Nuno thrilled as Wolves embrace top-six progress
Nuno Espirito Santo, the Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach, paid tribute to his side’s staying power and progress after they achieved their record Premier League points total.
An ultimately routine victory over free-falling Crystal Palace
meant Wolves moved to 59 points, two more than last season’s total, when they finished seventh.
This win moved them back up to sixth place after their 56th game in all competitions, yet they have used a Premier League low of 20 players and still have their Europa League last 16 second-leg tie at home to Olympiacos to come.
“Progress season-on-season is the idea,” Nuno said. “We are improving, building and looking for the next challenge. We embrace that.
“It pleases me a lot. The credit is all for the players. It has been a long season; one calendar year. I think surpassing last season’s points is a fair reward for us.”
Daniel Podence, at 5ft 5in the smallest player on the pitch, headed his first goal in English football after a superb pass from 33-year-old Joao Moutinho, the oldest, to put Wolves ahead in the 41st minute.
Jonny clinched the victory midway through the second half with a shot on the turn after great work by Adama Traore.
It consigned Palace to a seventh straight defeat and they lost another player, Mamadou Sakho, to injury after 23 minutes. “It’s groundhog day for us,” said Roy Hodgson, the Palace manager.
Wolves (3-4-3) Patricio 6; Dendoncker 7, Coady 7, Boly 7; Doherty 6, Neves 7, Moutinho 6, Jonny 6; Traore 8 (Neto 81), Jimenez 6, Podence 8 (Jota 72). Subs Ruddy (g), Jordao, Gibbs-White, Saiss, Vinagre, Kilman, Buur.
Booked Coady, Traore.
Crystal Palace (4-4-2) Guiata 6; Ward 6, Dann 7, Sakho 6 (Kouyate 23), Mitchell 6; Townsend 5, McCarthy 6, McArthur 6, Schlupp 7 (Riedewald 73); Zaha 6, Ayew 6. Subs Henderson (g), Meyer, Kelly, Woods, Kirby, Pierrick, Gordon. Booked McCarthy.
Referee Peter Bankes (Merseyside).