Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports


29 November 2017

Sponsored by

After matching the home side for the best part of an hour, Arsenal displayed a devastating ruthlessness in-front of goal mid-way through the second half, condemning the Terriers to a harsh but heavy defeat on the road in the Premier League.

Big-money summer signing Alexandre Lacazette set the ball rolling in the third minute for the Londoners, and when Town sensed a leveller may well have been on the cards, that chance was cruelly snatched away by successively quick finishes from Alexis Sánchez, Mesut Özil and an Oliver Giroud brace.

Wednesday evening's trip to a chilly Emirates Stadium saw Town adjust the tactical shape to a 5-4-1 style formation; a change which meant David Wagner made six changes to the starting line-up which competed superbly against Manchester City last time out. Elias Kachunga, Florent Hadergjonaj, Steve Mounié, Chris Löwe and Martin Cranie were the players reinstated; the man to round off the changes arrived in the form of Collin Quaner, who would make his first Premier League start by taking to the field in the Navy and Pink stripes of the Terriers.

Events got off to somewhat of a disappointing start. A slick move through the middle from the home side resulted in Lacazette showing good composure to latch onto a cultured Aaron Ramsey flick and slot home down low past Jonas Lössl's outstretched right glove - Town's task made just that little bit harder than it already was to earn some kind of reward against an Arsenal outfit buoyed by two straight Premier League victories.

As proceedings began to settle down, Aaron Ramsey produced a wild long-range way over Lössl's cross-bar after an uncharacteristic loose touch from Chris Löwe.

The Gunners' attacking prowess is of the highest calibre amongst English football's elite; and that prowess reared its head as a follow-up to Ramsey's speculative attempt as neat play between the Terriers' midfield and defensive lines ended with Sead Kolasinac's innovative charge down the left coming to a halt from an efficient Mathias Zanka clearance.

Chances were at a premium for Town in the opening quarter, but just like London buses, two would come along at once after a patient wait. Firstly, Steve Mounié fell a yard short of reaching Jonas Lössl's inventive loft over the top after using excellent pace to out-run Shkodran Mustafi, before Mathias Zanka leapt superbly to beat his marker in the air but couldn't manage to guide his header on target from a typically accurate Aaron Mooy wide free-kick delivery.

At the other end, a loose pass in possession ensured goal-scorer Lacazette had acres of space to run into down the left channel, but Christopher Schindler displayed his usual magnificent defensive nouse to cover important ground and clear the danger. Schindler would throw his body on the line in the next wave of Arsenal attack to vitally block Sánchez 18-yards out just as the skilful Chilean was about to pull the trigger.

The next home chance was one of sheer ingenuity. That man Lacazette sprung the offside trap, and from seemed an impossible angle, produced a large amount of backspin in a bid to find the back of the net over the head of Lössl. Town's goal-line hero was Schindler once more, but the German's last-ditch clearance fell straight to a surprisingly advanced Kolasinac in the area who somehow managed to hook the ball over the cross-bar with an open goal at his mercy.

Great tenacity in the central area forced Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka into an error which set Steve Mounié on his way to goal with only one red shirt in his path. The Benin front-man had a forward option to drive with the ball or lay wide to a surging Collin Quaner, but in the end failed to pick either option and received a pressuring of his own from the recovering Laurent Koscielny.

Mounié would go to have a penalty shout waved away by referee Graham Scott having gone down under the challenge of Koscielny at the near post following impressive physicality to wriggle away from an initial challenge.

Town was growing further and further into the encounter; a quick counter-attack witnessed Mounié turn provider on this occasion to unleash the fresh unit of Collin Quaner through the heart of the Arsenal defence. Quaner would ultimately see a golden chance go begging as an awkward bounce meant an extra touch had to be used in order to bring about a left-footed strike, but by the time that strike had come to the fore, a recovering cavalry of Red shirts had covered well enough to close off that open route to goal whilst keeping the nervous one-goal lead in-tact.

Despite scoring the opener, Arsene Wenger withdrew Lacazette at the break in favour of Olivier Giroud. Schindler had done particularly well in terms of aerial duels with Arsenal's powerhouse striker.

The Gunners began the second 45 in a similar fashion to the first. Martin Cranie valiantly blocked a Mesut Özil goal-bound strike livewire Alexis Sánchez had danced his way into a menacing position near to Town's penalty spot.

Town responded by sending Steve Mounié down the right, but the wide-man couldn't be of a dangerous effect as his cross sailed graciously into the arms of Petr Cech.

The match had really embroiled into a pulsating end-to-end affair; Collin Quaner continued his search for a goal on his first Premier League start by driving positively at the heart of a static Arsenal defence after collecting a second ball, but Petr Cech produced a smart reflex save with his feet to cannon the ball away from danger and frustrate the supremely determined Terriers.

Just as the game's pattern had developed so far, Arsenal hit back and it was Schindler who got across his man well (Giroud) to divert a near-post cross away for a relieving corner.

Town wasn’t just making up the numbers in North London; Elias Kachunga used great pace down the left wing before squaring to an appropriately positioned Steve Mounié. However, Steve's shot would again be timely blocked by a sprawling Red shirt, which ended in an unusual manner with Cech palming away the deflected effort onto his own cross-bar in his attempt to hesitantly claw away the looming danger.

The match could effectively have been put out of sight by substitute Giroud after Ramsey's neat through ball as a result of Martin Cranie's loose pass towards Mounié. The half-time replacement completed all necessary hard-work in order to round a stricken Jonas Lössl and have another gaping open goal chance, but the French forward thundered an effort off the post before subsequently firing the re-bound into the side netting.

Florent Hadergjonaj had quietly gone about his solid business in the right wing-back role, and he produced a tantalising cross for the isolated figure of Steve Mounié in the box, and it took an important Koscielny intervention to prevent Town's number 24 from having a great chance to nod Town deservedly level.

But instead of the Terriers grabbing what would've been a fair equaliser, Giroud atoned for his earlier glaring miss by side-footing home from close range to double the advantage to conclude a quick passing move.

That second goal was the catalyst for an action-packed five-minute spell which all but ended Town's steely resistance. Mesut Özil's lung-bursting run down the Arsenal right resulted in Alexis Sánchez lashing home from the edge of the area after connecting sweetly with the German's pinpoint cross.

Özil followed up Sánchez's third by getting in on the act himself by coolly finishing past an on-rushing Jonas Lössl to add a flattering gloss to a score-line which at one point looked like Town was going to upset the applecart.

With the excellent Huddersfield Town supporters still in fine voice in the face of adversity stemming from Arsenal's lead gathering seriously quickly momentum, Giroud doubled his own personal tally on the night by tapping home another poacher's finish created by Sead Kolasinac's square ball after working an inviting amount of room.

TOWN'S LINE-UP (4-5-1)

Jonas Lössl; Christopher Schindler, Mathias Zanka, Martin Cranie; Chris Löwe, Aaron Mooy (Danny Williams, 74'), Jonathan Hogg (c) (Dean Whitehead (c), 78'), Florent Hadergjonaj; Elias Kachunga, Steve Mounié (Laurent Depoitre, 74'), Collin Quaner


Robert Green, Scott Malone, Tommy Smith, Tom Ince


59, 295


Graham Scott

Advertisement block