Thursday 19 July 2018

Records put on hold as Manchester City draw a blank at home to Huddersfield

Fernandinho of Manchester City lifts The Premier League Trophy
Fernandinho of Manchester City lifts The Premier League Trophy
Manchester City's Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus

Andy Hampson

Manchester City failed to fire on the day they were presented with the Premier League trophy as Huddersfield claimed a vital point at the Etihad Stadium.

The champions lacked their usual ferocity and had to settle for a goalless draw against a Huddersfield side who dug in for a result that could be critical in their battle to avoid relegation.

City had gone into the game on the brink of breaking Premier League records for most wins, most goals and most points in a season but all three were put on hold.

For the Terriers, with tough final games against Chelsea and Arsenal to come, the unexpected point was hugely welcome, putting them in touching distance of safety.

They had to work hard for it, though, as City, despite lacking their usual intensity, dominated possession in their customary manner.

John Stones returned from injury for his first City appearance in two months and the hosts were comfortable stroking the ball out from the back.

David Silva tested Jonas Lossl in the early stages and Kevin De Bruyne fired wide from the edge of the area but Huddersfield generally coped well with their advances and carried some threat themselves.

The visitors carved out an early opening when Aaron Mooy shot wide and Florent Hadergjonaj worked Ederson after a quickly-taken free-kick.

Alex Pritchard also forced a save from Ederson and Chris Lowe thrashed another attempt wide of the mark.

Between these openings City dictated the pace of play but they could not find a way through.

Gabriel Jesus did get behind the defence but his ball for Raheem Sterling was poor and Lossl pushed away another effort from De Bruyne.

The visitors survived a scare early in the second half when Lossl failed to claim a corner and the ball rebounded towards goal off Steve Mounie but Christopher Schindler hacked off the line.

City sent on Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan but they struggled to create a threat.

As time wore on, Huddersfield began to sense they could snatch an unlikely point. When Tommy Smith was booked for delaying the taking of a free-kick just after the hour it was clear they hoped they could hold out.

City laboured to create chances and when Mendy did carve one out with a decent cross, Jesus headed well over. Bernardo Silva also shot wide and Mendy blasted over.

Huddersfield might have nicked all three points after a late breakaway but Ederson saved from Scott Malone.

Tweet of the match

They might not have claimed the three points, but City could at least console themselves with the Premier League trophy and a WWE title belt.

Star man - Christopher Schindler

He marshalled the visitors' defence brilliantly and made a key clearance when his goalkeeper lost track of a corner. Industrious midfielder Jonathan Hogg also deserves a special mention.

No record-breaking day for City

A frustrating afternoon meant history eluded City on Sunday. Still, Guardiola's side have another two chances to break records, starting with the visit of Brighton on Wednesday.

Huddersfield once again prove a tough nut to crack

Guardiola may have known little about Huddersfield prior to arriving in the Premier League but they have proven one of the most stubborn opponents his men have faced over the past two seasons. Last term City needed an FA Cup replay to knock them out of that competition and six months ago the Terriers led before Raheem Sterling scored a late winner in a come-from-behind victory. So many clubs have been put to the sword by City, but David Wagner's Terriers seem to have found a formula to frustrate them.

Ratings

Manchester City: Ederson 6 (out of 10), Kyle Walker 6, John Stones 6, Nicolas Otamendi 5, Fabian Delph 5, Fernandinho 6, Kevin De Bruyne 6, Raheem Sterling 6, David Silva 6, Leroy Sane 5, Gabriel Jesus 5. Substitutes: Benjamin Mendy (on for Delph, 57) 6, Ilkay Gundogan (on for De Bruyne, 68) 6, Bernardo Silva (on for Stones, 73) 6.

Huddersfield: Jonas Lossl 6, Mathias Jorgensen 8, Christopher Schindler 8, Terence Kongolo 8, Tommy Smith 7, Florent Hadergjonaj 7, Jonathan Hogg 8, Aaron Mooy 7, Chris Lowe 7, Alex Pritchard 7, Steve Mounie 6. Substitutes: Laurent Depoitre (on for Mounie, 59) 7, Scott Malone (on for Lowe, 77) 6, Rajiv van La Parra (on for Pritchard, 82) 6.

Who's up next?

Manchester City v Brighton (Premier League, May 9)

Chelsea v Huddersfield (Premier League, May 9)

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