Bournemouth picked up their first win in five games on Tuesday night as they edged past Huddersfield at the Vitality.
Clinical Cherries resist dogged Huddersfield
The Cherries ended their four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Huddersfield, moving them up to 6th in the league, albeit provisionally. Callum Wilson scored after just five minutes at the Vitality and after Ryan Fraser added the second on 22 minutes, it was a long way back for Wagner and his side.
It was in controversial fashion how Bournemouth went ahead though as Wilson, who looked to be standing in an offside position, muscled home a powerful header from Fraser’s cross. The Englishman returned the favour soon after, slipping in Fraser for a well-worked second. Huddersfield rallied with Terence Kongolo’s first goal for the club halving the deficit before the interval.
David Wagner’s men pushed for a leveler in the second half but failed to convert any of their 12 attempts on goal and were left to rue their missed chances. Wagner will take pleasure in the performance of his midfield though who dominated the Cherries throughout and ultimately deserved better.
Bournemouth’s win lifts them above Leicester, Manchester United and Everton, all of whom play on Wednesday. “A few weeks ago, we were playing champagne football but we lost our mojo and hopefully this will bring it back,” said Howe.
Quickfire start surprises the Terriers
Eddie Howe has built his team on sizzling counter attacks and rapid starts this term. They started with pace and aggressive directness again with Fraser, Wilson and King running into channels and looking to create chances; this caused havoc in the three-man Huddersfield backline right from the off.
Huddersfield perched perilously one point above the relegation zone and they struggled to contain the intelligent and incisive home attack early on. It was no surprise to see Wilson breaking the deadlock and scoring another goal against Huddersfield and after enjoying a hattrick in this fixture last season, his expertly timed header added another one to the collection.
The three musketeers shine for the Cherries
Callum Wilson will grab the headlines again after notching up his eighth goal of the season, however, Howe will be pleased with the way his side’s attacking trio went about their business once more.
The movement of Wilson and King leaves a lot of space for Fraser to roam around and exploit his pace, which results in Howe’s men displaying some eye-catching football. Only Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has scored more league goals than Wilson this campaign, who is clearly brimming with confidence after his goal-scoring debut for England against the United States last month.
The ability of the attacking three to switch positions and confuse defences is a prized asset and one which has worked many times this season. The trio have now scored 17 of their sides last 25 goals and Bournemouth are blessed with the leagues highest assist maker in Fraser and the leagues second highest goalscorer in Wilson. Their form is certainly key to the Cherries season.
Begovic brilliance converts one into three for plucky Cherries
Despite having more than two-thirds of possession and having 16 more shots than their hosts, Huddersfield were unable to break down Howe’s defence and bring anything away with them. Some may think that with 23 attempts on goal, the Terriers would find scoring easy but unfortunately for them, no team in the professional leagues has scored fewer goals than them.
A stat Asmir Begovic would have loved to hear pre-game; however, it turned out to be a busy evening for the Bosnian, who kept his side’s three points intact. Bournemouth would not have won this game had it not been for the sharp reactions and agility of their shot-stopper, who made crucial saves either side of half-time to make sure the hosts retained their advantage.
The ex-Chelsea keeper started with a trio of saves to preserve Bournemouth’s two-goal advantage, the best coming from a close-range Laurent Depoitre header. Shortly after, he came to the rescue when Charlie Daniels’ poor defensive header fell to Mooy, whose low drive was well saved by Bournemouth’s number one.
Positive signs for Wagner and Huddersfield
Huddersfield manager David Wagner was left ruing his side’s slow start on the south coast.
“The goals we gave away were too easy and the opportunities we missed were presents. It was Christmas for Bournemouth,” said the German in his post-match interview.
Before kick-off, Howe had pinpointed the visitors’ size and strength as a potential danger and ‘Route One’ almost provided a comeback trail for the Terriers. They began the evening as the only team in the top four divisions yet to reach double figures in the goals scored column and with striker Steve Mounie suspended, their entire three-man defence combined to finally wipe out that statistic.
The goal eventually came from a combination of headers from defenders and physical battling from a set piece. Kongolo jumped well to direct home a header, ending a passage of penalty area head tennis involving Christopher Schindler and Mathias Jorgensen.
Although they couldn’t find a second, Huddersfield played well and dominated for long periods of the game. The out ball to Hadergjonaj was very effective in the first half, as he gave Daniels plenty of issues, whipping in dangerous balls that were defended well by the Bournemouth backline. What was clear though was Huddersfield’s need for a striker and one will certainly be on the shopping list come January.
Bournemouth entertain Liverpool in front of the cameras on Saturday with Huddersfield away to Arsenal on the same day.