Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal

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Post-Match Report

Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal: How it happened

Alex Iwobi scores at Huddersfield

Huddersfield Town -

John Smith's Stadium
Premier League
Premier League
  Huddersfield Town
      
              Kolasinac (90 + 3 og)
          
   crest
Huddersfield Town
Kolasinac (90 + 3 og)
1 2
  Arsenal
      
                  Iwobi (15)
                   Lacazette (44)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Iwobi (15)
Lacazette (44)

By Chris Harris at John Smith’s Stadium

WHAT HAPPENED

We stayed in the thick of the chase for a top-four finish thanks to goals from Alex Iwobi and Alex Lacazette.
 
Iwobi gave us the lead with a goal that required good technique - and a stroke of luck.
 
Keeping his eye on a deep cross from Sead Kolasinac, the Nigeria international did well to keep over the ball and send it goalwards.
 
A fortuitous clip off the heel of Terence Kongolo wrongfooted goalkeeper Ben Hamer, and he couldn’t recover to keep the ball out.
 
Huddersfield - starved of goals this season - ramped up the pressure at times with a string of dangerous crosses into our box.
 
They were particularly threatening on the right with Adama Diakhaby, but our back three - marshalled expertly by Laurent Koscielny - got heads and bodies in the way.
 
We played on the counter-attack and, eventually, our quality told again.
 
This time Henrikh Mkhitaryan led a lightning break and, after losing possession, he immediately retrieved the ball and found Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the right.
 
He rolled the ball across the six-yard box and Lacazette tapped in from close range.
 
That sucked the life out of the home side, but they kept coming at us.
 
Bernd Leno made a decent save to deny Diakhaby and Nacho Monreal cleared off the line, but the Premier League’s bottom club did get a goal back in stoppage time as we were made to work for the points.

Lacazette doubles our lead

Lacazette doubles our lead


THREE THINGS WE NOTICED

Coming soon

HOW IT HAPPENED

See how our latest Premier League game unfolded with our play-by-play commentary

WHAT IT MEANS

This result keeps us in sixth place.
 
We’re a point behind Manchester United and level on points with Chelsea - who face Manchester City on Sunday.
 

Premier League table, February 9

Premier League table, February 9


TEAM NEWS

Unai Emery was without three prominent attacking players for this game.
 
Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were both ill, and Aaron Ramsey missed out with a slight knee problem.
 
On the flip side, Mkhitaryan and Maitland-Niles were fit to return to the squad.
 
Joe Willock was also drafted in, starting on the bench alongside loan signing Denis Suarez.
 
 

WHAT’S NEXT

Our next two games are both in the Europa League.
 
We travel to Minsk to face BATE Borisov in the first leg of our last-32 tie on Thursday. The Belarussian side visit Emirates Stadium for the return leg on February 21.
 
Our next Premier League game is against Southampton at home on February 24.

Interview

Iwobi - Why I loved Lacazette’s goal

Alex Iwobi scored against Huddersfield on Saturday but he enjoyed our other goal just as much.

That one was tucked away by Alex Lacazette after a slick counter-attack that culminated in Henrikh Mkhitaryan finding Ainsley Maitland-Niles for a match-winning assist.

So why did it give Iwobi so much joy?

“We’ve been working a lot on transitioning when we get the ball, to counter-attack and attack with speed,” he explained. “So when the goal went in it was a great team move and I was also happy for Laca to get the goal as well.

“Ainsley did well today,” added Iwobi. “He’s an attacking threat. You can see that he can get up and down, he’s got a lot of stamina. It’ll do him a lot of good and hopefully he continues this run of form.”

Iwobi’s goal required decent technique to keep the ball down as he met Sead Kolasinac’s cross on the volley.

“As soon as I saw it coming in the air and saw the defender coming, I thought I just had to get a good connection, and luckily for me it went through the guy’s leg with a bit of a deflection and went in.

“No, [this nutmeg] wasn’t on purpose, I promise!”

Quotes

Lacazette - We should have scored even more

Alexandre Lacazette

Alex Lacazette admits that our run of seven Premier League away games without a win had been playing on our minds before we beat Huddersfield on Saturday.

The France international doubled our advantage at the Joh Smith's Stadium after Alex Iwobi had opened the scoring - but he feels we could have added further gloss to the scoreline.

This is what he told the media afterwards:

on whether they could have scored more...
Yes, I think we should have had more situations to score more goals but we played against a strong team today in the second half. We were in a difficult moment so these three points are good for us.

on whether Huddersfield surprised him...
We knew that, because the first game at the Emirates [in November] was the same - we only scored one goal at the end. We knew today was going to be hard but we are happy with the three points in the race at the top of the table.

on a first away win since November...
Yes [it's been on our minds] a little bit but we knew we had the quality to win today, it's about us and we did that.

Press conference

Emery press conference: every single word

Unai Emery

Unai Emery was as animated as ever on the touchline as we battled to a 2-1 win at Huddersfield.

After the game, he was asked about his emotions, and whether he was unhappy while watching Saturday’s performance.

Here’s what he said:

on the result…
It was very important, this victory, it is three points for us to be closer to the top four, and our target is this. Knowing we need to take the regularity at home and away, and today this victory I think can give us confidence and the possibility to continue our target in the Premier League.

on seeming unhappy on the touchline…
I am very happy. We were working very well and every player was working and helping each other. Today I am very proud with our work, every player worked. I want more every time, because in the first half the difference between them and us was two goals, and it is not enough, because if they score one they can get more. My ambition is to want them to keep the mentality and don’t concede the position to the opposition. But I know it’s easier on the bench than on the pitch but today I think the players worked well.

on whether the top four is realistic…
It is game 26 and there is a one-point difference between Manchester United and us. If we ask if it’s easy or difficult for us then I think it’s difficult, but we can [do it]. On game 26 we are on our way. Our motivation is very great and every player wants to [work hard] in every match and have regularity and consistency in the Premier League in 38 matches, and now we are getting close to our target and to the other teams.

on whether no clean sheet is a concern…
Yes, but we won. The clean sheet is important but above all is to win. We can take a clean sheet and draw only. We spoke before with the team and we said that above all it is important to win and take individual targets also. The most important thing is to score one more goal than them, and after that, a clean sheet. But I think every player worked very well, and in the last action unfortunately for us they scored, and maybe they deserved it.

on whether he thinks his emotion on the touchline is stressful for the players…
I am here. It is my personality, and if I am here it is because in my career I have progressed like that. If in one moment I think it is negative, I would not do it.

Quotes

Mkhitaryan - We know every point is important now

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan made a winning return to our side on Saturday as we beat Huddersfield 2-1 at the John Smith's Stadium.

The Armenian international was at the heart of the action as first-half goals from Alex Iwobi and Alex Lacazette sealed an important away victory.

Afterwards, he faced the media and this is what he told them:

on the performance...
Not the game, but the result [we wanted], yes. The last away game we won was two months ago, so it was an important win for us and we are happy to get the three points. 

on the early goal settling any nerves...
I think it was very important to score the two goals in the first half, and apart from that we had other chances to score but I think we were a bit unlucky. In the second half we had a few chances we couldn't realise, but the most important thing was that we won.

on Huddersfield making them work for the win...
With the new manager they have started playing very well and I wish them good luck. But the most important thing is we won and can go home happy.

on needing a run of results in the top-four battle...
We will try everything to win every game because every point is important so now we can be focused on the Europa League and then back on the Premier League after that.

on his return from injury...
Yes, I was happy to be back after two months and I was excited. I will keep working and trying to do my best for the team.