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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: TOWN 1-0 NEWCASTLE UNITED

20 August 2017

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Aaron Mooy's wonder strike five minutes into the second half sealed back-to-back Premier League victories for Huddersfield Town as the Club defeated fellow promoted side Newcastle United by a single goal at an electric John Smith’s Stadium.

The Tynesiders' visit to the John Smith’s Stadium culminated in Town making just the sole change from the opening day win at Crystal Palace, with Kasey Palmer making way for Rajiv van La Parra; a move which saw the tactical re-shuffle of Tom Ince moving into the number 10 role, with Rajiv taking up his familiar role on the left flank.

It would be the visitor who advanced forward early on as Ayoze Perez received a through ball to feet, but Mathias Zanka was alert to sweep round with a perfectly timed sliding tackle before any shot could be mustered.

Town instantly hit back with a chance of its own as Aaron Mooy saw his long-range effort comfortably held by Rob Elliot between the Magpies' sticks.

The industrious Aussie would find himself involved just minutes later as neat inter-play with Rajiv van La Parra opened up a promising amount of space in behind the Newcastle right-back Manquillo, but the resulting cross failed to find an arriving Blue and White shirt within the area.

Town continued to apply offensive pressure as it unfamiliarly played towards the Fantastic Media stand in the first period, with the next chance ending up amongst the fans in the lower tier of that stand as Tommy Smith's audacious volley, brought about from the visitor's hesitancy when clearing its lines, sailed harmlessly over Elliot's cross-bar.

Tom Ince had looked impressively lively after beginning the match in the central attacking midfield role, and the former Derby man managed to fire off two consecutive efforts towards the visiting goal, but the first was blocked by Jamaal Lascelles, before the second whistled well over.

Christian Atsu gifted 'The Yorkshire Club' a chance to break the deadlock; a loose touch from one of Newcastle's summer permanent signings fell graciously into the path of a lurking Ince on the edge of the area, who in turn produced a heavily weighted curling effort, but on this occassion only saw shot stopper Elliot tested without having to move a fair amount.

In truth, the encounter was largely taking place in the central areas of the pitch, with both sides doing satisfactory jobs of pressing high up the field to limit the amount of attacks being crafted from deep.

However, Steve Mounié was showing a characteristic persistent desire to grab his third Premier League goal; and the Benin striker very nearly added to his tally from Aaron Mooy's corner, but he would miss with a connecting glancing header by millimetres. The same player pressured the Newcastle back-line into relieving possession following on from the Mooy corner, and the ex-Montpellier man's surge into the area found Tom Ince in space to unleash an effort which recovering Spaniard Mikel Merino managed to divert away from danger.

The duo of Mathias Zanka and Christopher Schindler continued to assert their dominance on lone Magpies striker Dwight Gayle, whilst also standing firm in the way of every single aerial bombardment to arrive within the Town penalty area and beyond.

Schindler made a number of critical interventions at key moments; the first of which a notably vital timing of a sliding clearance following Christian Atsu's low cross after the Ghanaian latched onto Isaac Hayden's delicate chip over the top of the Town defensive line. The German would impress throughout the full duration of the encounter; quality positioning, timing of tackles, winning of multiple aerial duels and sweeping up loose balls all aided to a superbly orchestrated Huddersfield Town defensive performance.

Arguably the best save of the match, saw Jonas Lössl tip Matt Ritchie's corner-bound attempt superbly round the post after the visiting winger had managed to drift inside.

That world-class save sent Town into the interval all square, and in good stead to push on in search for a winner in the second period.

It wasn't to be long for the raucous Terrier support to get its reward; Aaron Mooy curled an absolute pearler past a helpless Elliot into the top right-hand corner to open Town's account on home soil in the Premier League in a sensationally stylish fashion.

Chances following the first and only goal of the afternoon saw the away side up the ante to a certain extent; Javier Manquillo's initial action saw the right-back square a teasing pass across the face of goal which Matt Ritchie failed to reach at the far post, before a pin-point diagonal pass from compatriot Mikel Merino found him in acres of space in behind, but Jonas Lössl was more than equal to the task of cutting out the danger as the attempted roll across the six-yard area saw the Dane positively command his area to pounce on the loose ball.

Substitute and recent signing Joselu used his physical presence to work his way through a defensive gap, but the recently acquired man from Stoke City saw his toe-prodded effort tipped wide by the impressively agile Lössl, albeit after Chris Löwe did well to make up ground and close the angle.

Town scarcely threatened with minor chances from here on in, but Philip Billing went a long way to changing that theme mid-way through the half by excelling forward into space before delivering a low, curling cross aiming for Collin Quaner at the back post. On this occasion, Billing, who recently earned a Denmark under-21 call-up during the week, saw his tantalising assist disappointingly evade any Blue and White shirts in and around the Newcastle area.

The Terriers would carry on the tradition of managing to round off proceedings with a high level of organisation and professionalism on home soil, but the lead came under major threat when another Newcastle sub Jacob Murphy writhed his way out of a challenge to beat his marker, but once more Chris Löwe would be the man to time a sliding tackle to perfection whilst consolidating yet another Premier League three-point haul for David Wagner and his side.

Town's line-up:

Jonas Lössl; Chris Löwe, Christopher Schindler, Mathias Zanka, Tommy Smith (c); Philip Billing, Aaron Mooy; Rajiv van La Parra (Collin Quaner, 69'), Tom Ince (Michael Hefele, 90'), Elias Kachunga (Kasey Palmer, 73'); Steve Mounié

Unused subs:

Joel Coleman, Scott Malone, Joe Lolley, Danny Williams


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