Huddersfield produce ‘one of best performances’ to beat Bournemouth

Steve Mounie rises to head home

Steve Mounie brought his tally to five goals for the season with his first strike since December

Huddersfield produced “one of the performances of the season” as they brought their five-match losing streak in the Premier League to an end with an emphatic home victory over Bournemouth.

The Terriers started the game in the relegation zone for the first time this season, but climbed out thanks to a fine performance which left manager David Wagner looking optimistically to the future.

Huddersfield face teams in the bottom half of the table in six of their next seven league games.

“It was a huge win for us,” said Wagner.

“Now it’s time to build up momentum against opponents which are in front of us, against whom we are more competitive.

“We said before the game that this is massive for us and that after losing at Old Trafford we had the difficult fixtures behind us.

“It was one of the performances of the season.”

Huddersfield play Tottenham at Wembley on 3 March, but it is more likely to be fixtures against West Brom, Swansea, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Brighton and Watford that decide their fate.

The compact nature of the bottom half was illustrated later on Sunday, when Newcastle’s 1-0 win over Manchester United lifted them clear of the bottom three and into 13th place.

How the game was won

Alex Pritchard’s first goal for Huddersfield – scored by sweeping in Steve Mounie’s cut-back on his second start since joining in January – put the Terriers ahead after just seven minutes.

Bournemouth replied quickly as Junior Stanislas guided a delicate low finish just inside the post after collecting Ryan Fraser’s cross, but the home side then took hold of the game.

When Mounie nodded his team back in front from Aaron Mooy’s free-kick, Huddersfield had scored as many goals in 27 minutes as they had managed in their previous seven league matches.

Tom Ince should have added a third but badly missed the target with a header from about six yards out, before breathing space finally came via an own goal when Mounie’s first-time shot was deflected in by Steve Cook.

Midfielder Mooy was carried off on a stretcher after suffering a knee injury in a 50-50 challenge, with Wagner confirming after the game that the Australian had suffered no serious damage.

After Pritchard was brought down in the box in stoppage time, Rajiv van la Parra converted from the spot to add further gloss to a vital win.

Bournemouth’s club record run of seven matches unbeaten in the top flight ended with a first defeat since 23 December, and they stayed 10th.

Seven down, five to go?

Media playback is not supported on this device

Fantastic afternoon for Terriers – Wagner

Huddersfield were above Manchester City on goal difference after their first three games of the season, and they ended 2017 in 11th. But all the recent signs pointed to a difficult day ahead.

For the first time this season their weekend began in the relegation zone. Would they be short of confidence? They did not look it.

Going into the match, Wagner’s side had averaged a goal every 123.15 minutes, but here they got two in under half an hour. They were deserved, too. The home side were first to the loose balls and always positive when they got possession.

That theme continued after the break and they ought to have steered more comfortably clear of their opponents sooner. Bournemouth – even with six minutes of stoppage time – did not have a shot on target in the second half.

Ince was replaced shortly after his glaring miss but the impressive Mounie had a huge hand in finally securing a two-goal cushion. He looked to have grabbed a second of his own with a delightful first-time finish from another Mooy pass – but it was later changed to an own goal for Cook.

Mooy’s injury was the only dark note in a win Wagner will hope is a turning point in the season. After the game, Huddersfield confirmed the Australia international had not suffered ligament damage but “a deep cut on his knee that required stitches”.

Following Huddersfield’s previous victory – 4-1 at Watford on 16 December – Wagner said he thought his team were halfway to survival, having already claimed six of a target of 12 wins over the season.

With just 11 matches now remaining, they must build on this if they are to secure Premier League safety.

Cherries short of desire?

Media playback is not supported on this device

Cherries weren’t in right place mentally – Howe

Bournemouth had won 15 points since Christmas Day going into this weekend; only Liverpool had claimed more.

That run had lifted the Cherries from 18th to 10th – they rose up the table as Huddersfield fell down. But here, Eddie Howe’s side seemed to wilt in the second half.

