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Match Reports


5 May 2019

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A performance that suited the occasion perfectly in HD1, as Town held Manchester United to a valiant 1-1 stalemate in the last home fixture of the season and ultimately the last of under the tenure of out-going Chairman, Dean Hoyle.

It looked ominous as Scott McTominay fired the away side into an eighth minute lead, only for Isaac Mbenza to convert one of Town's chances mid-way through the second-half to earn a richly deserved share of the spoils as the Club said goodbye to a man who's love and work for Huddersfield Town was rightfully acknowledged on an emotional farewell encounter.

There were three changes made to the Town starting XI against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side. Chris Löwe replaced Tommy Smith and slotted in at left-back, a shuffle which saw Erik Durm shift to the right-back role, as Alex Pritchard took the place of Steve Mounié and Aaron Mooy returned, having missed last weekend's trip to Anfield, ahead of Jon Gorenc Stanković in the centre of midfield.

As referee Lee Mason got proceedings under way in-front of the Sky cameras on a pleasant May Bank Holiday Sunday, the terraces instantly fired up the chants of 'One Dean Hoyle', to which all four stands of the John Smith's Stadium accordingly joined in with rapturous applause.

It was an odd feeling, though, as United took an early lead through Scott McTominay; although that did little to dampen the Town fans' spirits, and instead led to the noise being cranked up another impressive notch.

McTominay drilled a low, angled effort and it somehow squirmed through Jonas Lössl into the corner.

United shaded the play, but the men in blue and white hunted the visitors from over the Pennines out of possession best they could.

Juninho Bacuna showed positive intent to bring about Town's opening chance of the game. The Dutchman drove at the heart of the United defene before cutting in on his right and bending just wide of David De Gea's left post. Juan Mata also bent just wide of the target at the other end as a result of a tidy breakaway and final release flick from Marcus Rashford.

Paul Pogba spectacularly tried to finish a deep cross from Mata, involved once again just minutes later, but as the French World Cup winner leapt with unbelievable height, the finish was to be desired.

The crowd was always going to be as loud as ever on such an emotional afternoon, and the players on the field were giving it their all to harness a reward.

Karlan Grant's cross for Isaac Mbenza almost saw the latter bury a header beyond De Gea, only for Phil Jones to time a clearance to perfection and clear the lines.

Mbenza again found himself in an ideal position for a delivery. This time it was Alex Pritchard who attempted to pick him out, shimmying past Jones to work the angle and as the resulting low cross rolled, Victor Lindelöf just managed to do enough to force Isaac to blaze into the away support.

Chances were coming, but De Gea hadn't really been tested in the opening 40 minutes. The Spaniard was soon called into action, however, producing a smart reaction save down on his haunches to thwart Karlan Grant from sweeping Town level having raced onto Juninho Bacuna's inch-perfect ball through the lines.

The Red Devils, as with all the elite sides in the top-flight, have the ability to fashion chances of their own within the blink of an eye, and that's what happened as Pogba floated a header off the cross-bar as United poured men forward to double the lead before the interval.

Jan Siewert visibly encouraged the crowd to continue backing their side as the second-half ensued. Juninho Bacuna's energy had once again been a stand-out component of the Town performance despite being behind, and he initiated a shooting chance for Karlan Grant.

Played in down the right, as Juninho's run attracted a number of markers, Karlan cut inside with confidence, but unfortunately miscued his effort into the Fantastic Media Stand.

It wasn't long before Town was in-fact level, and deservedly so. Isaac Mbenza netted his first in Huddersfield Town colours to send the faithful absolutely delirious.

Jonas Lössl's sensational distribution from the goal-kick set Isaac on his way, and as Luke Shaw failed to adequately deal with the situation, Isaac was left un-contested to bear down on goal and coolly slot under De Gea to level the scores; followed by a brief stoppage in play all down to the celebrations which left the corner flag obliterated.

That equaliser raised the decibel level to unchartered territory, and once again the chants for that man Dean Hoyle rang around the stadium. The Terriers looked buoyed to push on and grab an emotionally charged victory, denting the visitors' top four aspirations in the process.

A Mata set-piece nearly unlocked the Town rearguard in the midst of the confidence-building 10 minute spell. Phil Jones met it at the near post and somehow flicked over the bar, to the despair of his manager and team-mates.

United slowly began to create chances. Rashford was the next man to squander a clear opening, sliding wide of the target when it looked easier to find the net having been found by yet another cultured assist from Mata.

If Mbenza would've gambled, he may well have notched Town's second of the afternoon. Instead, the unlikely figure of Terence Kongolo saw a deep cross evade both Isaac and Karlan Grant with De Gea allowed to collect.

United huffed and puffed as the contest drew to an exciting climax. United had two key chances to snatch the points, firstly substitute Tahith Chong denied by Lössl, before Paul Pogba rattled the bar for a second time of the afternoon, this time with a superbly powerful strike from the edge of the area.

In the aftermath, Town broke with 3-on-2; Karlan Grant brought the ball far into United's half, and as Ashley Young positioned himself well to block off the alternative options, Karlan managed to find room for the shot which was marginally kept out by De Gea who had alarmingly elected to keep his side level by the use of his feet.

Town’s final Premier League game of the season is at St. Mary’s against Southampton on Sunday 12 May 2019 (3pm kick-off).

TOWN (4-3-3)

Jonas Lössl; Chris Löwe, Terence Kongolo, Christopher Schindler (c), Erik Durm (Tommy Smith, 46'); Jonathan Hogg, Juninho Bacuna, Aaron Mooy; Isaac Mbenza (Adama Diakhaby, 90'), Karlan Grant, Alex Pritchard


Joel Coleman, Jon Gorenc Stanković, Matty Daly, Elias Kachunga, Steve Mounié


David De Gea; Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelöf (Diogo Dalot, 82'), Phil Jones, Ashley Young; Nemanja Matić (Ander Herrera, 54'), Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba; Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford. Alexis Sánchez (Tahith Chong, 54')


Lee Grant, Chris Smalling, Fred, Andreas Pereira


Lee Mason


24,263 (2,271 away)

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