Huddersfield made a dream start to their first Premier League season with a convincing 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Terriers, widely seen as contenders for relegation, produced a typically energetic display to outclass their hosts and climb to the top of the embryonic table.
After Joel Ward’s own goal had given them the lead, two fine finishes from club-record signing Steve Mounie gave David Wagner and his team the perfect afternoon.
Palace fans had started the season with renewed optimism after Frank de Boer’s appointment as manager, but his first competitive game suggested they could have another tough campaign.
After an unremarkable opening period, it was the visitors who began to threaten. From Aaron Mooy’s 23rd-minute corner, Christopher Schindler flicked on towards Mathias Jorgensen, whose cross was turned beyond Wayne Hennessey by Ward.
The hosts’ confidence suffered, and it took only three minutes for them to concede a second.
Mooy, with time and space on the left wing, sent an accurate cross into the Palace’s area and Mounie was left unchallenged to head his first goal for the club.
De Boer has adopted a more expansive 3-4-3 formation after abandoning the pragmatism instilled by his predecessor Sam Allardyce, and already that decision was appearing to come at a cost and has spoken with confidence of his plans for his new team.
Only a last-gasp sliding tackle from Ward prevented Tom Ince from putting Huddersfield 3-0 up after the forward was through one-on-one, while Palace provided little in response before half-time.
In a positive change, De Boer took advantage of the break to sacrifice Luka Milivojevic for Andros Townsend, who combined well with debutant Ruben Loftus-Cheek to create space to send a low cross just beyond the reach of Christian Benteke.
A well-timed through-ball from Ince sent Mounie on goal, but when the striker hesitated Timothy Fosu-Mensah stretched to dispossess him.
When Scott Dann wasted another chance by shooting over the crossbar, salvaging something appeared beyond Palace — but there was still time for the 22-year-old Mounie to score his team’s third.
In the 79th minute, substitute Collin Quaner broke and squared to the striker on the edge of the area, from where he finished classily to further reward a fine debut display.