The Premier League has certainly started to hot up, and this latest result for newly promoted Huddersfield Town provides confirmation of this, in what was easily their best performance of the campaign so far.
A dreary day at the Kirklees Stadium juxtaposed what was about to unfold in front of the 23,000 fans. Once again for Huddersfield, Laurent Depoitre started ahead of Steve Mounié, who perhaps still has a few niggling injury problems.
The first sight of goal fell to Romelu Lukaku, who got a powerful left-footed shot away under pressure, but it was directed straight at Jonas Lössl in goal.
It was a fiery start to the match, Anthony Martial and Tom Smith squaring up to each other off the ball after an earlier incident. It would seem that Martial was unhappy with the studs-up challenge that the Huddersfield defender made a few moments earlier, but both players were handed an early booking for the drama.Embed from Getty Images
Martial wasn’t taking his yellow card as a warning however, putting in a couple more cynical challenges that could have seen him take an early bath on another day.
At 0-0, Phil Jones picked up an injury causing him to slam the ground in frustration, before being forced off for Victor Lindelöf.
Huddersfield were making a very approvable account of themselves against the second-placed Devils, and the shock breakthrough came in the 28th minute for Aaron Mooy. The Australian began the attack by dispossessing Juan Mata in the United half, suddenly making it three attackers against two defenders. He laid the ball off to teammate Tom Ince on the left, who shot straight at De Gea. The rebound fell back to Mooy, who smartly fired the ball home.
Five minutes later, Jonas Lössl launched a spectacular kick forward from his penalty area. The United defenders could not deal with it, and Depoitre took the ball round De Gea, giving himself an open net to aim for, and it’s 2-0 to the Terriers.
The arches of the stadium proudly loomed over a sea of bouncing Town supporters, many realising that their team had just had doubled the Premier League goals that United had conceded all season, in the space of just five minutes.Embed from Getty Images
A penalty appeal was all that the Red Devils had to jump up and down about, when Herrera went down on the edge of the area. Another referee may have given it, but Lee Mason was unimpressed by the Spaniard’s protests.
For a good chunk of the second half, nothing much happened in all honesty. Mourinho made a couple of changes at the break, but it didn’t help the fact that Manchester United had been poor in the final third for the majority of the game. However, you cannot ignore the tremendous defending that Huddersfield had displayed for much of the match, especially if you consider their recent woes in the Premier League.
Jonas Lössl was finally called into action around the 75-minute mark. A good cross from Ashley Young was flicked on towards goal by Herrera, and Lössl made a decent save, parrying the ball away from danger.
In the 78th minute, Marcus Rashford latched onto a terrific cross from Lukaku on the right-hand side, and the Englishman’s header set up a nervy finish for the Terriers.Embed from Getty Images
In the fourth and final minute of added time, Zanka made an excellent block to deny Chris Smalling from bagging a very late equaliser.
It was too little too late in the end for Mourinho’s men, as David Wagner celebrated a famous win against Manchester United for the first time in 65 years.
The Terriers will go into their next match against Liverpool in much lighter spirit, while Manchester United face a tough match against Tottenham Hotspur as their Mancunian neighbours begin to pull away at the top of the table.
Written by Harry Mahon.