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Huddersfield Town 1-2 Arsenal: Gunners maintain top-four hopes with comfortable win

Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi's third Premier League goal of the season set Arsenal on their way to victory

Arsenal manager Unai Emery said finishing in a top-four spot will be "difficult, but we can" after his side's first away win since November at Premier League strugglers Huddersfield.

The result saw the Gunners, who remain sixth, move within a point of fourth-placed Manchester United and level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea, who face Manchester City on Sunday (16:00 GMT).

"We have played 26 games and there is one point between Manchester United and us," Emery said.

"If we ask 'is it easy or difficult for us?' then yes, I think it's difficult, but we can. We are on our way."

Once Alex Iwobi's strike deflected into the bottom right corner off defender Terence Kongolo, the visitors rarely looked like relinquishing the points in Yorkshire.

Alexandre Lacazette's tidy finish from Ainsley Maitland-Niles' cross ensured victory despite a late Huddersfield fight-back.

After Iwobi and Lacazette had squandered chances to increase Arsenal's winning margin, Adama Diakhaby and Laurent Depoitre both went close to scoring for the hosts.

And while Saed Kolasinac's own goal represented the Terriers first, in 597 minutes of football, it was not enough to retrieve a point.

Huddersfield remain marooned at the bottom of the table, 13 points from safety with 12 games remaining.

Arsenal put indifferent spell behind them

Arsenal arrived in West Yorkshire in the middle of an indifferent period of form, with three defeats in seven outings during 2019 underlining long-standing defensive issues.

However, bottom club Huddersfield, with one home win all season, were the perfect opponents to get back on track against.

For all the Terriers' admirable qualities, their shortcomings, particularly in attack, allowed Unai Emery's side to brush off the absence of top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and win without being at their best.

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Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal: Emery praises Gunners attitude in first away win since November

The Gunners had won their last three matches against Huddersfield without conceding a goal and looked likely to repeat that feat until Sead Kolasinac inadvertently diverted Adama Diakhaby's effort into his own goal in added time.

In attack, Arsenal's thrust was generally provided down the flanks courtesy of right wing-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles and team-mate Kolasinac on the opposite side.

The Bosnian, who had the second most touches of any Arsenal player [70] behind Maitland-Niles [94], was the architect of the opening goal.

His strong running on the left was followed by a precision cross which allowed Iwobi to volley first time, albeit fortuitously, off Kongolo, into the bottom right corner from 10-yards out.

Maitland-Niles then fashioned the second goal, racing clear on the right and sliding a perfectly weighted ball across the face of goal for Lacazette to score his 12th goal of the campaign.

Gallant losers again

The Huddersfield supporters must feel that their season is one long broken record.

This reverse, their 11th in 12 games, represented the 10th occasion that they have lost by a single goal. And, as in many of the others, they competed gallantly throughout and were deserving of their late goal but fell short in attack.

While a muted first period only brought a penalty claim - waved away by referee Jonathan Moss - after Jason Puncheon's shot had hit Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny, they did improve after the break.

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Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal:'I will fight to the end to stay in the Premier League' - Siewart

Gambling by putting more men forward left them susceptible to Arsenal on the counter, but also allowed them to finally carve out some clear chances.

Juninho Bacuna could have dramatically levelled matters at the death and Adama Diakhaby was inches away from turning in from a corner midway through the half.

Had Laurent Depoitre's right foot shot from 18 yards out found the bottom corner before Kolasinac's own goal, it would have set up a grandstand finish.

Instead, the Terriers, who had not beaten Arsenal since 1971 - 11 years before their new coach Jan Siewert was born - succumbed to a familiar fate.

Man of the match - Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)

Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi had more efforts on goal than any other Arsenal player and opened the scoring for Unai Emery's team

'We are closer to the top four' - what they said

Huddersfield Town manager Jan Siewert speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "First of all I am proud. We played against Arsenal, one of the top teams in the table and we had many chances. We tried everything, we gave everything to win the game right until the end. How we created chances made me very proud.

"The most important thing is that I come in, in a very difficult situation. Judge us by our work and what the players are doing and this makes me proud. The supporters' applause makes me proud. I will fight until the end to keep these lads in the Premier League.

"I showed them the way they could play and, in two or three weeks it is a lot to do, but everyone is willing to do it.

"I won't judge about these (the referee's) decisions; it is our work the most important thing and it was a tight game, this was Arsenal.

"I have a lot to learn because on the video it is different. Every chat we have I get to learn them better.

