Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Palace win relegation battle at Huddersfield

David Wagner calls on John Smith's crowd to be Credit Athena
Shannon Reynolds | 18 March, 2018, 07:06

Tomkins poached the only goal from a corner midway through the first half and manned an impeccable defensive effort at the John Smith's Stadium.

Milivojevic did the honours from the spot, sending Jonas Lossl the wrong way to clinch a win that, come the season's end, could be very important.

The victory moved Palace up to 16th place, on 30 points, a point behind Huddersfield, who are 15th, and with bottom pair Stoke and West Brom losing, it was the ideal day for Hodgson and his team.

After a bright opening some slack concentration from Mamadou Sakho saw the centre-back pass straight to Steve Mounie, although the striker was soon thwarted by an excellent recovering tackle from the Palace defender before he could test Wayne Hennessey. Huddersfield responded to going behind with Milivojevic superbly cutting out Alex Pritchard when he was about to shoot from eight yards out.

Town clearly hadn't learned their lesson, as just after the hour mark Tomkins was again left all alone at a corner only to this time stab his shot against the post.

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The negative for Palace was the sight of Jeffrey Schlupp and star forward Wilfried Zaha being forced off without apparent injuries.

Tomkins nearly scored a second after being found at the back post from another corner but Steve Mounie cleared and soon after Huddersfield's French striker smashed inches wide of the post.

Back in his natural habitat in the opposition penalty area, Mounie then lashed against the stanchion - an attempt that, for all their efforts, was Huddersfield's first shot of the match.

Palace were full value for the victory having taken the lead in the 23rd minute through James Tomkins before skipper Luka Milivojevic's 68th minute penalty secured the win.

Huddersfield have the spirit and organisation to survive too, on this evidence, but the lack of cutting edge in David Wagner's side - now scoreless in three - is a gnawing concern.

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