Two goals from record signing Steve Mounie helped Huddersfield secure a 3-0 win at Crystal Palace in their first Premier League game.
Palace struggled with Huddersfield’s pressing game right from the off, and the pressure told in the 23rd minute as Joel Ward put the ball through his own net to give the visitors the lead.
Three minutes later and it was two as Mounie powered home Aaron Mooy’s cross – the first goal by a Huddersfield player in over 10 hours of football – before the former Montpellier hitman made sure of the three points 12 minutes from time.
Frank de Boer’s 3-5-2 system didn’t really work for Palace, with Huddersfield not put under enough pressure, and eased to that debut success with surprising ease.
Three debutants for Palace, with Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jairo Riedewald all starting. Four new boys started for Huddersfield, with Tom Ince straight into the side.
The visitors almost got off to the perfect start, but Tom Ince tamely fired straight at Wayne Hennessey from a good position, but they didn’t have to wait long to net that first Premier League goal.
Mooy worked a corner well, curling the ball into the back post, Mathias Jorgensen diverted it back across goal, Ward was in the way, but could do nothing as the ball ricocheted into the net.
With Palace still reeling, Huddersfield made it two. Mooy again was at the heart of it, crossing from the left this time, the Palace defenders were caught on their heels, Mounie timed his leap to perfection, before heading into the top corner.
Crystal Palace:Hennessey (5), Ward (5), Dann (5), Riedewald (6), Van Aanholt (4), Puncheon (4), Milivojevic (5), Loftus-Cheek (6), Fosu-Mensah (6), Benteke (5), Zaha (6).
Subs:Tomkins (6), Townsend (6).
Huddersfield:Lossl (8), Smith (8), Jorgensen (8), Schindler (8), Lowe (8), Mooy (8), Billing (8), Kachunga (7), Palmer (7), Ince (6), Mounie (9).
Subs:van La Parra (6), Williams (6), Quaner (7).
Man of the match: Steve Mounie
After the break, Palace brought on Andros Townsend, and he almost created an opening for Christian Benteke six minutes into the second period, but the former Liverpool hitman missed his kick in the box.
Jonas Lossl, who had been enjoying a quiet afternoon in the Huddersfield goal for the first 55 minutes, was then called into action twice in quick succession. Firstly, he brilliantly clawed out Benteke’s header from a corner, before getting down well to block a low, fizzing effort from Zaha.
And with 12 minutes left on the clock, the Terriers made sure of that maiden Premier League victory, as Mounie capped a fine competitive debut by slotting home to ensure the Terriers finish the day top of the Premier League. What a debut.
- Crystal Palace have won only one of their last six opening day matches in the Premier League, losing four of the last five (W1 D1 L4).
- Huddersfield are the first team to win on their Premier League debut since Blackpool in August 2010 (4-0 v Wigan).
- The Terriers are just the fifth newly-promoted side to win on the opening day of the Premier League since 2008/09 (also West Ham in 2012, Blackpool in 2010 and Hull in 2008 & 2016).
- Frank de Boer has enjoyed just one win in his last seven league games as a manager (W1 D1 L5 with Internazionale).
The pundit – Matt Le Tissier
The win was thoroughly deserved. Even before the goals, they started so brightly. It was as convincing an away win as you are likely to see. Palace threatened a little in the second half, without really testing Lossl. Huddersfield were just really, really good. Mounie caused the Palace defence all sorts of problems. The back four were excellent and the goalkeeper made some fine saves when called upon.
Man of the match – Steve Mounie
While Montpellier struggled last season, Mounie didn’t. Fourteen goals in Ligue 1 is an impressive return in a team that finished 15th, and such form proved transferable, as he netted a double on his Premier League bow. His header for his first goal almost burst the net. Never stopped running, too.
Huddersfield’s first home takes place next Sunday, live on Sky Sports, against fellow Premier League new boys Newcastle.
Up next for Palace is a very tricky visit to Liverpool next Saturday.