Huddersfield ease relegation fears with comfortable victory over Bournemouth

Huddersfield Town 4 Bournemouth 1: Steve Mounie scored twice with new-signing Alex Pritchard and Rajiv van La Parra finding the net too

Michael Walker
John Smith’s Stadium
Sunday 11 February 2018 14:38 GMT
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Huddersfield moved out of the relegation zone with the win
Huddersfield moved out of the relegation zone with the win (AFP/Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Huddersfield Town are back, back in the fight, back in the scramble to avoid relegation. The Terriers appeared to have been drifting to its margins but four goals and a vibrant, unrelenting all-round performance gave David Wagner’s side a first Premier League win since mid-December.

That, too, was a 4-1 victory, at Watford, but given Huddersfield had scored three goals in the eight matches since, few were expecting them to have another three in 67 minutes here.

But Alex Pritchard with his first for the club and Steve Mounie with two – his first in the league since before Christmas – gave Town a grip on a match that had begun in end-to-end fashion. Later Mounie had his second taken off him, bizarrely, and handed to Bournemouth defender Steve Cook.

A lovely finish from Junior Stanislas had brought the visitors a 13th minute equaliser to Pritchard’s opener and at that stage, with Ryan Fraser roaming on the right and Callum Wilson pressing with Stanislas, Bournemouth offered a threat that could have destabilised Town given their recent run.

But galvanised around the unrelenting Aaron Mooy, Town resisted, then regrouped to the extent that half an hour after the whistle Eddie Howe was apologising to the 1200 Bournemouth supporters who had left at 2am to be here.

New-signing Pritchard opened the scoring
New-signing Pritchard opened the scoring (AFP/Getty Images)

“The only highlight was the goal,” Howe said, “we lost too many 50-50s. It’s difficult to explain.”

Howe also said the noise of home fans had “influenced” the rhythm of the match and “affected our players” and he had a point. The one time a clacker-ful ground fell silent was 15 minutes from the end when Mooy, who had been pivotal, was left first clutching his knee on the turf, then holding his head in his hands on a stretcher.

It looked bad but Wagner said afterwards that it was a cut rather than ligament damage.

Junior Stanislas hit back almost immediately for Bournemouth
Junior Stanislas hit back almost immediately for Bournemouth (Getty Images)

Huddersfield need Mooy. As the division’s lowest scorers at kick-off, they also needed goals. To get one seven minutes in was the start required. Mounie played a major part in it, chasing down a long ball ahead of Simon Francis and cutting it back for Pritchard. His shot was clean and beat Asmir Begovic at his near post.

Winter sunshine flooded the stadium then. But the lead lasted only six minutes, Stanislas controlling a low Fraser cross as Huddersfield appealed for offside, then placing a composed right-foot shot beyond Jonas Lossl. It was a fine goal.

The sky darkened, snow swept in and Huddersfield came again. It was pulsating stuff – in front of England manager Gareth Southgate – and Mooy was the centre of it. From one cross, Mathias Jorgensen should have made it 2-1 but from another with a similar trajectory, Mounie rose above the Bournemouth defence to show how it is done.

Moonie's towering header saw Hudderfield ahead
Moonie's towering header saw Hudderfield ahead (AFP/Getty Images)

An indication of Mooy’s presence was that it was yet another of the Australian's deliveries that Tom Ince should have converted from six yards 15 minutes into the second half to make it 3-1.

That was a relief to Bournemouth, but strangely they had begun to fade. Huddersfield might have been expected to wilt first, given the energy expended, but on 67 minutes Pritchard led from the front again, closing down Nathan Ake. Steve Cook then cleared weakly to Rajiv van La Parra, who from 40 yards found, almost inevitably, Mooy.

Another cross, this one met on the run by Mounie, who, via Cook, scored the third.

Moonie added his second in the second half
Moonie added his second in the second half (AFP/Getty Images)

That was it, though in six minutes of added time, Van La Parra added a fourth from the spot after Dan Gosling and Ake had upended Pritchard.

Wagner thought it all “fantastic” and a “time to start to build momentum.”

He also clearly relished the club’s Chinese sponsors loud advertising of the coming Chinese New Year, which so happens to be the Year of the Dog - as opposed to a throstle for example.

“For the Terriers,” Wagner said, “there is no better year than the Year of the Dog.”

Huddersfield Town (4-2-3-1) Lossl; Hadergjonaj, Jorgensen, Schindler, Malone (Kongolo 52); Hogg, Mooy (Billing 76); Ince (Quaner 65) Pritchard, Van La Parra; Mounie

Subs not used: Coleman, Sabiri, Williams, Hefele

Bournemouth (3-4-3) Begovic; Francis, S. Cook (Smith 70) Ake; Fraser, L. Cook, Gosling, Daniels; Ibe (King 58) Wilson, Stanislas (Mousset 65)

Subs not used: Boruc, Surman, Arter, Smith, Simpson

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