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Huddersfield Town

Three talking points as Tottenham ran out comfortable winners against Huddersfield Town



Harry Kane continued his fine goal-scoring record in September as a first-half blitz blew newly-promoted Huddersfield Town away and earnt Tottenham a fourth straight away win on Saturday afternoon.

The hosts started the brightest when Tommy Smith forced Hugo Lloris into a smart save but it took just nine minutes for Kane to find the mark, scoring his 12th goal of the month with a fine low finish.

That merely opened the floodgates, with Ben Davies finishing off a fine team move in the 16th minute before Kane added a superb third with a bending effort from the edge of the penalty area.

The second-half lacked the intensity of the first as Tottenham took their foot of the gas but Moussa Sissoko added extra gloss to the score-line with his first Premier League goal in 13 months of action.

The result saw Mauricio Pochettino’s men move third in the Premier League table – at least until other sides kicked-off – whilst Huddersfield stayed in 10th after their second defeat of the campaign.

Ben Davies impresses as Tottenham set away record

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Welsh international Ben Davies was being slated from all angles following his performance in Tottenham’s disheartening defeat against Liverpool back in February.

On that occasion he was ran absolutely ragged by the rampant figure of Sadio Mane, providing no sense of protection at all at the back, and questions were raised over his ability as a Premier League defender.

However, since Danny Rose’s long-term absence manager Maurico Pochettino has worked wonders with the 24-year-old’s confidence, and he’s really laid down a marker at left-wing back since the season began.

In his five Premier League appearances prior to Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield Davies had already found the back of the net once and created 13 chances for his side – including an assist – an amount only second to Christian Eriksen, showing just how effective he has become when in the opposition territory.

He continued this fine run of form against the Terriers too, confidently taking up space in the Huddersfield half and looking to find space to attack on the left touchline, and he deservedly score a second of the season with a neat finish over Jonas Lossl to finish off a fine team move from Spurs.

Davies’ performance played a leading role in securing a fourth consecutive away win of the season for Tottenham, countering their inconsistent form at Wembley with a 100% record out of the capital.

Huddersfield can take heart despite defeat

Whilst the eventual 4-0 score-line might suggest that Huddersfield Town were subjected to a Tottenham siege all afternoon, the newly-promoted side can look back with their heads held high.

It was their first match against one of the so-called Premier League ‘big boys’ following their promotion last season and David Wagner had clearly told his side to take the game to Spurs early on, and it was a tactic that almost worked as the Terriers started the match firmly on the front foot.

While you could say that it was this gung-ho style of play that left too many gaps open at the back, with Harry Kane having all the space in the world to exploit as both of Huddersfield’s full-backs pushed on, it showed that Huddersfield won’t be scared to express themselves against the top sides.

Even after going three goals down they didn’t waver, with Laurent Depoitre particularly impressing and causing the Spurs back-three some problems, and he was unlucky to strike the bar with a powerful drive.

Nobody expected them to stop an in-form Tottenham but they showed more signs of belonging at the highest level, and once Steve Mounie returns from the side-lines the results will start to come again. 

King Kane reigns supreme once again

Are there any more superlatives left to describe this man?

13 goals in 30 days, seven goals in seven days, 13 goals in five away games – whichever way you want to look at it, Harry Kane is in the process of making a very big statement about his world-class credentials.

The Tottenham striker’s unstoppable form in September merely went from strength to strength on Saturday as, after scoring twice at West Ham and earning a Champions League hat-trick away at APOEL Nicosia, he put two past Huddersfield to top off his most prolific month as a top-flight player.

The 24-year-old has now found the back of the net 13 times for club and country since the end of August – equalling the best ever return of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronald0 – and all of the talk of his ‘worrying’ and ‘concerning’ goal-drought is now just a blur in the distance.

Whilst his first effort was a relatively easy front post finish, gifted to him by Chris Lowe, his second was a sublime effort, drifting along the 18-yard line before curling a sumptuous shot into the corner.

The talk of Kane being able to win a Ballon d’Or has certainly ramped up in recent weeks and, considering that he’s scored more away goals than anybody in Europe since the start of the calendar year (15), he’s certainly starting to make waves and put his name in the same light as some of Europe’s elite strikers.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @willypearson.

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Three talking points as Chelsea brushed aside Huddersfield Town

Rob Meech



Chelsea bounced back from their surprise defeat to West Ham United with a comfortable victory over Huddersfield Town. The Blues totally dominated at the John Smith’s Stadium and the result never looked in doubt once Tiemoue Bakayoko had given them a 23rd-minute lead.

Willian doubled their advantage before Pedro added a third goal, five minutes into the second half. The Terriers grabbed a consolation through Laurent Depoitre with the last kick of the game, but the gulf in class was evident on a rain-soaked evening in Yorkshire.

