On paper, Burnley against Huddersfield Town was one of the less glamorous ties of matchday six in the Premier League and the contest was certainly one of hard graft rather than substantial top-flight quality, as predicted in our pre-match analysis.
Stephen Ward the most dangerous player in a blunt opening 45 minutes
The game pitted two sides suggested by some to be relegation contenders but two teams who had been punching above their weight in the first five games of the season. Whilst there was a potential spot in the top three for the winner, both clubs appeared to have more to lose than to gain as they looked to cement their solid starts to the campaign.
With very little natural top-class football talent on the teamsheet, the game was built upon organisation and hard work as initiated by Huddersfield’s Abdelhamid Sabiri. The new signing was booked within five minutes but caused headaches for the Burnley defence with his energetic high press.
The first chance of note came all of 22 minutes into the contest. Burnley looked at their most threatening in wide areas and full-back Stephen Ward picked out Chris Wood with a sublime cross who headed just wide.
Ward has enjoyed a stellar start to the season and he almost unpicked the visiting defence once again before the break. The left-back played another delightful cross into a dangerous area, only for Christopher Schindler, who has also made a solid start to the campaign, to be on hand to intercept the cross with Wood lurking just behind.
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A brief open spell gradually filters out as both teams settle for a point
After a first half bereft of goalmouth action, the second period immediately created a golden opportunity for the visitors. Tom Ince found Laurent Depoitre who forced Nick Pope into an excellent save as he continues to impress in the absence of Tom Heaton. Sabiri then curled over after Elias Kachunga found room between the lines.
The combination of Ward and Wood was still a prominent one for the hosts and the pair combined again as the striker poked an effort towards goal, only to be thwarted by Jonas Lossl. The visiting goalkeeper was then called into action again as he comfortably held a strike from Robbie Brady.
At the other end, Ince was beginning to have more of an influence and he smashed an effort just wide midway through the second period. Yet opportunities began to filter out as desperation took over, exemplified by Rajiv van la Parra’s dive in the box.
A flurry of substitutes killed the last remaining tempo in the game and both sides appeared to be content with a point and clean sheet apiece. It leaves both Burnley and Huddersfield comfortably mid-table with reflective records of two wins, three draws and just one defeat in their opening six games.