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Wolves end winless run, Palace maintain good form, more misery for Huddersfield

Brighton eased their relegation fears but it wasn’t such a good day for Burnley or Cardiff City.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Cardiff City

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Cardiff City - Premier League - Molineux Matt Doherty of Wolves takes on Cardiff City's Joe Bennett. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

DIOGO JOTA AND Raul Jimenez scored twice in the space of 134 first-half seconds as Wolves eased to a 2-0 home Premier League victory over Cardiff City. Wolves’ win was a first in four top-flight games and tightened their grip on seventh place in the table.

The result was never in doubt after Jimenez scored his 11th league goal of the season in the 18th minute to double his side’s advantage. Cardiff, who stay in the relegation zone, have now lost three consecutive matches, conceding 10 goals in the process.

John Ruddy, making a first top-flight appearance since May 2016 as Wolves gave him game-time ahead of the FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United, had an early scare in gathering Aron Gunnarsson’s effort at the second attempt after initially fumbling.

But it was Wolves who struck twice in quick succession to seize full control. In the 16th minute, a magnificent passing move was finished off by Jota from 10 yards after the eventual goalscorer, Jimenez and Morgan Gibbs-White were all involved in the build-up.

Sol Bamba was to blame for the hosts’ second, losing possession to Jimenez in a dangerous area, the striker then seeing his improvised cross played back to him by Jota before completing a simple finish.

With Cardiff in disarray, Leander Dendoncker had time to hit the post and force a fine save from Neil Etheridge, while Bamba had to leave the pitch on a stretcher before the break.

Wolves, who replaced Jota almost immediately after the restart, should have extended their lead when Etheridge superbly denied Ruben Vinagre, after the wing-back opted to shoot instead of play in Adama Traore.

A third goal proved elusive, with the impressive Etheridge superbly keeping out Jimenez late on, but it mattered little with Ruddy not having a second-half save to make until the 87th minute.

Burnley 1-3 Crystal Palace

Burnley v Crystal Palace - Premier League - Turf Moor Wilfried Zaha scores for Crystal Palace against Burnley. Source: Nigel French

Wilfried Zaha starred and Michy Batshuayi scored again as Crystal Palace maintained their fine Premier League form with a comfortable 3-1 victory at Burnley.

Palace won their last away league game 4-1 at Leicester City and they triumphed easily at a windy Turf Moor, moving eight points clear of the relegation zone as a result.

Phil Bardsley’s unfortunate early own goal gave the visitors the advantage and Batshuayi then hit his second Premier League goal since joining on loan from Chelsea in January.

Zaha helped to create both goals and he got his own name on the scoresheet with a superb solo strike in the 76th minute to ensure Palace continue to look up the Premier League table, although Ashley Barnes hit a late consolation for Burnley.

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Huddersfield Town

Brighton and Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town - Premier League - AMEX Stadium Brighton's Florin Andone after their win against Huddersfield Town. Source: Gareth Fuller

Florin Andone was the hero against Huddersfield Town for the second time this season as Brighton and Hove Albion eased their relegation fears with a 1-0 home win.

On target in a 2-1 victory when these teams met in December, substitute Andone came to the Seagulls’ rescue again as he nodded in Anthony Knockaert’s cross 11 minutes from time.

The hosts had long been frustrated in their attempts to find a way through but a sustained period of pressure after a lacklustre first half eventually broke Huddersfield’s resistance, leaving Jan Siewert’s side 13 points adrift of safety.

In contrast, Chris Hughton’s men are now five points clear of 18th-placed Cardiff City, having celebrated a much-needed first league win of 2019.

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