MX23RW : Monday, December 10 16:01:07
Mar 17, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​John Smith's Stadium
Attendance: 23,918
HuddersfieldHuddersfield Town
Crystal Palace
FT(HT: 0-1)
Tomkins (23'), Milivojevic (68' pen.)

Live Commentary: Huddersfield Town 0-2 Crystal Palace - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's Premier League coverage as Crystal Palace earn a 2-0 away win over relegation rivals Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium.
Live Commentary: Huddersfield Town 0-2 Crystal Palace - as it happened
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Crystal Palace made the trip to West Yorkshire to take on Huddersfield Town with Roy Hodgson's charges aiming to claim a crucial three points to help stave off relegation from the Premier League.

The Eagles took an early lead inside 23 minutes when James Tomkins bundled home from a corner, after profiting from some slack defending from David Wagner's side.

The visitors capped off a promising away display in the second half, when Luka Milivojevic finished from the spot to seal a vital 2-0 win on the road for Palace, who have temporarily climbed out of the relegation zone.

Relive all of the action with our minute-by-minute updates below.

2.00pmAfternoon all and thanks for joining us as we bring you live coverage of Huddersfield Town's crunch relegation clash with Crystal Palace in the Premier League. David Wagner's side currently sit four points above the drop zone, while Roy Hodgson's Eagles find themselves in the bottom three, although just a single point separates Palace and 17th-placed Southampton.

2.01pmHUDDERSFIELD TOWN STARTING XI: Lossl; Hadergjonaj, Jorgensen, Schindler, Malone; Hogg, Mooy, Quaner, Pritchard, Ince; Mounie

2.02pmHUDDERSFIELD SUBSTITUTES: Smith, Billing, Kachunga, Coleman, Lowe, van La Parra, Depoitre

2.03pmCRYSTAL PALACE STARTING XI: Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, van Aanholt; Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp, Zaha; Benteke

2.03pmCRYSTAL PALACE SUBSTITUTES: Cabaye, Loftus-Cheek, Lee Chung-yong, Cavalieri, Fosu-Mensah, Kelly, Riedewald

2.05pmThe big news for Town fans then is that Wagner has made one change following last week's goalless draw with Swansea City, as Collin Quaner takes the place of Rajiv van La Parra in attack. The hosts have decided to continue with Steven Mounie up top, while Aaron Mooy and Tom Ince form part of an attack-minded midfield.

2.07pmTown supporters will also be pleased to see the inclusion of key midfielder Jonathan Hogg for this crunch clash, while the hosts will also be boosted by the creative dynamism of Alex Pritchard.

2.09pmFor Palace, Wilfried Zaha makes a starting return to the side after a lengthy layoff with injury. The winger will be matched on the other side of the pitch by Andros Townsend, while James McArthur, Luka Milivojevic and Jeffrey Schlupp take up the other spots in midfield.

2.11pmThe visiting line will be led by Christian Benteke as a lone frontman, while Hodgson will be delighted to have both James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho featuring together at the back once more.

2.13pmComing into this clash, Town have suffered some problematic form over the winter period, but if you had offered Wagner the position of being four points clear of the relegation zone with just eight games left at the start of the season then the German coach would likely have bitten your hand off.

2.15pmAfter some key performances in the early stages of the season and the latter part of the autumn, Huddersfield's main issue has been consistency since the start of the new year. Town have claimed only seven league points in 2018, with two wins, one draw and six defeats during that period. Only West Bromwich Albion, the league's bottom side, have a worse record with just four points earned.

2.17pmWhat the Terriers have shown, however, is the character to pick up points when things just appear to be slipping. Wagner's side picked up vital wins over Bournemouth and West Brom in February, although they have not won since beating the Baggies. What better time to bounce back than today, then...

2.19pmWhat has proven a real issue for Wagner has been his side's profligacy in front of goal. Town have failed to score in a league-high 16 contests this term and their problems in attack came to a head during their recent defeat to Tottenham Hotspur and last week's goalless draw against the Swans, who were down to 10-man inside 11 minutes in that game.

