De Boer: Mid-table at Palace will feel like a title win

Steve Mounie

Steve Mounie

Frank de Boer will be the seventh different manager in nine seasons in the dugout for Crystal Palace on opening day in the Premier League (Steve Coppell, Alan Smith, Iain Dowie, Ian Holloway, Keith Millen and Alan Pardew).

If Palace were providing the latest demonstration of poor defending already regularly seen in the opening weekend of the new Premier League season, they were also showing why they struggled against relegation during the last.

Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek improved on his debut when he was switched to central midfield after half-time with some surging runs and his through ball almost played in Zaha who was denied by the tenacious Huddersfield defence. They took the lead in the 24th minute after Christopher Schindler's near post flick met Mathias Zanka. Ward's own goal and then a thumping header by Mounie within two first-half minutes gave the Eagles a sucker punch from which they could not recover. Aaron Mooy whipped in a fantastic cross where record-signing Steve Mounie leaped highest before powering a bullet header past Wayne Hennessey.

"A start like this is unbelievable", said the Benin worldwide.

It should've been three or four soon after too.

Andros Townsend replaced the injured Luka Milivojevic at the start of the second half for Palace, and the hosts did the pressing early in the second half, Benteke superbly denied a diving save from Lossl following a Patrick van Aanholt corner.

"They have nothing to lose in this game whereas we do".

Scott Dann had a big chance after rising at a corner, but instead, he fired wide from seven yards as Palace spurned their opportunities to get back into the game.

The efforts of Christian Beneteke and Wilfried Zaha were not good enough to haul Palace back into the game, and Mounie's assured first-time finish made sure of the points 12 minutes from time.

Only an exceptional last-gasp, sliding tackle from Ward prevented Tom Ince from putting Huddersfield 3-0 up after the forward was through one-on-one with Hennessey, while Palace provided little in response before half-time. The away end shortly followed with chants of "We are top of the league!" before a very happy trip back to Yorkshire.