Chelsea’s win brought them level on points with second-placed Manchester United, at least temporarily, while Huddersfield’s defeat was their fifth in their past six Premier League matches. Here are three talking points.

Antonio Conte’s players deliver the perfect riposte 

This was a fixture that had all the characteristics of an upset. The weather was dreadful, with rain falling heavily throughout. Given the way the Terriers had recently pushed Manchester City all the way, not to mention seeing off Manchester United on home turf earlier in the campaign, many tuned into BT Sport thinking the Blues would find things difficult.

It didn’t materialise. Chelsea were in command from the first whistle and the only surprise was that it took them until the 23rd minute to break the deadlock. After their defeat to West Ham, this was just the response boss Antonio Conte would have wanted from his players.

They dictated the tempo of the game and never allowed Huddersfield – or their supporters – an opportunity to stamp their authority on the contest. The fluid movement of Chelsea’s front three caused the Terriers plenty of problems and led to individual mistakes, with one such error leading to Bakayoko’s opener.

Alarm bells are ringing for Huddersfield

Anything other than defeat would have been a bonus for David Wagner’s side, who had set up to frustrate the visitors. By beating Brighton & Hove Albion three days earlier, they have given themselves breathing space in the battle to avoid relegation. But the Terriers cannot afford to be complacent.

Although their current position may look relatively safe, a run of five defeats in six games, as well as a vastly inferior goal difference, suggests there could be worrying times ahead. Against the two Manchester clubs, Huddersfield made life difficult for their opponents. But they were far too passive against Chelsea.

Perhaps it is understandable that Wagner wants his players to conserve their energy for fixtures against clubs with whom they are battling for survival. But the home fans surely would have expected a more positive approach.

Is Michy Batshuayi surplus to requirements?

With Alvaro Morata suffering from a back complaint and rested for this match, Michy Batshuayi must have thought he would be handed a rare opportunity to impress from the start. Tellingly though, Chelsea boss Conte opted for a front three of Willian, Eden Hazard and Pedro, with no out-and-out striker.

This would have been a huge kick in the teeth to the Belgian marksman, who has failed to establish himself since joining the west London outfit from Marseille in the summer of 2016. Last season, he was forced to play second fiddle to Diego Costa, while now he is behind Morata in the pecking order.

Batshuayi has enjoyed success from the bench; famously he netted the goal that confirmed Chelsea as title winners in the previous campaign. This latest snub must be further evidence that Conte does not see Batshuayi as part of his long-term plans and there is speculation the Italian might be willing to allow him to go out on loan in January.

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Three talking points from Arsenal’s demolition of Huddersfield Town

Rob Meech



Arsenal recorded their third consecutive Premier League victory as they outclassed Huddersfield Town at the Emirates. It took the hosts only three minutes to break the deadlock through Alexandre Lacazette, but it was in the second half that the floodgates truly opened.

Olivier Giroud (two), Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil all added to the scoreline in the final 22 minutes of a one-sided affair that will have deflated the travelling Terriers fans. After a troubling start to the season, the fourth-placed Gunners look to be back to their free-flowing best, while Huddersfield’s third defeat on the bounce leaves them in 14th position. Here are three talking points.

Crisis, what crisis? Arsenal are back to their old selves

Barely a game goes by without Arsene Wenger’s managership of Arsenal being questioned in some quarters. But the level-headed Frenchman has navigated his way through the storm and now appears to have steered his squad into calmer waters. With speculation over the future of Ozil and Sanchez having settled down, Wenger’s charges are playing with confidence and suddenly look like the Arsenal of old.

The Emirates has been a fortress for the Gunners this season – they have yet to drop a single point there. Arsenal often flatter to deceive and capitulate when the going gets tough. Who knows what will happen over the winter months? Tougher tests await them for sure, but when they breeze past opponents in this manner, you wonder why it goes spectacularly wrong so often.

Huddersfield outgunned once more on their travels

Huddersfield’s campaign will not be defined by results such as this, but they shouldn’t be written off as inconsequential. All defeats have ramifications and confidence will be eroded quickly if they continue. While they remain competitive at home – as they proved by pushing Manchester City all the way last weekend – they look toothless on their travels. Indeed, the Terriers haven’t scored away from the John Smith’s Stadium since August but have conceded nine goals without reply in their past two trips.

No team can rely solely on results at home to survive. For all the plaudits Huddersfield have rightly received for their enterprising start since being promoted from the Championship, they now find themselves only five points clear of the drop-zone. David Wagner has his work cut out to arrest the slide.

