The dream start to the season continued for Huddersfield as Aaron Mooy steered them to a 1-0 victory and another composed clean sheet against fellow promoted side Newcastle.
A sold-out Kirklees stadium hosted its first ever game in the Premier League, with roughly 24,000 fans taking their seats to witness the historic event. Huddersfield started in a similar fashion to the game that brought them a 3-0 victory against Crystal Palace, some high pressing and aggressive tackles giving spectators a chance to warm up their voices.
For the first 25 minutes the Terriers were by far the better of the two teams, and Rajiv van La Parra looked to cause problems down the left side on his 50th league appearance for Huddersfield. Every corner taken by Mooy or Ince was a dangerous one, especially with Steve Mounié towering in the penalty area, and the harrying and quick attacking kept coming for the first 15 minutes.
Huddersfield attempted to take advantage of a nervous back four when some determined pressing won them the ball a number of times in Newcastle’s half. An extremely poor back-pass from Christian Atsu found its way to Matt Ritchie, who launched a powerful first time shot straight into Rob Elliot’s hands.
Despite the relentless pressure against them, Newcastle came the closest to going in front in the first half, Matt Ritchie’s terrific right-footed curling shot bringing the best out of Jonas Jössl, who’s fingertip save diverted the ball past the post. This was really the only significant chance that Newcastle had in the first half.
Mounié managed to nick the ball from the Newcastle defence from almost within their own penalty area, and pulled the ball backwards to Tom Ince who miscontrolled his first touch, meaning another chance went begging. This outlined the lack of quality in the final third that we witnessed in the first half.
The Terriers were quick out of the blocks after the break though, with the breakthrough finally coming in the 50th minute. An elegant finish into the top right-hand corner from Aaron Mooy sent his team into a deserved lead after he played a clever one-two with Elias Kachunga.
After this, Huddersfield held their lead expertly and their resilient pressing frustrated Newcastle as an agitated Rafael Benitez paced around the technical area. The Magpies did begin to test the Huddersfield defence however. On one instance, ball pinged around the final third and fell to Joselu whose shot could only be parried away by Jössl. The resulting corner came to Ayoze Pérez on the edge of the six-yard box, but he volleyed disappointingly over the bar.
Ultimately, Huddersfield defended their slender lead in a very composed manner and picked up another three points in their first Premier League campaign and will hope to continue defying the odds next Saturday when they take the long trip down to Southampton, a game which should present the biggest challenge yet for David Wagner’s men.
On the other hand, another miserable defeat for Newcastle without a goal will concern the Geordie fans, and their next few games are fixtures that may need to generate points for the Magpies.
Written by Harry Mahon.