Huddersfield Town were beaten 2-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium after scoring two goals against the run of play, condemning Town to their second home defeat of the season.
Despite the disparity of the two teams’ fortunes this season, the visitors came into this match with the better form having picked up two points more than Town from their last six games.
Reverting back to four at the back after defeat at the Cardiff City Stadium was a move that paid off for Wagner’s men. Lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Town dominated possession and took the game to Wigan as expected in this televised fixture.
Wigan opted to again name a starting 11 featuring no recognised striker, with winger Yanic Wildschut leading the line for the Lancastrians – proving to be a handful for the central defensive pair of Schindler and Jon Gorenc Stanković.
Town Captain Mark Hudson was forced off in the opening minutes of the match with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Christopher Schindler – the start of a frustrating Monday evening for the home side.
The Terriers had the ball in the net after 25 minutes, however Kuchunga’s goal was ruled out after Tommy Smith strayed into an offside position before crossing the ball to Town’s striker.
Kasey Palmer almost gave Town the lead on half an hour, turning before shoot from outside the penalty area. His effort sailed narrowly wide of the top left hand corner. Elias Kachunga almost broke the deadlock seconds later, he was inches away from Tommy Smith’s low cross, which evaded everyone in the box.
These were chances that Town came to regret. Yanic Wildschut showed fantastic agility to charge down the wing, past both Aaron Mooy and Jon Stanković, and pick out Reece Burke who finished from close range past Danny Ward.
Sean Scannell was the second Town player to go off injured in the first half, dampening the 26 year-old’s 100th start in Huddersfield colours after he failed to shake off a foul from Stephen Warnock that occurred in the opening minutes of the match.
The Terriers were level shortly after the interval. Aaron Mooy calmly slotted past Jussi Jääskeläinen to score his first goal at the John Smith’s Stadium after some great work by Nahki Wells in the box.
However, seemingly Wigan’s first action in the Town final third of the second half – Wildschut was again to be the catalyst to Town’s woes. Max Power played a lofted ball to the Dutchman and over the Town defence; he rounded Ward in the Town goal and made it 2-1 to the visitors.
Town pilled pressure on the Wigan Athletic defence towards the end of the match and had three penalty appeals waved away by referee Tony Harrington. Firstly Nahki Wells went down in the area under a challenge, then Elias Kachunga seemed to be upended in the box, but the appeals were waved away. Later in the game Town appealed for handball as Warnock cleared Smith’s ball into the area.
Chances were few and far between towards to end of the match; Billing had the final chance but he could only glance a header over the bar in the area.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1): Ward; Smith, Hudson (Schindler, 6’), Stanković, Löwe; Mooy, Hogg (Billing, 66’); Scannell (Wells, 44’) Palmer, Van La Parra; Kachunga
Unused subs: Murphy, Whitehead, Bunn, Holmes-Dennis
Town bookings: Hogg (18’), Smith (71’)