Wilfried Zaha’s brilliant first-half goal clinched Crystal Palace a 1-0 win at Huddersfield, whose winless Premier League run continued.
Zaha, the game’s outstanding talent, underlined his importance to Roy Hodgson’s side with a moment of magic to seal their first league victory since the opening day.
Palace’s talisman, back in the starting line-up after a groin injury, tricked his way into the penalty area seven minutes before half-time and curled the ball into the top corner.
The Londoners rode their luck as Huddersfield chased an equaliser throughout the second half, but they held on and extended the hosts’ winless start to the league campaign to five matches.
Zaha turned Philip Billing inside out before laying on the game’s first chance for Andros Townsend, but his shot was blocked.
Huddersfield’s first clear opening arrived via the excellent Chris Lowe’s pin-point cross in the 17th minute, which Steve Mounie headed narrowly over the crossbar.
Several robust challenges from players on both sides caused tempers to flare midway through the first period.
Cheikhou Kouyate and Palace team-mate Luka Milivojevic were lucky to escape cautions, but referee Lee Mason booked Huddersfield defender Mathias Jorgensen for his late tackle on Zaha, who was shown a yellow card soon after for a challenge on Florent Hadergjonaj.
Zaha then showcased the better side of his game to give Palace a 38th-minute lead they barely deserved.
The winger slipped in between Hadergjonaj and Elias Kachunga after a couple of step-overs and feints and curled a superb shot into Jonas Lossl’s top left corner from just inside the box.
Zaha almost stole in for a second moments later, but shot tamely at Lossl as he slipped, while Huddersfield responded through Rajiv van La Parra, who took Lowe’s cross into the area neatly on his chest, only to hook his effort off target.
After the game, Zaha was very open about how he feels about his treatment during games, referring to rough challenges and a lack of protection from referees.
You can watch his interview below.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms