Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur: Match Review

The North London side travelled to West Yorkshire for this afternoon’s kick off having won their previous two away league games.

Most pundits had this match down as another win on the road for the Lillywhites, having dismantled both Everton and West Ham in previous games. Huddersfield Town were tipped to be whipping boys at the beginning of the season but were unbeaten at John Smith’s stadium going into todays contest.

Team Line-ups

Huddersfield Town A.F.C. (4-2-3-1)

Lossl, Smith, Jorgensen, Schindler, Lowe, Mooy, Hogg, Kachunga, van La Parra, Ince, Depoitre.

Tottenham Hotspur FC (3-4-2-1)

Lloris, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Trippier, Winks, Dier, Davies, Eriksen, Alli, Kane.

Thoughts going into the game

Tottenham Hotspur have traditionally set up looking to counter attack whilst playing away. With speed down the flanks, they can transition from defending to attacking with lightning speed. Despite the sale of Kyle Walker and Danny Rose’s long-term injury, the side still possess enough pace through the likes of Trippier and Davies to pose problems. Coupled with the vision and creativity of Eriksen and Alli, Kane has hit a rich vein of goalscoring form.

The Terrier’s first season in the Premier League has started off well. The fear of capitulation has so far been unfounded. A 3-0 demolition of Crystal Palace on the opening day of the campaign has set The Terriers up well. Midfielder Aaron Mooy has been a particular highlight and has received plaudits for his performances so far. Huddersfield Town will no doubt look to play narrow and to sit deep, frustrating Spurs who have been known to struggle to break teams down. If The Terriers can keep Harry Kane quiet and kill Christian Eriksen’s creativity, they will have a chance of grabbing a result.

First Half

Huddersfield Town were expected to defend deep and keep things tight. However, they came out looking to keep the ball and play football. Aaron Mooy looked to get onto the ball as much as possible and dictate the play. The Terriers closed down Spurs’ wingbacks as they looked to stifle crosses into the box. They also set up with a high defensive line which proved suicidal. Within 23 minutes, the Premier League new boys found themselves 3-0 down.

Spurs stretched the home side with their wingbacks – who pushed forward at any opportunity. The gap between Town’s holding midfielders and the back line was too great, allowing Eriksen and Alli all the space they needed. The Lillywhites played with such a high tempo that The Terriers were often chasing shadows, as seen with the second goal.

Mooy attempted to get things going for Town, but was marshalled well by Winks and Dier. Spurs tactical setup of three central defenders allowed the wingbacks licence to get forward with impunity. In contrast, The Terrier’s fullback’s of Smith and Lowe could not cope with the marauding forward runs.

Second Half

Things were much tighter during the second half. The home side looked to sit deep and frustrate Spurs. Although the away side still found space, it was less than they did in the first 45 minutes. Town didn’t press as much as the first half, which made their shape more solid.

Tottenham’s tactical set up didn’t change but the urgency to push forward and score goals wasn’t there. After their midweek Champions League game, it was only natural to take the foot off the gas.

Huddersfield saw more of the ball as the game went on with the away side looking to keep things solid. Both Davies and Trippier didn’t get forward as much, allowing the Huddersfield wingers to push on.

Hugo Lloris, acting as a sweeper keeper, generally dealt with any ball played in behind the defensive line.

Spurs scored their fourth in the 89th minute with a classic counter attack – again the move originating on the flanks.

Match Summary

Huddersfield lost the game within 25 minutes. Expected to sit back, defend and frustrate Spurs, they instead decided to go toe-to-toe. In attempting to press their opponents it only meant that Spurs were able to stretch the Huddersfield team and create pockets of space. Davies and Trippier were key as they provided the outlet for attacks. Harry Kane’s movement caused problems for the Huddersfield defence from the first minute.

Spurs were so dominant throughout the game that Huddersfield didn’t really trouble them. Tottenham Hotspur close the gap to Manchester City at the top of the table to two points. Huddersfield Town could drop down to 14th if results go against them.

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