Super-sub Giroud is proving his worth

There was speculation in the summer that Giroud would be on his way out of the Emirates following the arrival of his countryman Lacazette. Giroud has spent more time on the substitutes’ bench this season than he would have liked, but when he has been given an opportunity, invariably he has taken it. The 31-year-old’s two goals against Huddersfield took his tally for the season to five – the same number as Sanchez but at a much quicker rate.

With Lacazette potentially sidelined for a prolonged spell after picking up a groin injury, Giroud may well find himself promoted to the starting line-up for a crucial period of the campaign. He gets a rough ride from certain sections of the Arsenal faithful, but has netted more than 100 goals for the club in all competitions. The Gunners rely on him more than some supporters may believe.

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Huddersfield Town

Three talking points as Manchester City battled to victory over Huddersfield Town



Manchester City

Manchester City restored their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table as they came from behind to see off a spirited Huddersfield Town at the John Smiths’ Stadium on Sunday evening.

Pep Guardiola’s side dominated the play from the start, having over 75% possession in the first-half alone, but despite their endeavours in the final third it was the hosts who took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Nicolas Otamendi inadvertently diverted a corner past goalkeeper Ederson.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to level things up after the break though, with Sergio Aguero slotting home from the spot after Raheem Sterling was hauled down in the box by Scott Malone.

It seemed like a dogged Huddersfield rear-guard display might hold on for a point until Sterling’s fortunate strike in the 84th minute sealed it, restoring Manchester City’s eight-point lead at the top.

City find a new way to win

After thrashing Liverpool, convincingly seeing off Arsenal and brushing away the likes of Stoke City and Crystal Palace this season, it’s fair to say that Manchester City have been rampant to this point.

Sunday’s victory over Huddersfield was a stark contrast to any of those that had preceded it, with Guardiola’s side having to find a new way to win to break down their disciplined opponents.

There was still a large amount of flair on show throughout the match, with David Silva providing some intricate one-touch football at times and Leroy Sane’s free-kick cannoning back off the crossbar, and Guardiola ensured his side’s expansive passing style didn’t falter as they searched for a winner.

It was the tenacity of the Citizens that eventually broke Huddersfield down – albeit with huge slice of luck – and they managed to do what rivals Manchester United couldn’t and win at Huddersfield, and you could see from Guardiola’s reaction at full-time that he knew this could be a massive three points.

They always say that it’s winning these types of matches that provide a test of a team’s title credentials, and it’s the first time City have come from behind at half-time to win since April 1995.

With an eight-point lead opened back up over Manchester United at the top, and with the matches starting to come thick and fast, it’s not outlandish to say it’s already City’s title to lose this season.

Determined Huddersfield fall just short

But whilst Manchester City will no doubt be buoyant over their latest victory, spare a thought for Huddersfield who came mightily close to securing more points against the Premier League big boys.

There may have been a £322.6m difference in the costs of the starting line-ups on Sunday but the Terriers weren’t in awe of their opponents, and nobody would have begrudged them a valiant point.

For all of the possession that City had (79%) at the John Smiths’ Stadium they still only mustered four shots on target such was the hosts’ outstanding defensive display, and credit goes to boss David Wagner for picking his team up after their demoralising 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth in their last outing.

The hosts had learnt their lesson from the gung-ho approach against Tottenham, instead sitting deep and allowing City to come into their half of the field, yet the way that their midfield and defence remained compact didn’t allow the likes of Kevin de Bruyne the time to conjure up magic on the ball.

Whilst the result didn’t go their way it was a display that served to show that Huddersfield belong in the Premier League and they should have enough character and the necessary work ethic to survive.

Sterling continues to underline his importance

If you’d have told any Manchester City fan before the start of the season that Raheem Sterling would be the first name on Pep Guardiola’s team sheet each week they would have laughed it off.

Yet, after a somewhat stuttering start to his time at the Etihad, the 22-year-old has come into his own this campaign and he once again made the definitive impact six minutes from time yesterday.

There’s no doubt that there was an element of fortune about it, with Jonas Lossl’s save deflecting off Sterling and nestling into corner of the net in slow-motion, but it was Sterling’s determined run towards the penalty spot – the sort he had been doing all match – that perhaps merited a bit of luck.

It signalled his eighth Premier League goal of the season in just 13 appearances, already bettering last year’s tally (seven in 33 games), and it goes to show just how indispensable Sterling has become.

During the 90 minutes he made the joint-most dribbles (seven) and crosses (three), working tirelessly to try and engineer a chance for his side, and it was his burst into the box that drew the challenge for Aguero’s equaliser – the third time in three games that he’s won a penalty for his side.

All of a sudden it seems that Sterling has got his attitude right – most likely helped by Guardiola’s influence – and the pattern lately seems to be that when he plays well, City generally do too.

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