazilian this time opted for the far corner, wrong-footing Ikeme and sending Selhurst Park into raptures.
Palace were cruising and Wolves frustrations boiled over midway through the second half when Roger Johnson and Glenn Murray were both booked after a tussle off the ball.
Not long afterwards, Wolves’ Richard Stearman sent Bolasie flying over the advertising boards with a shoulder barge that angered the home fans.
But Sylvan Ebanks-Blake gave the visitors a sniff after 75 minutes when he controlled substitute Jamie O’Hara’s free kick and rifled a superb finish past Speroni on the turn.
Captain Mile Jedinak almost reinstated Palace’s three-goal lead shortly afterwards but his low shot was saved.
Wolves summoned former Premier League stars Jamie O’Hara and Jermaine Pennant from the bench during the second half but Palace held firm to take the spoils.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Moxey, Gabbidon (Martin 45), Ramage, Parr, Jedinak (c), Dikgacoi, Moritz (Williams 80), Zaha, Bolasie (O’Keefe 90), Murray. Subs not used: Price, Wright, Martin, Easter, Appiah.
Wolves: Ikeme, Stearman, Johnson, Berra, Foley (Pennant 80), Henry (c), Ward, Sako (Forde 60), Davis (Sako 60), Doyle, Ebanks-Blake. Subs not used: De Vries, Jonsson, Batth, Margreitter
Referee: Mr D Phillips