During the opening 45 minutes, even though it was Huddersfield who controlled possession, Bournemouth had always looked capable of springing a chance quickly on the counter or from a set piece.

Fraser and Stanislas almost combined again after going 2-1 down before defender Cook nearly scored from Charlie Daniels’ disguised low corner. It found the centre-back totally free, six yards from goal – but he struck the ball just wide. It was a golden chance to level the match.

In the first half there was promising link-up play – especially between Stanislas, Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe – even if it most often came to nothing.

After the break they looked flat going forward, and that didn’t change even after Joshua King and Lys Mousset were brought on.

There was nothing of the urgency that drove Huddersfield. Nothing of the desire to drive themselves up the table. Their 10th position might feel a lot more comfortable, but only five points separates them from 18th.

“I apologise to the fans for the performance,” Howe said. “There’s not much else I can say.

“When you’re aware of the financial and time sacrifices that people make, you want to reward them with an inspiring performance, one that they can go away and talk about for many years. I don’t think that will be happening after that.”

Man of the match – Steve Mounie

Steve Mounie<!–

Mounie had three attempts on goal and two of those found the net – one via Bournemouth defender Cook’s ankles

Seven-up for Terriers – the stats

  • Huddersfield scored more goals against Bournemouth (four) than they managed in their previous eight Premier League games combined (three).
  • Bournemouth are the seventh team Huddersfield have beaten in all four tiers of English league football, along with Bradford, Brentford, Bury, Grimsby, Portsmouth and Watford.
  • Pritchard scored his first Premier League goal in his seventh appearance in the competition spanning three clubs (Tottenham, West Brom, Huddersfield).
  • Ryan Fraser has been involved in five goals in his past six Premier League games (three goals, two assists), as many as in previous 30 matches.
  • Mooy has registered four top-flight assists this season; more than any other Huddersfield player, with three of them coming for Mounie.

What’s next?

Huddersfield host Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round next Saturday before travelling to West Brom in the Premier League on 24 February.

Bournemouth do not play again until 24 February when they host Newcastle in the Premier League.

Live Text

Match ends, Huddersfield Town 4, Bournemouth 1.

Second Half ends, Huddersfield Town 4, Bournemouth 1.

Goal! Huddersfield Town 4, Bournemouth 1. Rajiv van La Parra (Huddersfield Town) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty Huddersfield Town. Alex Pritchard draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) after a foul in the penalty area.

Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Cook (Bournemouth).

Rajiv van La Parra (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Smith (Bournemouth).

Foul by Collin Quaner (Huddersfield Town).

Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jonas Lössl (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dangerous play by Callum Wilson (Bournemouth).

Attempt blocked. Lewis Cook (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Terence Kongolo.

Foul by Christopher Schindler (Huddersfield Town).

Lys Mousset (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, Bournemouth. Charlie Daniels tries a through ball, but Callum Wilson is caught offside.

Foul by Rajiv van La Parra (Huddersfield Town).

Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town).

Nathan Aké (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Philip Billing (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt blocked. Lys Mousset (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Fraser.

Offside, Huddersfield Town. Jonathan Hogg tries a through ball, but Steve Mounie is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Lys Mousset (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Fraser.

Offside, Bournemouth. Ryan Fraser tries a through ball, but Callum Wilson is caught offside.

Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth).

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Philip Billing replaces Aaron Mooy because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) because of an injury.

Offside, Bournemouth. Ryan Fraser tries a through ball, but Callum Wilson is caught offside.

Lys Mousset (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution, Bournemouth. Adam Smith replaces Steve Cook.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Jonathan Hogg.

Attempt blocked. Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Own Goal by Steve Cook, Bournemouth. Huddersfield Town 3, Bournemouth 1.

Attempt missed. Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Aaron Mooy.

Substitution, Bournemouth. Lys Mousset replaces Junior Stanislas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *