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Live Commentary: Huddersfield Town 1-2 Arsenal - as it happened

Relive Arsenal's narrow win over rock-bottom Huddersfield, courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates of the Premier League clash at the John Smith's Stadium.
Live Commentary: Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal - as it happened
© Reuters

Arsenal ensured that they kept up with the top-four pace in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium this afternoon.

The Gunners led inside 16 minutes when Alex Iwobi's back-post volley took a major deflection off Terence Kongolo to leave wrong-footed goalkeeper Ben Hamer with little chance.

Alexandre Lacazette doubled Arsenal's advantage two minutes before the break when he tapped home unmarked at the back post from an Ainsley-Maitland Niles cross.

Huddersfield enjoyed 66% of second-half possession but did not reduce their deficit until Sead Kolasinac's stoppage-time own goal, which was too little, too late for the hosts.

Relive how the action unfolded in Yorkshire with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

After last weekend's daunting trip to Manchester City, where they suffered a 3-1 defeat, Arsenal face, on paper, a kinder away day this afternoon as they travel to rock-bottom Huddersfield Town looking to end a five-match winless run on the road. The Terriers are 12 without a win in the league, home and away, so something has to give this afternoon...

HUDDERSFIELD: Hamer; Smith, Schindler, Zanka, Kongolo; Hogg, Mooy, Bacuna, Puncheon; Diakhaby, Kachunga
Subs: Coleman, Billing, Grant, Durm, Stankovic, Pritchard, Depoitre

ARSENAL: Leno; Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Guendouzi, Kolasinac; Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Lacazette
Subs: Cech, Elneny, Lichtsteiner, Suarez, Mavrapanos, Nketiah, Willock

KICKOFF:  We are underway at the John Smith's. Arsenal are missing top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil through illness, while Granit Xhaka remains out through injury as Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, for his first start since December, return for the Gunners. Huddersfield make four changes with goalkeeper Jonas Lossl sidelined and Ben Hamer deputising. Elsewhere, Zanka, Jonathan Hogg and Jason Puncheon are in for Chris Lowe, Philip Billing and Isaac Mbenza.

The Terriers have made a bright start, with Diakhaby swinging in an early cross which Koscielny has to clear at his near post under pressure from Puncheon, who has started in a centre-forward role. Siewert is trying anything he can to get Huddersfield scoring and that certainly is a tactical surprise he has sprung.

Huddersfield have only scored five home goals all season, and striker Steve Mounie has paid the price as he is left out of the squad entirely today. Diakhaby and Bacuna are enjoying their best runs in the team in midfield, each making their fourth successive start, perhaps with an eye on rebuilding for next season.

Monreal may have his hands full this afternoon with Diakhaby, whose quick feet win Huddersfield a free kick on the right byline. Mooy's delivery is wasteful and does not even get beyond the high Arsenal line.

Superb tackle from Kongolo thwarts Lacazette just as he was preparing to pull the trigger. Smith's slack pass out had gifted the ball to Mkhitaryan and two passes later the Frenchman was in on goal only to be denied by a perfectly-timed lunge from the Huddersfield defender, their £17m record signing from Monaco.

CHANCE!  Iwobi makes an underlapping run which goes unchecked by Mooy, and Maitland-Niles feeds the ball into the path of the Nigerian who shoots into the side-netting, never really threatening to beat Hamer from the angle. The right flank looks as though it will be a good outlet for Arsenal as another cross into Lacazette forces a corner.

The Terriers were very passive in defeat to Chelsea but have certainly started this game in a more determined manner, going hard into the tackle and trying to attack in numbers. Perhaps they feel, as many teams have done over the years, that if they get stuck into Arsenal then they will be easier to soften up than the Blues.


Arsenal are ahead thanks to a large slice of fortune. Iwobi is in yards of space at the back post and Mkhitaryan finds him with a good pick out. The Nigerian lines up a volley which he doesn't meet that sweetly, but a chunky deflection off Kongolo wrong foots Hamer, who would have gobbled the shot up easily had it not been for the diversion.

Arsenal's Alex Iwobi celebrates scoring the first goal against Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on February 9, 2019.© Reuters

That is the sort of luck that evades you when you are bottom of the table, but Siewert will not be happy with the lack of marking at the back post. Kongolo had been dragged inside, perhaps the drawback of playing a centre-half at left-back, where the Dutchman has been moved to this afternoon to accommodate the return of Zanka.

Nervy moments again at the back for Huddersfield as Arsenal fail to make the most of two good openings. Mkhitaryan is unmarked on the penalty spot but Lacazette's square pass is cut out by Schindler. Shortly after, Lacazette creates room for a shot in the box but, strangley, turns back onto his left foot and the chance goes begging.

A poor defensive header by Mustafi forces Guendouzi into a rash challenge on Puncheon, for which he is perhaps fortunate to escape a yellow card. Huddersfield have not scored a league goal in over eight and a half hours, but the recent form of Mustafi and the rest of that Arsenal back-line gives them a reason to hang onto this game.

PENALTY APPEAL!  A corner is cleared to Puncheon on the edge of the box and he hits a half-volley which appears to be blocked by the hand of Koscielny. Replays show it was a combination of arm and chest, but the Arsenal captain's oscar-worthy pretence of a painful chest may have convinced referee Jonathan Moss to give the decision in Arsenal's favour.

Huddersfield win their third corner of the half, and they have all been earned by Diakhaby over on the right flank. The winger, on loan from Monaco, is dribbling at Monreal at every opportunity and the Spaniard is finding it hard work. Kolasinac needs to offer him more defensive support from his role wide in a five-man midfield.

UPDATE: Liverpool can regain top spot with a win over Bournemouth today and Sadio Mane has given the Reds a 1-0 lead at Anfield. Elsewhere, West Ham lead Crystal Palace by the same scoreline thanks to a Mark Noble penalty, while the matches between Watford and Everton, and Southampton and Cardiff, both remain goalless.

Bacuna crunches into Kolasinac on the touchline and the Bosnian limps away from the tackle.

Maitland-Niles gives the ball away in his own half with a slack pass, but Mooy is equally poor with his ball forward and although Diakhaby picks it up, Arsenal are able to regroup. A better pass from the Australian midfielder there would have created a two-on-two situation for Puncheon and Diakhaby against Koscielny and Monreal.

Huddersfield should be really encouraged by the last 10 minutes of play. They have Arsenal pinned back and are loading the box with crosses, which Arsenal are defending well so far. This is where a target man like Mounie would come into play, despite his less-than inspiring return of only one Premier League goal this season.

YELLOW CARD!  Referee Jonathan Moss has let a couple of tackles go but pulls out his yellow card here against Schindler, who went in late on Lacazette as the Frenchman offloaded the ball midway into the Huddersfield half. Arsenal went on to put the ball into the net but Iwobi was a couple of yards offside, and play is brought back for the free kick.

A reminder that Manchester United's victory over Fulham in today's lunchtime kickoff left Arsenal four points adrift of the Champions League places ahead of kickoff, so they cannot afford a slip up here. The scoreline will be pleasing to Unai Emery but the Gunners boss may be a little concerned with Huddersfield's spirited response.

SHOT!  Arsenal work the play right to Maitland-Niles who has the time and space to drive to the edge of the area. Instead of fizzing the ball across for Lacazette, the youngster cuts it back to Mkhitaryan who shifts onto his left foot for a shot from the edge of the box which is held low by Hamer, not too troubled by the lack of power.

Considering their struggles for goals, Huddersfield must not continue to waste set pieces as they are doing. Here they shift a free kick short for Mooy who has little angle from which to knock the ball into the box, and he sends it straight out of play for a goal kick as Zanka, Schindler and Kongolo trot back disappointed.


The Gunners get what could be a killer second just before the break as Lacazette taps home at the back post. It is well worked by the visitors, with Mkhitaryan, having seemingly squandered the best chance to pick out the Frenchman, recovering the ball and feeding Maitland-Niles for an overlapping cross which was on a plate for the unmarked striker.

Alexandre Lacazette scores Arsenal's second goal against Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on February 9, 2019.© Reuters


Lacazette's 10th Premier League goal of the season is the last notable action of the first half. The half-time scoreline is harsh on Huddersfield who held their own for much of that opening 45 minutes, between the boxes at least, but lacked the quality and fortune, both of which Arsenal have had, in the final third to make it count.

This is the first Premier League game of the season that Aubameyang has missed, so it was always likely that Lacazette would take advantage of his opportunity to be the main man, against struggling opponents. The Frenchman will fancy a couple more in the second half after seeing how Huddersfield collapsed at Chelsea last weekend.

It was just before the break at Stamford Bridge last week when Chelsea scored their second goal, and the Terriers went on to capitulate slightly after the restart. If they are not careful, they could be on the end of another heavy defeat here, so I'm sure Jan Siewert would like to see that his side have learned their lesson from seven days ago.

LATEST: Here are the other half-time scores from around the Premier League today:

Crystal Palace 0-1 West Ham; Everton 0-0 Watford, Liverpool 2-0 Bournemouth, Southampton 0-0 Cardiff.

BENCH WATCH: While their strikers have proven about as useless as a chocolate teapot this season, the Terriers have lacked a target man type figure in attack, with much of their promising build-up play going to waste because of it. While Steve Mounie is not in the squad today, Laurent Depoitre is an option and could cause Mustafi and Koscielny some discomfort.

AS IT STANDS: If the Gunners can see out these three points, they will move level on points with fifth-place Chelsea who travel to champions Man City tomorrow. Should Chelsea lose at the Etihad, there would only be one-point separating Manchester United and the London duo in the battle for that final Champions League spot.

KICKOFF:  The action has resumed at the John Smith's Stadium where Huddersfield are quick out of the blocks and earn their fourth corner of the match. Their dead-ball delivery will have to improve from the first half if set pieces are to be a route back into the game for them.

SHOT!  A sloppy give away from Maitland-Niles tees up Bacuna for a strike from 25 yards which is straight down Leno's throat. Maitland-Niles has picked up an assist for Arsenal's second goal, but has had a couple of poor defensive moments. Albeit he is a central midfielder by trade, but that is no excuse for reckless passing out from the back, the opposite if anything.

CHANCE!  Great opportunity for Huddersfield as they work it well down the left and cross for Diakhaby, who meets it reasonably well on the half volley from 12 yards out, but Leno gets across his line quickly to make a good save. Huddersfield just need something to go for them in the penalty area as they move the ball well through midfield at times.

YELLOW CARD!  Just to catch you up on a yellow card that was handed out a few minutes ago to Kongolo, who was unfortunate to be penalised for catching Iwobi on the follow through as he ran onto an Arsenal clearance with an attempted shot.

YELLOW CARD!  Just to catch you up on a yellow card that was handed out a few minutes ago to Kongolo, who was unfortunate to be penalised for catching Iwobi on the follow through as he ran onto an Arsenal clearance with an attempted shot.

YELLOW CARD!  Maitland-Niles collects his first Premier League caution of the season after pulling back Terence Kongolo, and Huddersfield fans cheer sarcastically as Jonathan Moss reaches into his pocket. I'm not sure that's a fair assessment of the referee's performance, but I cannot begrudge the home support the chance to cheer something, finally.

SUBSTITUTION: Jan Siewert makes an early change in the second half, swapping Kongolo, who was playing out of position and on a yellow card, for the natural left-back option of Erik Durm, who has been in and out of the team since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

SHOT!  Bacuna quickly shifts the ball onto his left foot to have a go from 20 yards out, dragging slightly wide of Leno's goal. Again the build-up play was excellent from the hosts, with Smith, Mooy and Diakhaby all involved but the finish was lacking. The fact that defender Schindler is their top scorer this season with three tells the whole story.

SUBSTITUTION: Unai Emery surprisingly withdraws Torreira in favour of Elneny, whose first contribution is to take a Kolasinac cross off the head of Lacazette, who would surely have faired better than the Egyptian from eight yards out, his effort skewed wide. Lacazette is not too happy with the Arsenal substitute!

Koscielny seems to always be in the wars and has taken a knock similar to the one he did against Manchester United in the FA Cup a few weeks ago, which nearly left him with a broken jaw. The Frenchman seems okay to carry on here though.

The Terriers have had 66% possession in the second half, but they have not threatened Arsenal's goal often enough.

