Wolves – Crystal Palace recap: Wolves kept control of its top six destiny by handing Crystal Palace a seventh-straight loss in a 2-0 win at the Molineux on Monday.
Daniel Podence and Jonny Otto scored for the sixth-place hosts, who can still finish as high as fifth and finish at Chelsea on Sunday.
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Wolves’ 59 points are three back of Manchester United and Leicester City. United has two matches left and one is Leicester’s lone remaining match.
Palace’s 42 points are 14th. It can finish as high as 13th or as low as 16th after finishing at home to Tottenham.
Three things we learned
1. Wolves engine room fires on all cylinders: Nuno Espirito Santo’s team has so many key contributors but the heart of the club’s midfield was especially shiny on Monday. Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho are a Portuguese power duo, the former providing industry and power while the latter blends experience, vision, and calmness into a total midfielder. They were clinical against a Palace bunch who wants to use work ethic and graft to make your day miserable.
2. Wolves eye UEL: Nuno Espirito Santo’s men can still claim 62 points which theoretically could put them past Manchester United or Leicester, but the pair meeting on the final day means at least one will finish above Wolves (Plus United has West Ham on Wednesday). It looks like it’ll come down to Spurs or Wolves for sixth and seventh, and an Arsenal win over Chelsea in the FA Cup Final would make seven just a place on the table. Here’s a good breakdown from a better man than me.
So if Spurs beat Palace on Sunday, they will need Chelsea to do them one of two possible favours to secure Spurs' Europa League place.
EITHER take something off Wolves at SB on the final day – Spurs get sixth.
OR Beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final and 7th place gets EL. (I think)
— Jack Pitt-Brooke (@JackPittBrooke) July 20, 2020
3. Hodgson shakes his head: Look you’d love to see better out of Palace, who overachieved in a big way for much of the season, but Roy Hodgson must look at the club’s run to the finish of the season and wonder if they could’ve had it unluckier. The Eagles had vague Europa League hopes when they started this losing skid by playing Liverpool and then Burnley, Leicester City, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Manchester United, and now Wolves. Every one of them was alive for European qualification or fighting against relegation. Finishing with Tottenham won’t make it any easier for a club who was simply playing for pride.
Man of the Match
Matt Doherty — A tackling machine who painted the right side of the heat map red, Doherty’s steal and assist on the opener was emblematic of his very best.
Wolves – Crystal Palace recap
Palace put together a terrific team play in the first throes of the game, James McCarthy stinging a pass to Jeff Schlupp that wound up with Jordan Ayew flummoxed in the heart of the box.
Raul Jimenez had a lively opening 15 minutes for Wolves, nearly dribbling into a scoring chance and hassling Palace.
Mamadou Sakho was forced. off with injury in the 22nd minute, limping up the stands.
Podence had a few chances before he put Wolves ahead in the 41st minute. Joao Moutinho chipped Matt Doherty into the box, and the Irishman cut it back for the Portuguese to nod home.
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Otto scored a classy goal in the 68th minute after a half-hour’s work of great work from Adama Traore, who built the play up with a powerful dribble from the right to find Jimenez and then Otto.
Otto cut left and then back to the right to turn and fire past Vicente Guaita in the 69th.