Huddersfield Town 1-2 Burnley: A shattering blow for the Premier League's bottom club
Chris Wood celebrates as the Burnley defence are left deflated (photo: Getty Images)

Huddersfield Town 1-2 Burnley: A shattering blow for the Premier League's bottom club

Is it season over already for David Wagner's side?

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

Huddersfield Town lost an eighth successive game for the first time in their history as they blew a 1-0 lead against Burnley who duly climed out of the relegation zone.

Positive start from the hosts

For all of Burnley's impressive passing football against West Ham at the weekend, there appeared to be a clear tactic to expose Huddersfield's aerial vulnerabilities from the start. Goalkeeper Tom Heaton, maintaining his place ahead of Joe Hart, picked out Chris Wood with a free-kick but strike partner Ashley Barnes failed to make a decent contact to divert the ball goalbound from the flicked header.

The hosts did manage to create the first shot of note. Alex Pritchard wriggled past a couple of challenges before laying the ball to Phillip Billing but his contact was poor, synonymous of the Terriers' attacking threat thus far this season. Moments later, Steve Mounie spurned an overhead kick off-target from Elias Kachunga's clipped pass. The striker was more accurate with his next effort but the effort was easily gathered by Heaton after a powerful drive forward.

Huddersfield had certainly settled the better and they almost benefited from a goalmouth scramble. Players from both sides failed to get a telling touch on Billing's long throw before it was eventually hacked away. However, the visitors did pose a threat immediately down the other end as teenager Dwight McNeil almost picked out Wood after an incisive burst forward. The young winger then dragged an effort wide from range after Johann Berg Gudmundsson nipped in with a smart interception.

For all of Huddersfield's positive play and time on the ball, it was Burnley who came closest to breaking the deadlock on the half hour mark. A deep free-kick picked out Ben Mee who forced an excellent stop from Jonas Lossl. The goalkeeper was then quick to recover as he smothered Barnes on the rebound.

Ten minutes of carnage

Yet that moment only served to spark the home side back into life. After winning a corner down at the other end, Huddersfield worked the ball to Kachunga who saw his header beat Heaton but cleared off the line by Phil Bardsley.

A minute later, the Terriers did find a breakthrough. Isaac Mbenza drifted in from the left wing before finding Mounie in between Charlie Taylor and Mee who duly headed home. His first goal in nearly nine months.

Burnley needed to respond, particularly as they had failed to pick up a single point from a losing position this season. And they recovered immediately. Just seven minutes after conceding, McNeil used fleet footwork to find space before driving a ball across the box. Wood got in front of Christopher Schindler and turned the ball home for a vital equaliser.

The Clarets' youngest ever Premier League scorer offers something different and Huddersfield simply could not cope with him. Schindler compounded a torrid minute as he lost his composure just moments after the equaliser and brought down McNeil, earning himself a second yellow and causing the Terriers a host of problems. Gudmundsson almost took advantage immediately, only for Lossl to gather the Icelander's free-kick. Defender Erik Durm replaced the lively Pritchard just before the break to plug the gap at the back.

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The visitors press forward

Burnley sniffed an opportunity to grab three points and climb out of the relegation zone and were the better side in the early stages of the second half. On 52 minutes, they should have taken the lead. Ashley Westwood, who starred against West Ham, picked out Wood with a corner but the Kiwi nodded wide at the back post.

Huddersfield still looked to push on when they had the opportunity but the visitors certainly looked the most likely to score next. Gudmundsson and McNeil counter-attacked with pace, after penalty appeals for a handball from Mee were waved away, but the former saw his effort blocked by Lossl. The hosts had committed too many men forward at the set-piece, almost as reckless as Schindler's second yellow card who was rumoured not to have realised that he had already picked up a caution!

There was a surprise replacement just after the hour as Robbie Brady replaced McNeil who had caused havoc all evening. However, the Irishman partially created an opportunity moments after his introduction when his free-kick was headed out to Gudmundsson before the midfielder fired just over the crossbar. Brady then forced a palmed save from Lossl with a fierce drive.

The substitution looked to be a tactical masterstroke and Brady created another chance as he continued to pop up on either flank. This time his cross was partially behind Wood who could only flick his effort over.

Barnes scores huge goal to impact both sides

The ambition of Burnley eventually paid off with just over 15 minutes remaining. Wood held the ball up before laying it off to Westwood. The central midfielder then fed a perfectly weighted ball to Barnes who fired the Clarets ahead.

The sub was subbed as Laurent Depoitre was thrown on for Durm in a desperate bid for Huddersfield to rekindle some hope for their season.

Yet the visitors looked comfortable and should have sealed the three points as the clocked ticked into injury time. Barnes saw his one-on-one effort saved by Lossl before Burnley did their best to self-destruct.

Brady, who had made an impressive cameo off the bench, lost his cool and hacked down Mbenza from behind. The winger was shown his marching orders leaving the game poised at ten versus ten. Billing almost took full advantage, firing just over from the resulting free-kick.

Yet Burnley held on for back-to-back victories, lifting them out of the relegation zone. Meanwhile, Huddersfield find themselves embroiled in trouble by eight points, almost double their whole total for the season.

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