Huddersfield 0-2 Crystal Palace: Eagles out of relegation spots with victory
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 17/03/18 7:18pm
Crystal Palace moved out of the Premier League drop zone after they beat fellow relegation rivals Huddersfield 2-0 on Saturday.
It was a strong away performance from Roy Hodgson's side, with James Tomkins poking home the opener in the 23rd minute to the delight of the away fans.
Luka Milivojevic added the second from the penalty spot in the 67th minute after Andros Townsend was fouled by Mathias Jorgensen in the area to send Crystal Palace two points clear of 18th place where they had started the day.
Huddersfield: Lossl (6), Hadergjonaj (6), Jorgensen (5), Schindler (6), Malone (6), Hogg (6), Mooy (6), Quaner (6), Pritchard (5), Ince (5), Mounie (6).
Subs used: Lowe (6), Van La Parra (6), Kachunga (6).
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Wan-Bissaka (7), Sakho (7), Van Aanholt (7), Tomkins (9), Milivojevic (8), Schlupp (7), McArthur (7), Townsend (7), Benteke (7), Zaha (7).
Subs used: Cabaye (7), Loftus-Cheek (n/a).
Man of the match: James Tomkins.
Huddersfield offered little in terms of a reply throughout the game at a snowy John Smith's Stadium, and remain in 15th on 31 points - one ahead of the Eagles.
Palace began well in west Yorkshire and could have taken the lead in the seventh minute as Milivojevic curled a superb free-kick over the wall, but it did not have enough whip to find the back of the net.
But they made the breakthrough in the 23rd minute as Tomkins took advantage of some sloppy Huddersfield defending. Milivojevic was involved again as he delivered a corner, which fell to the defender in the six-yard box. His initial effort was saved by Jonas Lossl, but he managed to poke home the rebound and put Palace ahead.
Huddersfield made one change with Colin Quaner coming in for Rajiv van La Parra. Crystal Palace made two changes with Wilfried Zaha and Mamadou Sakho coming in for Alexander Sorloth and Martin Kelly.
Huddersfield grew into the game after going behind with a number of crosses from both flanks going into the area, but they were unable to create a clear-cut opening as they went into the break on the back foot.
Palace continued to see the better of the chances in the second half, and had an effort cleared off the line in the 61st minute. It could have been another for Tomkins as he collected a Townsend corner at the back post, but his shot through the area was seen away by Steve Mounie.
But Huddersfield had their best chance of the game not long after. Florent Hadergjonaj crossed into the area and after a slight flick on from Milivojevic at the near post, the ball landed to the feet of Mounie but his fierce drive flew past the post.
Palace put the game to bed in the 67th minute, though, as Townsend was brought down in the area by Jorgensen and referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot. Captain Milivojevic sent Lossl the wrong way as he smashed home the penalty to seal victory for Palace.
- Crystal Palace have won seven Premier League away points in 2018 (W2 D1 L3), one more than they picked up in their previous 12 away games in 2017 (W1 D3 L8).
- Huddersfield have failed to score in a league-high 17 different Premier League games this season.
- Crystal Palace ended a seven-match winless run in the Premier League (D2 L5), securing their first victory since a 1-0 win over Burnley in January.
- Luka Milivojevic has scored more penalties than any other Premier League player this season (6).
David Wagner: "I think it was a deserved result. Credit to Crystal Palace, they deserved this win and we were below par today, especially with the ball.
"There is no doubt about the attitude or effort. They [the players] tried everything and they fought but in ball positions, we were not good enough and the distances were too big."
Roy Hodgson: "It is an important victory because we are playing teams around us at the bottom of the table and every time you get points, you improve your score and of course, take away from theirs.
"It was very encouraging today at least to come to a place like Huddersfield where everyone knows how hard it is to win and go away with the three points. I hope that is going to give us some type of boost and confidence for the future."
Man of the match - James Tomkins
It was a superb performance from Tomkins at both ends of the field. Not only did he show brilliant reactions to score the opening goal but he twice further collected corners in the box, but was denied by the Huddersfield defence.
He played a major part in Palace securing a clean sheet, nicking in front of players and making clearances at almost every turn. He helped clear up some mistakes by centre-back partner Mamadou Sakho, and was fantastic in keeping Huddersfield quiet.
Following the international break, Huddersfield will travel to Newcastle on Saturday, March 31 while Crystal Palace are also in action on the same day when they host Liverpool live on Sky Sports for a 12.30pm kick off.