Aaron Mooy of Huddersfield Town is challenged by Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace
Aaron Mooy of Huddersfield Town is challenged by Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace

Mooy nabs birthday EPL gong

SOCCEROOS star Aaron Mooy was named man of the match in the Premier League overnight, despite his Huddersfield Town side going down 1-0 to Crystal Palace.

The Aussie playmaker played the full 90 minutes at John Smith's Stadium as the Terriers were beaten by a sole Wilfried Zaha strike.

Mooy nearly got his side back on level pegging in the 58th minute in spectacular fashion, as he rocketed a powerful volley at goal - only to be denied by the woodwork.

On his 28th birthday, the midfielder "Played some eye-catching passes and was desperately unlucky not to score," according to the Huddersfield Examiner.

Zaha provided another reminder of his importance to Crystal Palace with a stunning solo goal in the 1-0 win. Palace has lost its last 12 league games when Ivory Coast winger Zaha has been absent, the latest of which came in the London club's previous game, a 2-0 defeat at home to Southampton before the international break. Roy Hodgson's side's performance was little better at Huddersfield, but a moment of individual brilliance from Zaha shortly before halftime earned a scarcely deserved victory.

He picked the ball up just inside the Huddersfield half, in what appeared to be an unthreatening situation. A few seconds later the ball was flying into the top corner.

Zaha used his pace and trickery to reach the edge of the box, before cutting inside to leave two defenders in his wake and curling in a powerful strike.

Huddersfield came close to an equalizer when Mooy volleyed against the post 20 minutes into the second half, but Palace defended gamely to hold on for its first win - and points - since the opening day of the season. Stretching back to last season, Huddersfield has won just one of its last 15 Premier League matches, scoring only five goals in that time, only two of which have come this season.