Crystal Palace climbed out of the relegation zone after a disciplined 0-2 win over fellow Premier League strugglers Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday.

By 90Min
March 17, 2018

Crystal Palace climbed out of the relegation zone after a disciplined 0-2 win over fellow Premier League strugglers Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday.

Palace defender James Tompkins was most alert to poke the ball towards goal from a corner, although his initial effort was saved by Jonas Lossl, he managed to pounce onto the rebound to put the away side ahead.

Eagles captain Luka Milivojevic doubled the away side's lead when he converted from the spot after Andros Townsend was fouled by Mathias Jorgensen in the box after a great break from the visitors.

The Terriers went into this match four points ahead of Palace, but the Eagles would’ve been quietly confident going into the game with talisman Wilfried Zaha and £26m summer signing Mamadou Sakho back from injury.

This relegation six-pointer was crucial for both sides, but more so for Palace after a run of no Premier League wins in their last seven games, with their last victory coming in January, while the home side had won two of their last four going into the game. Palace were a point adrift of safety, whereas Huddersfield sat four points from the danger zone.

Crystal Palace started the game like they meant business, with their first sighting of goal coming after the first minute when James McArthur latched onto Townsend’s corner from the left flank and fired at goal, but Huddersfield had enough bodies in the way to cover the danger.

Six minutes later the Eagles won a free-kick just 20 yards from goal and Milivojevic struck it expertly, curling his effort over the wall, but his strike didn't have enough bend to test Lossl.

It took 12 minutes to for the home side to get their fans off their seats after Sakho's pass hit 

Pritchard on the back before landing in the path of Mounie, but before the striker could latch onto the ball, Sakho redeemed himself as he scrambled back to clear the danger.

There was a real battle going on between the two sides and the first goal looked as though it would be vital. It came in the 23rd minute through Tompkins, after he latched on to Milivojevic's corner from the right flank and fired at goal. Lossl made the first save, but the rebound fell kindly for Tomkins, who placed his second effort into the net.

Huddersfield hadn't come from behind to win a match throughout the campaign, which may have had David Wagner worried on the touchline.

But there were positive signs for the home side as they put continuous pressure on the Palace back-line, upping the ante, but they just lacked the quality in the final third to create an opening.

It was instead Palace who came close to doubling their lead when Patrick van Aanholt did superbly well to power down the field before dinking the ball to Christian Benteke in the middle.The Belgian created space and laid the ball off to Townsend - but he fired just over the crossbar.

Huddersfield hadn't scored in 16 separate Premier League games this season and if the first half was anything to go by it's clear to see why this is. They didn't test Wayne Hennessey in the Palace goal at all in the first 45 minutes. 

The second half had a familiar feel, as the home side began to show some endeavor to get into dangerous positions but they lacked the attacking quality when it mattered most.

We had to wait until the hour mark to see the first real chance of the second half. And it was Tompkins again with the opportunity after the ball fell to him from a corner, he powered a shot near at the far post, his effort beat Lossl, but Steve Mounie was there on the line to clear the danger.

The Terriers finally had their first shot of the game just three minutes after Tompkins' chance, when Florent Hadergjonaj did superbly well to get a cross into the box as he raced towards the by-line, a slight flick from Milivojevic put the ball into the path of Mounie. However, the striker went for power rather than precision and his effort smashed past the post.

With 20 minutes left to play Jorgensen brought down Townsend after the attacker's surging run and the referee didn't hesitate to point to the spot. Palace captain Milivojevic coolly converted, leaving Lossl with no chance.

This win will lift a huge weight off of Roy Hodgson's shoulders as his side climb to 16th, sitting two points outside of the danger zone.

Wagner will feel disappointed with his side's performance as they just couldn't get a foothold on the game. Huddersfield still sit a point ahead of Palace, but now just three points from the relegation places.

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