Top tipster or what?! In my match preview, I said the home side would lead at the break, then Pep Guardiola’s side would come back to win in the second half!
David Wagner’s side welcomed the table toppers to the John Smith’s Stadium, raring to earn the points that would see them rise to ninth, against a side that are yet to be beaten.
The first chance of the half fell to Manchester City as an in-swinging corner from Kevin De Bruyne met the head of Vincent Kompany who failed to finish as his effort glided wide to the left.
Huddersfield’s first chance came from Tommy Smith as he attempted to score from outside the box, but saw his effort drift way over the bar!
Arguably the best chance of the half came when Sergio Aguero was gleefully fed through by David Silva, only for the former to overhit hit effort and send the ball over the bar.
Aguero was back threatening once more when he assisted Nicolas Otamendi – but the latter could only push his effort over.
Manchester City continued to push for a breakthrough when Aguero’s effort at the near post was blocked by Jonas Lossl, then Raheem Sterling failed to finish his follow up by pushing his effort wide.
The league leaders had a couple more chances before the break when Lossl foiled a potential goal by Sterling (assisted by Aguero) and Fernandinho saw his strike blasted over (assisted by Sterling). Citys No.7 must’ve been disappointed by that finish!
At this point, you got the feeling that Guardiola’s side would either score soon or be punished for failing to put chances away.
Shortly before the break, the newly-promoted side broke the deadlock. An in-swining corner from Laurent Depoitre met the shoulder of Otamendi who had no time to react as he could only look on as the ball deflected off him into the net.
Well, what an end to the first half!
With less than a minute into the second half, Guardiola’s side were awarded a penalty when Scott Malone fouled Raheem Sterling in the area. Aguero slotted in the resulting penalty to the right to equalise for his side.
Having scored the equaliser, City could’ve taken the lead through the Argentinian when was put through on goal by Fernandinho, but failed to finish off the move.
Later on, Leroy Sane shot an excellent effort from a free kick which smacked the upright! That was an effort that made the fans jump and hold their hands above their head as if to say “ooh! That was a close one”!
The main flashpoint of the half saw Fernandinho booked for simulation. Initially, he could have a case as van La Parra looked to swing a leg at him, but on the replay, the Huddersfield player clearly does not make contact.
(We’ll discuss thoughts on this incident at the end).
Guardiola’s side pushed for a winner as Silva looked to cross to Aguero but was nonchalantly foiled by Lossl. (If not for the Danish keeper, The Terriers’ could’ve been further behind!)
With six minutes of regulation time remaining, Sterling scored the winner to increase his side’s lead at the top. Sterling started the with a quick pass to De Bruyne who initially found substitute Gabriel Jesus, who’s sliding effort ricocheted off Lossl – which fell for Sterling who deflected in the winner. A cruel way for Huddersfield to lose. It was an unfortunate way to concede, but that’s football.
After the game, there was a confrontation which saw Rajiv van la Parra see red.
Thoughts on the game
Not meaning to brag, but I knew this result would happen in the fashion it did. To me it looked to be “one of those games”.
The way David Wagner’s side set up was second-to-none! I’d say that’s how promoted sides should set up against the Premier Leagues “big six”, rather than being rolled over, then praising the bigger side in the post-match press conference.
Pep Guardiola came with only one thing on his mind, win. That was made difficult as Huddersfield Town prevented his side from scoring time, and again – though City didn’t help themselves either by failing to finish off chances.
Huddersfield deserved to take the lead going into half-time given that they took their opportunity, whilst Manchester City failed to convert theirs.
Right! Let’s talk about the Fernandinho dive. Watching the game initially, I thought the league leaders deserved a penalty, but it was clear that no contact was made, and was rightly booked.
Given the Brazilian defensive midfielder was booked for simulation, I thought he should miss one game as I tweeted below. But what do you think?
Seeing Fernandinho booked for simulation, he should be banned for one match – I think. Players who simulate, but aren't punished in the match should be banned for two matches – as Oumar Niasse was.
— Ese Agboaye (@A96oaye) November 26, 2017
Huddersfield Town have no time to feel sorry for themselves as they visit Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on Wednesday, whilst Manchester City play host to Southampton on the same evening.