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Match Reports

Report: Huddersfield Town 0-2 Crystal Palace

17 March 2018

Palace climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone after picking up a fine victory at Huddersfield Town thanks to goals from James Tomkins and Luka Milivojevic.

The Eagles dominated proceedings throughout and deservedly took the lead midway through the first half when Tomkins forced the ball home following a corner, and they sealed the points on 68 minutes when top scorer Milivojevic scored his eighth of the campaign after Andros Townsend was brought down inside the box for a penalty.

The Terriers offered very little in response as a clean sheet was comfortably secured at a snowy John Smith’s Stadium, making all the effort from the travelling Eagles worth it.

The visitors attacked their opponents from the first whistle and could have easily found themselves ahead within the first seven minutes after carving out a number of good opportunities. James McArthur saw a couple of shots blocked after Palace forced an early corner, and Wilfried Zaha had a shot from just inside the box deflected over before Milivojevic bent a free-kick a whisker wide.

However after a promising start the Eagles were dealt a blow when Jeffrey Schlupp picked up an injury and was replaced by Yohan Cabaye, but exactly midway through the opening 45 minutes the reshuffle didn’t matter as they grabbed a deserved lead.

Zaha won a corner on the left which Milivojevic swung into a crowded box, and a hacked clearance by Steve Mounie at the front post allowed the ball to drop to Tomkins. The defender saw his initial attempt saved by Jonas Lossl, but he was on hand to stab home the loose ball and register his second goal of the season.

With the lead secured, Palace continued to enjoy the most threatening moments of the half with Andros Townsend blazing well over after good hold-up play by Christian Benteke, and Wayne Hennessey went into the break having barely dirtied his gloves such was Hodgson’s team’s dominance.

They continued to be in control of proceedings after the restart, and on the hour mark they came so close to adding the all-important second goal. Once again a corner proved to be Town’s downfall as Townsend’s delivery to the back post fell nicely for Tomkins, and just as it looked as though he was going to complete an unlikely brace as his shot drifted towards the far corner, Mounie was in the perfect place to clear it off the line.

Three minutes later the hosts carved out their first opportunity of the game when Flo Haderjonaj’s cross fell kindly for Mounie who blasted it wide from a good position, and that proved costly as on 68 minutes the Eagles doubled their lead.

A slick counter-attack began with Zaha winning the ball on the edge of his own box, playing a one-two with McArthur and slipping in Townsend, who was brought crashing down inside the box by an ill-timed challenge by Mathias Jorgenson, allowing Milivojevic to net his sixth successful spot-kick of the season.

David Wagner’s team had shown little in the way of concern for Palace throughout and so it seemed unlike they would strike twice to deny the Eagles like Manchester United had done a couple of week previously, and Hennessey was called into action for the first time nine minutes from the end to make a routine stop from Rajiv van la Parra, who also belted one wide a few minutes later.

However, Palace came closest to adding to the scoreline when Cabaye saw a wicked shot ripple the top of the net from distance, and then in stoppage-time Lossl denied him from a similar range, but by that stage the three precious points were already safely in the bag.

Huddersfield: Lossl, Haderjonaj, Jorgensen, Schindler, Malone (Lowe 46), Hogg, Mooy, Ince (Van La Parra 60), Prichard (Kachunga 71), Quaner, Mounie. Subs not used: Coleman, Smith, Billing, Depoitre.

Palace: Hennessey, Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt, Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp (Cabaye 21), Zaha (Loftus-Cheek 89), Benteke. Subs not used: Cavalieri, Fosu-Mensah, Kelly, Riedewald, Lee.

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