5 Talking Points Of The Manchester City vs Huddersfield Town Match
Raheem Sterling’s late winner moved Manchester City eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Huddersfield Town took the lead via a Nicolas Otamendi own goal, before Sergio Aguero equalised from the penalty spot and Sterling popped up with a slightly fortuitous winner.
Below are four talking points from the John Smith’s Stadium.
1. City keep plugging away and get their reward :
City enjoyed 76 per cent possession in the first half, but they were a little profligate in front of goal. As the opening period wore on David Silva became increasingly influential, dropping a little deeper to pull the strings and play the sort of penetrative passes that can be so difficult to complete against opponents who pack men behind the ball in a compact defensive shape.
It was, however, Huddersfield who took the lead just before the interval, the ball hitting Otamendi’s shoulder and flying past Ederson. City did not panic and were back on level terms in the 47th minute, with the visitors going on to dominate the rest of the match and, in the closing stages, grabbing their second of the afternoon.
2. Huddersfield cannot quite hold out :
Not many teams have frustrated City this term, so Huddersfield can at least be proud that they were only narrowly beaten by the runaway league leaders. David Wagner’s side sat deep and tried to deny City space in behind, while also sporadically looking to catch them out on the counter-attack.
The hosts understandably tired as the second half grew older, and in truth they could have conceded the second goal earlier than the 84th minute. There is only so much you can do to try and halt a juggernaut like City, whose quick combinations in advanced areas unseated Town’s backline on several occasions. Huddersfield can still take heart from their defensive efforts, though, even if they were not quite enough to keep City at bay.
3. Sterling continues to shine :
Sterling may not have known much about his goal, the ball ricocheting off his body before finding the net, but the England international made a good run to get into that position in the first place. He was a threat throughout the second half at the John Smith’s Stadium, committing defenders with his dribbling and linking up with his attacking team-mates in advanced areas.
Sterling has previously been criticised for a perceived lack of end product, but this was his 12th goal of the season in all competitions – a tally he has never before reached in an entire campaign. Still only 22, the former Liverpool man has made huge strides this season.
A performance full of character.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 26, 2017
4. Town offer little threat in second half :
Desperately trying to hold on for a draw, Huddersfield abandoned any sort of attacking ambition in the second half. That, of course, was not solely a conscious choice – City’s quality forced them to play that way – but Wagner will probably be a little disappointed that his side were unable to release Laurent Depoitre, Tom Ince and Rajiv van La Parra – who was sent off after the final whistle – on the counter-attack more often.
The Terriers only attempted 79 passes after the break, down from 106 in the first half; City, meanwhile, made 350 in the opening 45 minutes and 381 thereafter. With an overall completion rate of 50.8 per cent, Huddersfield’s strategy of getting the ball forward quickly was clear, but they would perhaps have hoped to have asked a few more questions of their own in the second half.
5. Man City star slated online for dive vs Huddersfield :
While viewers couldn’t help but be impressed by some of the splendid football football on show from City, one moment of ugliness from one of Guardiola’s stars had fans up in arms on social media.
The player in question was Fernandinho, who theatrically threw himself to the ground on the edge of Huddersfield’s box in the 63rd-minute under no contact.
The only excuse that the Brazilian may have had was that he was anticipating contact that never came from Rajiv van La Parra, but Twitter users were in unforgiving mood.