Huddersfield relegated from the Premier League after Palace defeat

Reuters , Saturday 30 Mar 2019

Huddersfield Town became the second team of the Premier League era to be relegated before the end of March after a 2-0 defeat by Crystal Palace away meant they slipped 19 points from safety with six games remaining.

Wins for 17th-placed Burnley and Southampton in 16th sealed Huddersfield's fate, as they matched Derby County's record, set in 2008, for the earliest relegation from the Premier League after 32 games.

Huddersfield were doing a fine job of frustrating Palace in the Selhurst Park sunshine, with the hosts rarely threatening until the latter stages.

Huddersfield's resistance was broken after Wilfried Zaha was fouled in the penalty area in the 76th minute, with Luka Milivojevic converting from the spot to put Palace in front.

Patrick van Aanholt's late goal sealed the win, as Huddersfield slumped to their 24th defeat of the season.

As the players left the pitch, news filtered through that Burnley's 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton's 1-0 victory at Brighton & Hove Albion had confirmed Huddersfield's relegation.

"I'm empty at the moment," Huddersfield captain Christopher Schindler said. "This season we've spent so much energy especially in the head. Nobody wants to have this on their CV, but obviously we had some brilliant years with this club."

Huddersfield came into the game on the back of three straight defeats, but had much the better of the early action, with Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita forced into two fine saves.

With Burnley already in front, Southampton took the lead in the 53rd minute at Brighton, and Palace, with their own survival of paramount importance, stepped up the pressure, with Andros Townsend and Zaha both going closing to breaking the deadlock.

Zaha, as ever, was Palace's chief menace, as he won the foul from Juninho Bacuna before the ever-reliable Milivojevic hammered the penalty home to put Huddersfield on the brink.

Van Aanholt's late strike from 12 yards sealed a crucial victory for Palace, who are now eight points clear of the relegation zone, while Huddersfield's two-year stint in the Premier League is now over.

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