"We are working on it as much as we can and they proved it today, the way we are creating these chance - and the fight comes first, everything else comes in the future."

Arsenal manager Unai Emery, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "Good victory and good work; today I think our work was very good.

"We didn't win away from home in a long time and we are closer to the top four.

"A clean sheet is another thing we want before every match but we spoke about a lot of things about the match and the win is the first thing, we just had to score one goal more than them.

"The attitude is great from everybody."

Huddersfield's first goal in 597 minutes - the stats

  • Arsenal are the only side without an away clean sheet in the Premier League this season.
  • Sead Kolasinac's own goal was Huddersfield's first goal in 597 minutes of football in all competitions, since Steve Mounie scored against Burnley in January.
  • Arsenal won their fifth away Premier League game of the season, one more than they managed on the road in the whole of 2017-18.
  • Huddersfield are the first side to lose seven consecutive home Premier League games since Wolves in April 2012 (a run of nine).
  • Alexandre Lacazette netted his first away goal in 10 games for Arsenal in all competitions since scoring twice at Fulham back in October.
  • Alex Iwobi has a hand in 10 goals in all competitions for Arsenal this season (four goals, six assists) - his best return in a single campaign for the Gunners.

What's next?

Huddersfield travel to Newcastle in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday, 23 February (15:00 GMT).

Arsenal travel to Bate Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday, 14 February (17:55 GMT) before resuming their Premier League duties at home to Southampton on Sunday, 24 February (14:05 GMT).

Line-ups

Huddersfield

  • 12Hamer
  • 2Smith
  • 25M Jorgensen
  • 26SchindlerBooked at 36mins
  • 5KongoloBooked at 49minsSubstituted forDurmat 56'minutes
  • 6Hogg
  • 7Bacuna
  • 10Mooy
  • 42PuncheonSubstituted forDepoitreat 66'minutes
  • 9KachungaSubstituted forGrantat 83'minutes
  • 11DiakhabyBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 8Billing
  • 13Coleman
  • 16Grant
  • 20Depoitre
  • 21Pritchard
  • 27Stankovic
  • 37Durm

Arsenal

  • 19Leno
  • 20Mustafi
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 15Maitland-NilesBooked at 55mins
  • 11TorreiraSubstituted forElnenyat 59'minutes
  • 29Guendouzi
  • 31KolasinacBooked at 90mins
  • 7MkhitaryanSubstituted forD Suárezat 76'minutes
  • 9Lacazette
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forWillockat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Cech
  • 4Elneny
  • 12Lichtsteiner
  • 22D Suárez
  • 27Mavropanos
  • 49Nketiah
  • 59Willock
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
24,182

Match Stats

Home TeamHuddersfieldAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home16
Away9
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away0
Fouls
Home17
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Huddersfield Town 1, Arsenal 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Huddersfield Town 1, Arsenal 2.

Attempt saved. Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Karlan Grant.

Offside, Arsenal. Denis Suárez tries a through ball, but Sead Kolasinac is caught offside.

Booking

Adama Diakhaby (Huddersfield Town) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Own Goal by Sead Kolasinac, Arsenal. Huddersfield Town 1, Arsenal 2.

Attempt saved. Adama Diakhaby (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Aaron Mooy.

Christopher Schindler (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal).

Foul by Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town).

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Laurent Depoitre (Huddersfield Town).

Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Joe Willock replaces Alex Iwobi.

Attempt blocked. Karlan Grant (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Adama Diakhaby (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Juninho Bacuna.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Karlan Grant replaces Elias Kachunga.

Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal).

Attempt missed. Laurent Depoitre (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Tommy Smith following a fast break.

Foul by Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town).

Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town).

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Denis Suárez replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal).

Attempt saved. Adama Diakhaby (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Laurent Depoitre.

Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal).

Attempt saved. Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Attempt missed. Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Sead Kolasinac.

Foul by Erik Durm (Huddersfield Town).

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Laurent Depoitre replaces Jason Puncheon.

Attempt missed. Adama Diakhaby (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jason Puncheon following a corner.

Attempt missed. Jason Puncheon (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Shkodran Mustafi.

Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool26205159154465
2Man City26202468204862
3Tottenham25190651242757
4Man Utd26156552351751
5Chelsea25155545232250
6Arsenal26155653371650
7Wolves2511593332138
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester2595113031-132
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Cardiff2674152447-2325
17Newcastle2566132133-1224
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield2625191448-3411
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