Terriers Bite Back As Huddersfield Defy Pundit Predictions
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By MO BHANA
Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner insists his team are proving a number of football pundits wrong after the terriers recorded an impressive 4-1 away victory against Watford.
All four main Soccer Saturday pundits, Paul Merson, Matt Le Tissier, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas said Town will be relegated from the Premier League.
However, the Terriers Head Coach was delighted with the overall result and intensity of the performance, which ensures town how already amassed an impressive haul of 21 points.
Goals from Elias Kachunga, Aaron Mooy (two) and Laurent Depoitre just reward for the Terriers’ attacking intent.
Watford’s chances were badly affected by the dismissal of Hornets captain Troy Deeney. The skipper was sent off after 33 minutes for a challenge on Collin Quaner. It is the third straight match in which Marco Silva has seen one of his players dismissed and the fourth Watford red card overall this season.
Huddersfield were also reduced to 10 men when Jonathan Hogg was harshly sent off midway through the second half for an innocuous looking challenge Watford responded with a superb volley from outside the box from Abdoulaye Doucoure – but the midfielder conceded a late penalty, which Mooy converted.
A delighted Wagner could not have been happier.
“I think a lot of people didn’t expect we are where we are at the minute,” Wagner said after the win.
“We have to make ourselves independent from pundits’ predictions. It is irrelevant for us.We are so humble and so calm. We know what size of club we are, our budget. It is not comparable with any other budget here in the Premier League.
“But we are ambitious. We say, ‘trust in yourself, be focused’. So far the players have done very good but it’s only the mid-point of the season, nothing more. We can improve.”
Elsewhere, Manchester City extended their record for successive Premier League victories to 16.
City hammered Tottenham 4-1 to extend their lead at the top of the table to 14 points.
Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring with the only goal of the first half, while Kevin de Bruyne powered home a fierce shot.
Gabriel Jesus missed a penalty for the hosts, but Raheem Sterling added two goals in 10 minutes before Christian Eriksen grabbed a late consolation for Spurs, who dropped to seventh.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his side are prepared to “fight until the last match” after they moved to within 11 points of leaders Manchester City by beating West Brom.
Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring with a header – Jesse Lingard doubled United’s lead before the break with a shot that deflected off Albion’s Ahmed Hegazi.
The Red Devils appeared to be heading for a comfortable win until Albion substitute Gareth Barry poked home from close range with 13 minutes left to secure a nervy finish for Manchester United.
The victory extends Liverpool’s unbeaten run in all competitions to 12 matches, while Bournemouth have not won in six games.
In this fixture last season, Bournemouth trailed 2-0 and 3-1 before winning 4-3, but there was no repeat this time around.
Salah got his 11th goal in 11 games, and his 20th of the season, with an excellent individual goal to kill the game off after only 44 minutes.
Christian Benteke ended a goal drought to help Crystal Palace to a convincing 3-0 victory at in-form Leicester.
His goal, along with strikes from Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako, ensure the Eagles have now won back-to-back matches for the first time this season and are up to 14th place, two points above the relegation zone.
West Ham’s resurgence under David Moyes continued as they won 3-0 at Stoke.
Former Stoke player Marko Arnautovic has been at the heart of the Hammers’ upturn in form and he was on target again – adding to a first-half penalty from Mark Noble – before Diafra Sakho’s late strike made absolutely sure of the win.
The result increases the pressure on Potters boss Mark Hughes, whose side have won just once in eight matches.
Mesut Ozil’s superb volley earned Arsenal a 1-0 win over Newcastle. Rafael Benitez’s side are falling fast – this was their eighth defeat in nine games and ensured they drop into the bottom three for the first time this season.
Despite manager Antonio Conte’s recent comments that his side are out of the title race, Chelsea’s fine run of results continued as they secured an eighth win from their past 10 league games with a 1-0 win against Southampton.
Marcos Alonso’s free-kick on the stroke of half-time proved the difference and means Southampton have now won just one of their past nine matches.
Burnley’s hopes of returning to the top-four place they briefly occupied in midweek were thwarted as they were held to a goalless draw at Brighton.
It was the hosts who actually came closest – in theory at least – to taking all three points when they were awarded a first-half penalty.
However, striker Glenn Murray kicked the spot-kick high and wide, leaving Brighton three points above the relegation zone.
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