Huddersfield equalled the record for the earliest relegation in a Premier League season as second-half goals from Luka Milivojevic and Patrick van Aanholt earned Crystal Palace all three points at Selhurst Park.
The Terriers’ defeat, combined with victories for Burnley and Southampton, confirmed the visitors’ demotion back to the Championship.
Huddersfield, who have propped up the table since December, join Derby County and Ipswich Town as the only teams in Premier League history to be relegated with six games left to play.
Milivojevic opened the scoring in the second half, sending Ben Hamer the wrong way from the penalty spot after Wilfried Zaha had been fouled by Juninho Bacuna.
Patrick van Aanholt’s composed finish secured a valuable victory for Palace, who move eight points clear of the bottom three.
Huddersfield spurned several chances to open the scoring, but they failed to make the most of those opportunities as their two-year stay in the Premier League came to an end.
- Relegation hard to take – Schindler
- Saturday’s Premier League stats
- What happened in the Premier League on Saturday?
Where did it all go wrong for Huddersfield?
Having started the day 16 points adrift of safety, it was always going to take a remarkable turnaround for Huddersfield to preserve their top-flight status for a third season.
The Terriers’ energetic and fearless approach under David Wagner last term endeared them to neutrals as they achieved what many regarded as impossible by avoiding an immediate return to the second tier.
Life has been much more difficult this season.
Wagner left the club by mutual consent in January with the club eight points adrift at the foot of the table having taken only 11 points from 22 games.
Siewert has been unable to spark a recovery, losing eight of his nine league games in charge with the sole exception a win at home against Wolves in February.
One of Town’s main problems has been their lack of goals. They have scored only 18 in their 32 games, finding the net just once away from home in 2019.
They were unfortunate not to make the scoresheet at Selhurst Park, with Chris Lowe twice forcing fine saves from Vicente Guaita.
The Spanish goalkeeper produced a one-handed stop to prevent the defender’s header from nestling in the back of the net, before tipping another goal-bound effort past the far post.
Karlan Grant also went close to giving the visitors the lead before half-time, but the former Charlton man failed to direct his effort on target.
The Huddersfield players received a warm reception from the travelling Terriers fans at the end of the game, but Burnley’s win over Wolves and Southampton’s victory at Brighton mean Siewert’s side will be playing Championship football again next season.
Palace edge closer to safety
Palace have endured scoring problems of their own this season, particularly at Selhurst Park.
Roy Hodgson’s side had managed just 11 goals in their 15 home league games prior to Saturday’s encounter, while only Fulham and Huddersfield have collected fewer points in front of their own fans in 2018-19.
The Eagles were aided by the inclusion of their talisman Zaha, who was passed fit to play having been a doubt with a hamstring injury.
The Ivorian was a constant thorn in the Terriers’ side and played a crucial role in helping Hodgson’s team break the deadlock, twisting and turning on the edge of the area before winning his side a penalty following Bacuna’s foul.
However, the former Manchester United man will be disappointed not to have got his name on the scoresheet after missing two gilt-edged opportunities in the second half.
Zaha failed to get his shot off in a one-on-one situation with Hamer, before firing wide of the target with only the Huddersfield goalkeeper to beat.
Andros Townsend was just as wasteful, twice firing wide from promising positions on the edge of the area.
Fortunately for Hodgson’s team, they were not made to rue their profligacy as Van Aanholt put the seal on a priceless win that puts clear daylight between Palace and the bottom three.
Man of the match – Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace)
Terriers’ fate sealed with plenty to spare – the stats
- Huddersfield Town have been relegated with six games to play – the joint-earliest in terms of games in the Premier League era (Derby County – 2007-08 and Ipswich Town – 1994-95).
- Only Derby, who were relegated on 29 March in the 2007-08 campaign, have been relegated sooner than Huddersfield Town in a Premier League season.
- Huddersfield have failed to score in 38 of their 70 Premier League games (54.3%) – the highest such percentage in the history of the competition.
- Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has won four games in all competitions against Huddersfield as Eagles boss, more than against any other club.
- Huddersfield boss Jan Siewert is the first permanent Premier League manager to lose his first five away matches in the competition since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2013-14, when the Norwegian was Cardiff City manager.
- Luka Milivojevic (22) is now the outright third highest goalscorer for Crystal Palace in Premier League history, behind only Wilfried Zaha (30) and Chris Armstrong (23).
- Crystal Palace have scored nine penalty goals in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.
- Milivojevic has scored those nine penalties; only four players have scored more in a single season, with Steven Gerrard the last player to do so in 2013-14 (10).
- Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has won more penalties than any other player in the Premier League this season (5).
‘We’ve got to come back strong’ – what the managers said
Huddersfield Town manager Jan Siewert, speaking to BBC Sport: “It is hard to say what I am feeling, disappointment of course. It sums the season up that a penalty decides the direction. I haven’t counted but we’ve conceded maybe eight to 10 penalties this season.
“When you go into the dressing room at half-time and get applause from the opponent you must have done something right. But it is not enough to win games in the Premier League.
“For me in life there is failure and success and it belongs together, as a club we have to learn from the failures. The performance proved it in a way, we’ve got to go through all the details and come back strong.”
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, speaking to BBC Sport: “I feel relief, the first half was nothing like what we wanted it to be. Fortunately they were not creating better goal chances but they had more of the ball and looked in control with us out of sorts.
“I must say at half-time things were looking bleak. We made a few tweaks and moved Wilf [Zaha] up front. It took until the 74th minute to score, that goal from the spot was a such a relief.
“Congratulations to Huddersfield, they are technically relegated but should be proud of their performance because they tested us. So in the end I’m happy we got the result. It lifts us to 36 points which, depending on results, might be a nice buffer from the bottom three.”
Palace face Tottenham Hotspur in the first game at Spurs’ new stadium on Wednesday, 3 April (19:45 BST kick-off), while Huddersfield return to action on Saturday, 6 April at home to Leicester (15:00).
- 3van Aanholt
- 7MeyerSubstituted forMcArthurat 45′minutes
- 10TownsendSubstituted forKouyatéat 80′minutes
- 23BatshuayiSubstituted forBentekeat 73′minutes
- 14J Ayew
- 7BacunaSubstituted forWilliamsat 80′minutes
- 21PritchardSubstituted forStankovicat 90+4′minutes
- 15LöweSubstituted forKachungaat 80′minutes
- Lee Probert
- Shots on Target
Match ends, Crystal Palace 2, Huddersfield Town 0.
Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 2, Huddersfield Town 0.
Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Jon Gorenc Stankovic replaces Alex Pritchard.
Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Luka Milivojevic.
Attempt blocked. Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Danny Williams.
Attempt saved. Christopher Schindler (Huddersfield Town) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Alex Pritchard with a cross.
Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Scott Dann (Crystal Palace).
Goal! Crystal Palace 2, Huddersfield Town 0. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.
Attempt missed. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Christian Benteke.
Tommy Smith (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace).
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Christopher Schindler.
Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luka Milivojevic with a cross.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ben Hamer.
Foul by Erik Durm (Huddersfield Town).
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt saved. Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alex Pritchard.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Cheikhou Kouyaté replaces Andros Townsend.
Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Danny Williams replaces Juninho Bacuna.
Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Elias Kachunga replaces Chris Löwe.
Attempt missed. Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Goal! Crystal Palace 1, Huddersfield Town 0. Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Penalty conceded by Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town) after a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha draws a foul in the penalty area.
Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town).
James McArthur (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Christian Benteke with a headed pass.
Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town).
James McArthur (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Christian Benteke replaces Michy Batshuayi.
Attempt missed. Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Tommy Smith with a cross.
Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Vicente Guaita.
Attempt saved. Karlan Grant (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal.
Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace).
Attempt missed. Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha following a fast break.
Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by James McArthur.
Offside, Crystal Palace. Jeffrey Schlupp tries a through ball, but Michy Batshuayi is caught offside.
Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town).