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November 24 2020 4.00am

Palace 0 - 2 Wolves

Thu Feb 7 2002 - League

The Eagles suffered their second home defeat in a row tonight as promotion-pushers Wolves triumphed 2-0 at Selhurst Park.

The Wolves goals came from Dean Sturridge and Shaun Newton. Ade Akinbiyi made his debut for The Eagles, but did not impress.

Wolves started brightly and took the lead in the 13th minute. Hayden Mullins, who had an outstanding game, failed to close down Sturridge at the edge of the box.

The Wolves man fired an unstoppable shot from 25 yards which went in off the crossbar to make it 1-0. Alex Kolinko clearly did not see the ball until it was in the net.

The Eagles rallied and Michael Oakes made a great save denying David Hopkin and twice Dougie Freedman and Akinbiyi could not quite connect to a goal mouth scramble.

It was an entertaining game, which could have gone either way with chances for both sides, but Wolves struck the killer blow with the second decisive goal.

Nathan Blake crossed from the left to Newton, who was allowed to take a left-foot shot from 15 yards by Danny Granville to score.

Man of the Match: Mullins - Outstanding at centre-half and was effective as ever bringing the ball out of defence

Post match comments:

Trevor Francis said: "It was a very impressive performance [by Wolves]. In all my time at Birmingham and now at Palace, it was the best I have seen them play.

"Wolves are a team who have played together all season and it showed all around. They defended well, in midfield the passing was energetic and the boys up front were very impressive.

"We had our moments when we could have scored but when it was 1-0, we really needed to get one back to stay in the game, but they scored another.

"Both goals were brilliant. Mullins let Sturridge turn in the box and the ball flew into the back of the net - it was magnificent.

"I'm very impressed with all of the players. Even when we were 2-0 down they all kept going and doing the right things. It just didn't happen for us.

"It wasn't the easiest of starts for Akinbiyi against a very confident Wolves team, but we have a week before our next game to work on things and I am sure we can improve."

Morrison said: "Wolves are a quality side and they're the best to have come to Selhurst Park this season. They will go up with Manchester City and the others will fight it out in the play-offs.

"We still have a chance of making the play-offs and we will never rule it out. I was disappointed at how the game went, but the pitch didn't help."

David Jones said: "We worked hard. In the first half they caused us a few problems but we came back at them hard.

"We've got good teams chasing us and it was important to win this game. We've got to keep on going and putting in performances like we did tonight.

"Faced with Akinbiyi tonight on I thought 'Do we change our shape or keep to our strength?' We kept to our strength and caused them problems.

"With the quality we have got we caught them on the break. The best form of defence is attack so at half-time I had a few words, because when we play at a high tempo we play at our best."

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Match Stats

Ground: Selhurst Park (Attendance: 18475)

Palace: Kolinko, Fleming, Mullins, Murphy, Granville, Hopkin (Gray 73), Riihilahti, Rodger, Freedman, Akinbiyi, Morrison.

Subs not used: Austin, Berhalter, Carasso, Kirovski.

Booking: Riihilahti.

Wolves: Oakes, Muscat, Butler, Lescott, Camara, Newton (Miller 89), Rae, Cameron (Andrews 46), Kennedy, Sturridge, Blake (Ndah 87).

Subs not used: Pollet, Murray.

Goals: Sturridge 13, Newton 65.

Referee: Mr E Wolstenholme

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