The journey of Huddersfield Town in their first top league English season since 1972 has had its share of early ups and downs. After winning their first two games and drawing their third, the Championship Playoff champions briefly led the Premier League.
After their early streak, Huddersfield started losing and eventually had a six game winless streak. Something like that was expected for a new Premier League team as the season is more about scraping points anywhere you get and survive relegation.
But when unbeaten Manchester United came to West Yorkshire, Huddersfield Town weren’t intimidated and despite what the stats say, defeated United 2-1 for the first time since 1952.
It certainly wasn’t a pretty game, three yellow cards were given within the first ten minutes and Phil Jones went town injured after 23 minutes. Five minutes after Jones was subbed out, the Huddersfield attack was on.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 21, 2017
As Juan Mata gave the ball away, Aaron Mooy passed for Tom Ince to get into position and get a shot off. He was able to get enough of a look and shoot but De Gea got the stop. The ball fell right to Mooy and Mooy sent the ball to the top right corner of the goal for the 1-0 lead.
— Jason Foster (@JogaBonitoUSA) October 21, 2017
That may have shellshocked Man United a bit because five minutes later, Huddersfield Town doubled their lead. Jonas Lossl connected with Laurent Depoitre on the goal kick. After beating De Gea, Depoitre casually shot the ball into the net for the 2-0 lead. A late goal by Marcus Rashford made it 2-1 but Huddersfield Town survived and got three crucial points.
The stats should’ve told you that Manchester United should have handedly won. 78/22 possession, 642/114 complete passes, 86/55 pass completion percentage. But that doesn’t matter when shots aren’t being taken. United took nine shots to Hudderfield’s five but both had three on target. That was the key and Huddersfield got the win. It is arguably the biggest win of American David Wagner’s career although that could last a week if his team defeats his best friend Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool next weekend.
Credit to Huddersfield for taking advantage of an off day for United. Manchester United looked lethargic, didn’t really create many chances, things that seemed to plague them at times last season. The vast majority of the time, David de Gea’s exquisite goalkeeping covers those deficiencies but when he is unable to save the team, it tends to prominently stand out.