Huddersfield Town manager Jan Siewert reacts emotionally during their Premier League match with Arsenal on February 9, 2019.© Reuters

OFF THE BAR!  Arsenal's goal was under threat here, although from unusual fashion. Durm's cross is partially blocked by Mustafi, with the deflection landing on the top of Leno's crossbar with the Arsenal goalkeeper flapping at the ball on the backpedal.

CHANCE!  A corner reaches Puncheon at the far post, and the former Crystal Palace midfielder tries to bend a shot inside the far post. He does not get it quite right, but Diakhaby sticks out a foot, from just a couple of yards outside the frame of the goal, only to knock it divert it behind for a goal kick. A head in hands moment for the winger.

SUBSTITUTION: That is Puncheon's last action of the game as he makes way for Depoitre, who is without a goal in 24 league games.

SAVE!  The Gunners should score a third on the break but Iwobi's finish lacks conviction and Hamer stays big in the Huddersfield goal to make a crucial block. It was an incisive counter from Arsenal with Mkhitaryan timing his pass expertly, but Iwobi did not have the quality to put the game to bed.

SAVE!  Diakhaby's 20-yard strike wobbles through the air and nearly fools Leno, who parries the shot and is rescued by a Koscielny clearance before a striped shirt can pounce on the rebound.

SUBSTITUTION: New signing Denis Suarez gets another run out off the bench for Arsenal as he replaces Henrik Mkhitaryan for the final 15 minutes. The Armenian will be pleased with his first outing in almost two months.

Huddersfield are still having a go here but time is running out and Arsenal are standing pretty firm at the back. Koscielny, so important to this defence - still the club's only decent centre-back - has made a couple of important interventions in the last 10 minutes or so to keep the Terriers out.

CLOSE!  Smith knocks a ball down the line for Depoitre who holds off his man and drills a shot across goal which may have had Leno beaten, but flies a yard or so wide of the woodwork. A really good effort but always drifting away from the target.

The Gunners have spent most of this second period on the back foot, something that they may not have expected at half time but the hosts have showed much greater character than they did in a similar situation against Chelsea last weekend.

SUBSTITUTION: Final throw of the dice for Huddersfield as Kachunga leaves the pitch to be replaced by new signing Grant, who has 14 goals in League One for Charlton Athletic this season. What the Terriers would give for that sort of return from one of their own strikers.

Inches this time, is all that separates Huddersfield from that elusive goal. Leno is quick off his line to thwart Depoitre, but leave his goal exposed and Grant tries to sweep the loose ball over the line, only to find Monreal in his path.

SUBSTITUTION: Final change for Arsenal as youngster Joe Willock replaces Iwobi, who has continued his good recent form with another decent display here, marking it with his third Premier League goal of the season.

Huddersfield are now approaching 10 hours without a goal. Even one now is unlikely to be enough to get them anything from this game. It has been the same old story for the hosts today.

There will be FOUR minutes of stoppage time here. Arsenal look set to keep their first away clean sheet of the season.


GOAL!  I spoke too soon about that Arsenal clean sheet, because Huddersfield have finally scored a goal! Mind you, they need an opposition player to do it for them, as Kolasinac bundles the rebound into his own net after Leno had saved from Diakhaby, who was played in on goal by Mooy's fine through ball. The home fans don't care how it has gone in - "we've scored a goal, we've scored a goal" they chant with glee.

Adama Diakhaby sees a shot saved by Arsenal's Bernd Leno moments before Huddersfield Town's goal in the Premier League on February 9, 2019.© Reuters

SHOT!  Bacuna hits one from 25 yards out and Leno has to be alert to prevent even more late drama. A couple of yards either side of the German and the John Smith's would have been on their feet.


Huddersfield almost provide a late twist in the tale but Arsenal record their first away win in six Premier League games, thanks to first-half goals from Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette. The Gunners move back to within a point of Manchester United in fourth, while the Terriers remain 13 points adrift at the bottom after a 13th winless game.

That's it from the John Smith's Stadium. You can read our match report on the action here, and catch up on the rest of today's Premier League results here. Thanks for joining us today. Until next time, goodbye!

That's it from the John Smith's Stadium. You can read our match report on the action here, and catch up on the rest of today's Premier League results here. Thanks for joining us today. Until next time, goodbye!

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