2.21pmThe Terriers have been able to hang in there, though, now leaving them with a solid chance of avoiding the drop. A loss today would of course be critical, although they would still find themselves just about dangling above the bottom three with seven games remaining.

2.22pmThree points at home is the obvious aim for Town, however, especially given that Huddersfield still have Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City to face during the run-in.

2.24pmTown opened their league campaign with a humbling 3-0 win over Palace last August. Huddersfield could now complete a league double over the Eagles for the first time in the 20 seasons in which they have faced each other.

2.26pmAt times the John's Smiths Stadium has threatened to be a fortress for Town, but of late their home form has suffered greatly. Wagner's side have won only one of their past seven home matches in the Premier League.

2.28pmThe home coach will be hoping for a positive start for his side this afternoon, especially when you consider his team's struggles when going behind this term. Town have been able to rescue just one league point from a losing position all season. Added to that all but one of the Terriers' 15 league loses this campaign have come courtesy of two or more goals.

2.30pmAdd into the equation a Palace side have that suffered immeasurably from injuries of late, as well as a woeful run of form, then we surely have an enticing relegation scrap on our hands here today.

2.31pmThis Palace side is a real intriguing one and you might argue that had they not incurred so many injuries over the winter that they may well be out of sight of relegation by now.

2.32pmThat isn't the case, though, and Hodgson knows that his side still have plenty of work to do in order to beat the drop. Hodgson will be well aware that all of his side's hard-work will come undone if they do not perform at this crunch stage of the season.

2.34pmSomehow despite Frank de Boer's terrible start and their spate of horrific injuries, Palace do still have a chance of retaining their top-flight status. The Eagles find themselves in 18th spot in the standings on 27 points. Just one point separates them and 17th-placed Southampton, while 16th-placed West Ham United are just three points clear of relegation.

2.35pmThe club's form of late has been particularly damaging, though. Palace have now lost their last four league matches, having previously tasted defeat just four times in 19 contests.

2.37pmInjuries have of course played their part and none more so than the absence of Zaha, who returns here today. The frontman has missed nine league games this term and Palace have yet to claim a point without the Ivory Coast international in their side. His return could be crucial at the backend of the season.

2.39pmHodgson will be desperate for another three points that could make all the difference this season. Palace are actually winless in seven league matches and have conceded 15 goals during that period. The return of Sako at the back and Zaha up top will certainly fill the away fans with confidence this afternoon.

2.40pmLooking at the competitive history between the clubs, Huddersfield certainly have the upper hand. Palace have only won one of their last 13 league matches against the Terriers. The Eagles have drawn five and lost seven across that period.

2.42pmThe teams have already met twice this season. Huddersfield beat Palace 3-0 on the opening day of the new term, while Palace hit back to eliminate Town from the early stages of the EFL Cup last September.

2.46pmThe last time Palace picked up an away win over Town came courtesy of a 2-1 win in the Championship in 2000. Hodgson will feel that usurping that achievement today could be crucial to avoiding the drop come May.

2.48pmPREDICTION! This game comes at a crucial time for both clubs and you sense that three points either way would potentially propel the winning side on the path to retaining their Premier League status. A point would not to be too disastrous for Town, but Palace will certainly be going for the win on the road as they aim to climb out of the bottom three. When fully fit and functioning, Palace have at times been a joy to watch this season and the return of Zaha could be pivotal today. I'm backing the travelling side to pinch a slender 2-1 win.

2.50pmComing into the game, Wagner has been moved to praise the club for providing his team with stability throughout a testing campaign:

"Every player searches for and hopes for stability... It's all about having realistic expectations and then how you manage defeats in a row and then you have to have a chairman who trusts and believes in you.

"All of this is the case here at this football club. Even if we have a lot of disadvantages, and everybody is aware about all our disadvantages, this is for sure one of the advantages that this football club has - stability."

2.52pmAs for Hodgson, the Eagles boss has readied his side for what he sees as being a "tough" period the club:

"Every game will be a massive game, it is not helpful to build games up as 'win at all costs'. We know, and Huddersfield know, the importance of the game.

