Wilfried Zaha strike gives Crystal Palace the points at Huddersfield

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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.

Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha was involved in most of the good work from Crystal Palace as they won at Huddersfield (Mike Egerton/PA)

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.

Huddersfield went straight on the offensive after the restart. Kachunga was flagged offside as his header forced Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey into a point-blank save and when Billing volleyed home following a corner, referee Mason had already blown for a push by Jorgensen.

Town were gathering steam and were denied by the frame of the goal on the hour-mark when Aaron Mooy met Lowe’s cross with a thumping volley which struck the base of Hennessey’s left post.

Palace midfielder James McArthur then spurned a chance to kill the game with 16 minutes left when he fired over following more fine work from Zaha.

Town boss Wagner sent on forwards Isaac Mbenza and Laurent Depoitre for Jorgensen and Van La Parra as his side gamely sought to salvage a point.

Christopher Schindler shot over following Lowe’s free-kick and right at the death, as the Terriers laid siege on Palace’s goal, Billing’s goalbound volley was deflected wide.

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