Wednesday 20 June 2018

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West Ham resurgence continues under Moyes as Terriers are hammered

Huddersfield Town 1 West Ham United 4

Manuel Lanzini celebrates with Mark Noble Photo: Getty
Manuel Lanzini celebrates with Mark Noble Photo: Getty

Paul Wilson

David Moyes became only the fourth manager to record 200 Premier League wins with this resounding victory - Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Harry Redknapp since you ask, and the first of that trio was here to see it - though of greater significance to both clubs might be the fact that West Ham leapfrogged Huddersfield in the table.

Town are considered to have been enjoying a good season up until now, punching above their weight since that joyful win at Crystal Palace on opening day, while West Ham have been toiling grimly near the bottom.

Joe Lolley of Huddersfield Town celebrates after scoring his sides first goal Photo: Getty
Joe Lolley of Huddersfield Town celebrates after scoring his sides first goal Photo: Getty

The Irons have improved under Moyes, however, and now they have moved into mid-table that should be more widely recognised, as should the overall contribution of Marko Arnautovic.

The Austrian was close to unplayable here, at least Huddersfield found him so.

Huddersfield have been well beaten here before, though only by teams from the top half of the table. This was a game they felt they had a chance of winning, yet it just went away from them in the second half. New signings Alex Pritchard and Terence Kongolo, coming on as second-half substitutes with their side three goals in arrears, must have wondered what happened to the feisty battlers described in the brochure.

Joe Lolley was hero and villain in the first half, though not in that exact order. It was his mistake that gifted West Ham an opening goal when the visitors had been unable to create anything in the final third, though the midfielder could and did complain that Jonas Lossl put him under pressure with a short ball to the edge of the area. He had a point, it was a risky pass from the goalkeeper when Lolley had his back to play, but perhaps the latter could have reacted more decisively instead of letting first Arnautovic and then Mark Noble hustle him off the ball.

Marko Arnautovic of West Ham United scores their second goal Photo: Getty
Marko Arnautovic of West Ham United scores their second goal Photo: Getty

Noble was quick to notice the Huddersfield player was in trouble and was on to the loose ball in a flash, breaking forward and beating Lossl with a crisp rising shot. That left Huddersfield with work to do. Tom Ince fizzed a cross over from the left that Laurent Depoitre could not quite reach, then when Rajiv Van la Parra sent a ball in from a similar area it flew over Lolley's head.

The Terriers kept trying, and four minutes from the interval gained their reward when Lolley took a pass from Mooy and gave Adrian no chance with a left-foot curler from the angle of the area.

It was quite a goal, and the home side finished the first half on top, only to fall behind again before they had even touched the ball in the second half.

West Ham kicked off and launched a long ball forward, Pedro Obiang gained a flick on and Arnautovic took it away from Tommy Smith's challenge to put the ball in the net before many supporters had returned to their seats.

Manuel Lanzini of West Ham United scores his sides fourth goal Photo: Getty
Manuel Lanzini of West Ham United scores his sides fourth goal Photo: Getty

Arnautovc was again involved for the third goal, shielding the ball and occupying defenders on the edge of the area before releasing a just-about-onside Manuel Lanzini with a perfectly weighted through pass.

A fourth goal arrived just four minutes later, Arnautovic this time running directly at the heart of the Huddersfield defence and almost finding a way through. He was eventually halted close to the penalty spot, but there was so little of the home defence left it was a simple matter for Lanzini to collect the loose ball and belt it into the net.

Huddersfield were not just overtaken in the table, they were simply outclassed.

Observer

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