"This year is exceptional. Normally there's at least three groups in the table: the top six or seven, another six or seven and then the bottom teams. There's not much between the bottom half this season. But this will be a tough period in these last eight games."

2.54pmHere's a quick glimpse of the Town players warming up ahead of kickoff. It's safe to say that it's a tad chilly up in West Yorkshire:

2.56pmWith just a little under five minutes until we get underway, here is a quick recap of today's starting XIs:

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN STARTING XI: Lossl; Hadergjonaj, Jorgensen, Schindler, Malone; Hogg, Mooy, Quaner, Pritchard, Ince; Mounie

CRYSTAL PALACE STARTING XI: Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, van Aanholt; Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp; Zaha, Benteke

2.58pmThe players are now starting to gather in the tunnel ahead of this game. The atmosphere inside the John Smith's Stadium is fantastic as the home fans aim to will their side towards safety...

1 minKICKOFF! Here we go then, Mike Dean gets us underway with Palace kicking off in all black...

2 minClappers galore inside the John Smith's as the fans aim to create an atmosphere worthy of this crunch clash. It's Palace who make the best in roads first up, as Townsend wins a cheap corner early on. Milivojevic whips in the delivery to an unmarked McArthur at the back-post, but Town eventually pull themselves together to make the block and clear.

3 minPalace are making all of the positive moves here. Benteke drops deep to set something up as he then pulls the ball wide to Zaha. The frontman drives down the left before cutting inside and seeing his shot deflected away for a corner, which eventually comes to nothing.

4 minMounie is forced to drift wide on the right to collect a through-ball. The striker has nobody to aim for in the middle, although his hopeful cross almost causes Hennessey some issues before landing on the roof of the net.

6 minPalace's energy is starting to cause Town some problems, this time as Schlupp's tenacity sees him beat Mooy to a loose ball and win a free kick 25 yards out from goal. Zaha territory...

7 minCLOSE! It's Milivojevic who steps up, though, to bend a curling effort just wide of the top corner. Lossl might just have had it covered, but it's a decent opening effort from the visitors.

9 minThings haven't quite gone Town's way in the opening moments as they try to get a collective foot on the ball. Benteke looks alive in the opening exchanges and he is already making some positive runs beyond the hosts' defensive line.

11 minVan Aanholt gets the chance to break away on the counter, but his pass is misplaced and Town gather back possession just when Palace appeared to be threatening.

12 minCLOSE! Sako completely loses his concentration and passes the ball straight to Mounie, who finds himself one-on-one with the keeper. The striker doesn't quite bring the ball under control, allowing the centre-back to make amends with a wonderful sliding tackle to prevent an almost-certain opener.

14 minPalace have just had a couple of moments where the counter looked promising, but the final pass has gone amiss just when it matters most. It's been a bright opening here, with Palace appearing slightly more threatening than the hosts.

16 minSako needs to be careful here... Again the centre-back is robbed by Pritchard this time, although Tomkins does well to spot the danger and make a terrific challenge to prevent a Town breakaway.

18 minBLOCK! Dean plays a perfect advantage for Palace and it allows Zaha to drive away on the counter. The playmaker soon slips in Benteke who pushes down the left channel. After coming inside and getting his head up to shoot, Schindler gets across to make a vital block before the frontman can test Lossl.

20 minSUBSTITUTION: Pure frustration for Palace as Schlupp finds himself on the deck and he will now be replaced by Yohan Cabaye. Yet another injury for Palace. Hodgson looks chuffed on the bench.


23 minZaha gets another chance to run at the Town defence and it takes all of three defenders to force him out for a corner. The delivery into the middle is a teasing one, which both Mounie and Hogg fail to deal with. The second ball eventually drops kindly for defender Tomkins, who bundles it home to notch his second of the season for Palace.

25 minWhat do Town do now? Palace have shown more of an attacking threat and have looked the more likely to score. The Terriers soon spring into action, though, as Quaner breaks down the right and is able to cut a clever ball back for the run of Pritchard, who is thwarted by a terrific retreating challenge from Milivojevic.

27 minPalace are doing their best to seize their lead as they look to break Town's play up in the middle. It's Cabaye who shows great experience this time, roughing up Hogg just as Huddersfield look to break from midfield.

