Aston Villa boost survival hopes against Palace; Wolves go sixth





London - By Nate Williams, - Premier League strugglers Aston Villa grabbed a lifeline on Sunday after they conquered Crystal Palace 2-0 to boost their chances of survival.
Trezeguet scored both goals either side of half-time to ensure Villa are now four points from safety with a tally of 30 in 18th place.
At the other end of the table, Wolverhampton Wanderers moved back to sixth after a 3-0 victory over Everton.
Crytsal Palace will feel aggrevied by the video assistant referee (VAR) after Mamadou Sakho's sixth-minute goal, which went in off his shoulder, was ruled out for handball.



 
Aston Villa meanwhile will be working with police to investigate one of their fans who racially abused Palace striker Wilfried Zaha on social media. 
Zaha revealed before the game a set of screenshots on his Twitter account showing he had been sent images of the Ku Klux Klan by the fan, known as "jackdolan_avfc," on Instagram with a threatening message of "you better not score, you black c***." 
Aston Villa said: "We deplore the disgusting racist messages. When the culprit is identified AVFC will issue a lifetime ban." 
Wolves took the lead from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time after Daniel Podence was tripped by Everton defender Lucas Digne. Raul Jimenez then stepped up to dispatch his 25th goal this season for a 1-0 lead. 
Immediately after the second-half restart, Belgium’s Leander Dendoncker doubled the advantage by heading in a free-kick from Pedro Neto before Diogo Jota finished off Ruben Neves' long pass. 
The victory means Wolves now have 55 points, three behind fifth-placed Manchester United, which could be enough for a Champions League place if Manchester City's European ban is upheld Monday. 
"It was not our main objective," said Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santo when asked about aiming for a Champions League position. 
"It's not about that, it's about trying to create and raise standards so we become a better team."
Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton remain rooted to 11th on 45 points after their 14th loss of the season. 
"It was a really frustrating day and performance. The spirit of the team was unacceptable," said Ancelotti. 
After Sakho had his goal disallowed by VAR, Tanzania’s Mbwana Samatta and midfielder Jack Grealish had opportunities to put Villa ahead. 
Home goalkeeper Pepe Reina was busy at the other end denying Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew. 
Villa were rewarded for their patience in first half stoppage time as Trezeguet punched home his back post strike to give Dean Smith’s men a half-time boost. 
Grealish thought he had earned Villa a penalty at the start of the second half after it looked like Patrick van Aanholt stood on his foot, but when VAR checked the decision, it appeared Grealish made the first contact and the decision was reversed. 
Trezeguet poked in Villa’s second on 59 minutes after the ball fell favourably to the Egyptian with no Palace defender near to challenge him. 
Benteke was red carded late on to complete a miserable day for the visitors.
Villa's relegation rivals Bournemouth have the chance to take back the 18th position, which Villa currently occupy, when they take on Leicester later Sunday. 
Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal also feature as Spurs host a midtable north London derby with one point separating them. 

Sunday, July 12th 2020
By Nate Williams,
           


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