Wilfried Zaha’s remarkable solo effort in the first-half was enough to earn Crystal Palace a hard-fought win over the Terriers.
The Ivorian left the defenders for dead as he charged at the defence with pace, using his trickery to cut inside and curl a superb effort beyond the helpless Jonas Lossl.
Zaha was a doubt for the game after missing Palace’s 2-0 defeat against Southampton with a groin injury, but he was fit enough to start and prove the difference between the two sides.
The game started off slowly but Huddersfield were the better team and the first real chance of the game fell to Steve Mounie. Chris Lowe’s cross was right on Mounie’s head but he could only head over, sparing Wayne Hennessey’s blushes as the Welshman tried to claim the cross.
Hudderfield continued to pile the pressure on the Palace defence and they very nearly went ahead as Aaron Mooy fainted to take the free-kick, resulting in Lowe delivering a superb ball which just crept past the post having missed everyone in the box.
Huddersfield’s early pressure was not rewarded however as the Eagles went ahead through their starman Zaha. Jordan Ayew laid the ball off to Zaha who raced down the left-hand side before cutting inside to curl a spectatacular effort into the far corner to give Palace an advantage going into half-time.
The second-half was surprisingly quiet until the later stages when Huddersfield almost levelled through Mooy. Rajiv Van La Parra laid the ball off to Lowe who picked out Mooy on the edge of the area and the Australian hit an emphatic volley against the post.
Huddersfield again were almost felt hard done by when Crystal Palace had their second goal disallowed. Luka Milivojevic whipped in a corner which was spilled by Lossl under a challenge from James McArthur, allowing Cheikou Kouyate to poke the ball into the back of the net. The goal was disallowed due to an alleged foul on Lossl by the Scotsman.
The Terriers increased the pressure right until the end as Mooy’s effort from a corner was diverted towards goal by Mounie who could only watch the ball go agonisingly wide of the post as the Eagles held on to secure three points.
David Wagner made one change to the side that drew 1-1 away to Everton as Elias Kachunga came into the side in place of Adams Diakhaby.
Roy Hodgson was handed a major boost with the return of Zaha as he was passed fit to start after the dissapointing 2-0 loss to Southampton before the international break. James Tomkins was also brought back into the team with Christian Benteke and Martin Kelly making way.
The away team have won all three of the Premier League meeting between Crystal Palace and Huddersfield, making it the fixture with the best 100% record for away team victories in the competition’s history.
Palace have won all four of their top-flight away games against Huddersfield, keeping a clean sheet in each trip, their best 100% record against a single team in the top tier of English football.
Huddersfield are without a win in nine Pemier League games (D4, L5), their longest run without a victory in league football since 2015 (10).
Zaha has scored eight goals in his last ten league games, as many as in his previous 44.
Man of the Match – Wilfried Zaha
Zaha is yet again the difference for Crystal Palace. His pace and trickery is amazing to watch and you can see why Palace struggled against Southampton without his presence.
His solo run and finish is only something that Zaha could’ve done in that Palace team. He needs to be in the team every game as you can see just how crucial the Ivorian is to the South Londoners.
“The performance was good but sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. I think for sure this was our best performance of the season. The players created so many good opportunities, more than we’ve done in the first five games combined.”
“Apart from the last minutes when we gave some counter-attacks away, I think we controlled it defensively as well and limited them. They had one magical moment from Wilf Zaha but we should’ve defended better, we’ve seen goals like this from him before so I’m very disappointed with that situation, it was easy to avoid.”
“He [Wilfried Zaha] was a constant threat, wasn’t he? He was very close to scoring more than one goal especially early in the second half when we broke behind them on a few occasions but it’s nice that he’s the match-winner and it’s nice that the match-winner was such a good one.”
“He’s vitally important to us, there’s no doubt about that. He worries the opposition, his pace and his ability on the ball gives us that constant threat on the counter-attack if we are leading and the other team are trying to throw bodies at us.”
“This year what he’s done apart from his excellent dribbling skills and ability to go past people, he’s adding goals to his game. That’s yet another goal for him this season and we need people to start chipping in otherwise we’ll be relying on him a little too much.”
Huddersfield are in action next Saturday when they travel to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City. Crystal Palace are also playing that day as they host a struggling Newcastle United side at Selhurst Park.
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