29 minWagner will be slightly frustrated by his side's performance, they haven't approached this with the kind of energy you might have expected before the game. Palace have a lead and looked a little too settled for Town fans' liking.

31 minIt's Quaner again who aims to drive his side back into the contest as he breaks through the middle. The winger soon shifts the ball to Mouine, who attempts a first-time chip back to his teammate beyond the defence, although Tomkins reads the play and is able to clear.

33 minTown are just starting to tick now as Malone gallops into space down the left flank before turning a cross into the middle. It's Sako who has the reading of things this time and he comes across to cut the move dead with Mounie lurking in the box.

35 minPalace break for the first time in what seems like an age and it comes via Zaha. The frontman tries to cut into the left side of the box with some neat skill, although Hadergjonaj shows some outstanding composure to stand his ground and make a clean tackle.

37 minThe hosts are now growing into this contest and Malone is fed cleverly by Pritchard into the box. Thankfully for Palace, Tomkins is able to shuffle over and intercept before the left-back can fire on target.

39 minThe crowd are urging their home side forward as Town push for the leveller. Ince aims to get the better of Wan-Bissaka over on the left this time, but once more Palace are up to the task and the youngster makes a good tackle to deny the winger.

41 minThe visitors are really having to dig in here to protect their lead before the break, but Palace have so far proven capable of holding firm. The visitors absorb some pressure and then spring forward on the counter where Benteke feeds Townsend. The winger finds himself 25 yards out from goal and aims to shoot, although his effort is always rising and never threatens to test Lossl.

43 minBenteke has offered a fantastic outlet today and he has won pretty much every ball looped towards him up top. He looks a different man to the one who had struggled so obviously throughout the winter period.

44 minTown get the chance to turn a set piece into the box from deep down on the left flank. It's a poor delivery from Mooy, though, who cannot beat the first man as Sako leaps up to head clear.

45 minWe are going to have two minutes of additional time in the first half here in West Yorkshire...


3.49pmMike Dean calls time on an entertaining first half at the John Smith's Stadium. Palace have shown much more energy than the hosts and are arguably good value for their half-time lead.

3.52pmHodgson will be quietly ecstatic given that Town now have to do all of the running in the second half. With a one-goal advantage, Palace will likely be able to profit on the break in the second half, especially with the pace of Zaha and Townsend. The Terriers have a lot of work to do in order to get back into this encounter.

4.00pmWhat will Wagner do in the second period? Town perked up after the goal and the coach might just give his charges some time to make amends before making any changes.

4.01pmPalace find themselves in a fantastic position now and it will be intriguing to see if they settle for this one-goal margin, or whether they push for a crucial second. They are certainly setup here to profit from absorbing pressure and breaking away when the opportunity is there.

46 minSECOND HALF! We are back underway with snow now teeming down inside the John Smith's Stadium. The hosts have also made a change with Chris Lowe replacing Malone at left-back.

47 minTown start brightly and they earn themselves a cheap free kick on the right. Pritchard whips it in towards the back post, where nobody gambles and Palace are left to clear with ease.

49 minPalace are doing their best to take any sting out of Town early on here as they move the ball about languidly throughout midfield.

50 minTomkins has been excellent this afternoon and again he comes across to cut out the run of Pritchard down the left, providing some standout backup for youngster Wan-Bissaka.

52 minLowe has drifted into some difficult positions on the left since his introduction and he does well to cross into the box, although Milivojevic retreats well from midfield to make a good interception with Mounie looking to pounce.

54 minPalace get the chance to load the box and lump a long ball forward from inside their own half. It looks as though Benteke might just bring it down and volley towards goal, only for referee Dean to stop play for a foul from the frontman.

55 minPENALTY SHOUT! Benteke should do much better here. Palace storm away on the break and Cabaye slips the striker in behind the defence. Benteke twists and turns to try and beat Jorgensen inside the box, before going down rather easily. Dean waves play on and Town are able to clear. Replays suggest that the defender might have got a little lucky. There was different contact and a pull on Benteke's shoulder...

