Football: Huddersfield match record for earliest relegation from EPL

Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield Town players. Photo credit: AAP

Huddersfield Town have become the second team of the English Premier League era relegated before the end of March.

A 2-0 away defeat against 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 for the earliest relegation from the Premier League after 32 games, set in 2008.   

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.   

Meanwhile, Manchester City returned from the international break with a swagger, resuming their quest for four trophies with another dominant 2-0 win at Fulham.

The win sees them go back to the top of the English Premier League, one point ahead of Liverpool on 77 points, with both sides having played 31 games, but Juergen Klopp's men could return to the summit with a win over third-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Monday. 

Still, City, who have won the League Cup and are in the FA Cup semi-finals and Champions League quarter-finals, moved closer to an unprecedented, if still unlikely, feat with 14 matches left.

Elsewhere, Manchester United moved into fourth place, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his permanent reign off to a winning start with victory over Watford, with goals from Marcus Rashford and Antony Martial, before Abdoulaye Doucoure's late consolation.   

Leicester City marked an emotional day for the club on what would have been the birthday of late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter accident in October, by beating Bournemouth 2-0 at the King Power Stadium.               

In the day's late game, West Ham United, after six unbeaten matches at the London Stadium, came unstuck with a lacklustre 2-0 home defeat by Everton.  

Goals from Kurt Zouma and Bernard moved Everton above the Hammers into ninth, one point behind Wolves and Leicester.                         

Reuters