Huddersfield Town 4-1 AFC Bournemouth
(Pritchard 7, Mounie 27, 66, van La Parra 90 / Stanislas 14)
Two goals from Steve Mounie and one each from new signing Alex Pritchard and Rajiv van La Parra saw off a sorry Bournemouth side 4-1 as Huddersfield Town ended a run of five straight Premier League defeats in style. George Howson reports from the John Smith’s Stadium.
Huddersfield Town entertained Bournemouth in Sunday’s early Premier League kick-off yesterday with The Terriers in desperate need of a positive result. The home side had lost their previous five league matches and were winless in their last eight matches. To add insult to injury, Town now found themselves in the relegation zone for the first time this season but a win would see them climb back above the dotted line.
David Wagner shuffled his squad around significantly from their last game against Manchester United with 5 changes to the starting line-up. Steve Mounie returned up top in place of Depoitre, with Mooy, Malone, Pritchard and Ince all getting a chance from the off in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, opted for 3 at the back and named an unchanged starting XI from their victory over Stoke last week, Eddie Howe hoping that consistency will extend their unbeaten league run to eight games.
You could’ve forgiven the two managers for starting the game cautiously, but that isn’t in the DNA of Huddersfield nor Bournemouth, as both sides were looking to draw first blood. Not even seven minutes were on the clock when Mounie rushed forward on the left side and cut the ball back to Alex PRITCHARD to slot the ball into the net. This was the midfielder’s first goal for the club since signing for The Terriers in January and got Town off to a flying start.
The John Smith Stadium was absolutely rocking, but the home fans were temporarily silenced on 13 minutes when The Cherries equalised. A patient move down the right saw Ryan Fraser cross to Junior STANISLAS, who was in acres of space, and the winger could hardly miss.
Huddersfield didn’t drop their heads, though, and were pressing to take the lead once again. Just before the half hour, Lewis Cook shoulder barged a Hogg to prevent a counter attack, which won The Terriers a free-kick in a good area. Aaron Mooy floated the ball in perfectly for Steve MOUNIE to glance the ball perfectly into the back of the net, a brilliant header.
The game was taking as many turns as the weather, Bournemouth again almost equalised from a corner, Daniel’s low corner found Steve Cook and the centre-back’s flick scraped the outside of the post. 2-1 was the half-time score.
Aaron Mooy was again causing Bournemouth issues as Huddersfield were pressing for the third, the Australian midfielder got the first chance of the second half, but his low effort was just wide of Begovic’s goal. That was a good opportunity, but Tom Ince’s miss on the hour mark left all 23,000 Town fans with their heads in their hands. Mooy placed the ball on a sixpence for Ince but the winger couldn’t keep his header down, with Begovic nowhere to be found.
Bournemouth were continuing to play the ball out of defence and were eventually caught out, Rajiv van la Parra intercepting a pass before laying it off to Mooy, who expertly found MOUNIE. The Benin international swept the ball into the net, another great Terriers move which all but sealed the victory. This strike would later go down as a Steven Cook own-goal on 66 minutes.
The Cherries weren’t giving up, though, Howe’s attacking substitutions were causing Huddersfield issues but the Town back-line held firm throughout. The final nail was driven into the Bournemouth coffin deep into injury time when Alex Pritchard raced through on goal before being tripped by Nathan Ake. The referee pointed to the spot and VAN LA PARRA confidently stepped up to send the ball into the bottom-right corner. 4-1 the final score.
David Wagner’s side can hold their heads up high after that performance, they were superior in all areas of the pitch and fully deserved the three points. Credit should also be given to the Bournemouth fans, as the 1,200 who travelled to West Yorkshire had to leave the South coast at around 3am showed superb support. Huddersfield move up to 17th and out of the drop zone, with their next match being at home against Manchester United in the FA Cup on Saturday.