The Terriers did their best to keep out the Hammers for most of the game, but sheer determination drove West Ham to their first win of the campaign.
In fact, West Ham perhaps began the game somewhat too determined to get some points on the board. The traditional bubbles had barely begun to disperse around the London Stadium as the returning Andy Carroll fizzed the ball across the 6-yard box, which rolled inches from Kouyaté’s outstretched leg.
13 minutes in, Michail Antonio picked out an unmarked Javier Hernández ten yards from goal, but the Mexican leant back slightly as his shot hit the crossbar, and a golden opportunity went begging.
The attacking coming from West Ham was all a bit frantic, and plenty of corners were won, none of which could find Andy Carroll in the box, who was playing his first game of the season after recovering from a thigh problem.
Before half time approached, Kouyaté squandered another of the best opportunities of the game, turning what should have been a fairly straight forward shot from outside the box into a complete miskick. Of the twelve shots West Ham had in the first half, only one hit the target. At least they had managed to keep Huddersfield at bay, the Terriers managing to conjure just one easily blocked shot of their own.
The Hammers were clearly seizing this game by the scruff of the neck, something Huddersfield were probably expecting but had not experienced fully yet in Premier League life. Nevertheless, the blue and white shirts refused to see their net bulge in the first half and the game was goalless going into the break.
The second half was a much more even contest as Huddersfield began progressing further into West Ham’s 3-5-3 formation. A shot of the technical area showed David Wagner clapping his team on who, at this point, had gone the longest time without conceding a goal of all twenty Premier League teams.
In the 63rd minute, Chris Löwe was taken off, allowing 26-year-old new signing Scott Malone to appear in his first ever Premier League game. The German was having a tough time trying to keep Michail Antonio at bay, who was probably the best player of the night.
Shortly after, Slaven Bilić replaced West Ham’s only Premier League goalscorer so far, Javier Hernández, with Carabao Cup goalscorer André Ayew, bringing mixed reactions from West Ham fans around the Olympic Stadium.
The 72nd minute finally brought the first goal of the match that unsurprisingly went to West Ham. A freakishly accurate deflection off Jørgensen’s back sent Obiang’s shot looping into the top right corner, off the post, and into the back of the net. An unlucky goal for Huddersfield to concede no doubt, but certainly not underserved for the Hammers.
Three minutes later, a scrappy corner fell to Ayew, who poked the ball home to bank West Ham’s first points of the season.
Huddersfield didn’t go out without a fight however, surging forward late on in the game. Tom Ince absolutely smashed the crossbar around the 80th minute and had a good opportunity blocked inside the box later on.
The Huddersfield defence went over 350 minutes without conceding a goal in their first Premier League campaign, but ultimately the tremendous effort of the West Ham players was what it took to break them in their 2-0 victory.
The Hammers will want to keep this mentality when they travel to West Brom this Saturday, while Huddersfield face tough opponents Leicester at home.
Written by Harry Mahon.