57 minPalace still appear to be setup comfortably to keep Town out. Zaha charges down the left now and comes inside to try and feed Benteke, but the frontman's first touch is poor and the Terriers are able to intercept and break up the play.

58 minYELLOW CARD! Dean has let things go for most of this afternoon, but he finally steps in to book Cabaye following a rather rash tackle on Ince.

60 minMilivojevic has been everywhere today. This time the midfielder drives towards the Town box before putting Hogg under pressure to concede a corner.

61 minSUBSTITUTION Town make another change before the corner as van La Parra replaced Ince on the left.

61 minCLOSE! From the resulting corner, Tomkins is again left to drift free and he collects the second ball at the back post, before firing back across goal towards the far corner. It looks like the centre-back is to collect his second of the game, only for Mounie to clear brilliantly on the line.

63 minCHANCE! More pressing allows Palace to break two-on-two with the Town centre-backs. It's Benteke driving at goal with Townsend on the overlap, but the striker cannot find the required quality to pick out the winger.

64 minCHANCE! A wild few minutes here... Town go racing down towards the other end where the ball is cut back from deep into the box. Tomkins fails to get his head on the ball, allowing Mounie to thrash a shot into the side netting at the back post. That was certainly Huddersfield's best chance of the game...



68 minIs this game over? Palace catch Town on the break and Townsend races forward and breaks into the box. Jorgensen is the retreating defender and he mistimes a poor slide tackle to bring the winger down inside the area. Milivojevic makes no mistake from the spot by sending Lossl the wrong way to make it 2-0 to the visitors.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Town are going for broke now as Pritchard comes off to be replaced by Elias Kachunga for the remaining 20 minutes here.

72 minWagner will be furious, Town have been able to offer such little resistance today. Palace have been clinical and they are fully deserving of their two-goal lead.

74 minSome great skill from Wan-Bissaka sees the right-back break inside the right channel in the box and he picks out a chipped cross for McArthur. The midfield flicks his effort towards the back post, but Benteke cannot manage to find the crucial flick back towards goal.

76 minThe snowfall is getting seriously heavy now and it might just be causing some visibility issues for the players. Town turn in a corner, but Wan-Bissaka keeps his cool to head clear under pressure from Kachunga.

78 minYELLOW CARD! Town have been completely off the pace here and Mooy shows his frustrations with a late challenge on Zaha. Both home holding men are now on a booking.

80 minIronic cheers from the Town fans as the home side finally get away their first shot on target, which is saved comfortably down low by Hennessey in the visiting goal. It's been an odd showing from the home side to say the least...

82 minNever have Palace looked so comfortable desperate their precarious position in the standings. You have to applaud the visitors for their composure here, they have taken there chances and defended with a great deal of confidence on the road.

84 minTomkins is moving like a Rolls Royce at the heart of defence, this time as he steps forward to plant a commanding header forward and stave off any pressure from Mounie.

86 minToo little too late here from Mounie, who comes inside and fires his shot towards goal. It doesn't have enough on it to test Hennessey, who makes a comfortable save.

88 minCLOSE! Palace want more... Cabaye winds one up from distance this time that has Lossl scrambling, but the effort eventually flies wide without testing the home stopper.

89 minSUBSTITUTION: Palace are taking no chances with Zaha after he takes a knock. Loftus-Cheek makes a return to the side after injury as he comes off the bench to replace his teammate.

90 minWe are going to have four minutes of extra time...

90+2 minTown are continuing to throw players forward, but these efforts are coming far too late from the hosts. Palace are continuing to hold firm despite the pressure. Hodgson will be delighted.


4.58pmWhat a performance from Palace, who now have a strong platform to build from heading into seven crucial clashes. The victory lifts Palace out of the relegation zone at least until Southampton play again in a few weeks' time. It was the perfect away showing in many ways, clinical going forward and resolute at the back. As for the Terriers, Wagner's men are under some serious pressure now as they try to beat the drop. That's going to be all from me, thanks for joining us!

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Steve Mounie celebrates getting the Terriers' second during the Premier League game between Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth on February 11, 2018
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