Huddersfield Town 0 Newcastle United 1
- Anthony Taylor
Salomón Rondón’s fifth goal of the campaign gave Newcastle United a precious away win against Huddersfield Town.
The key moment came ten minutes into the second half, with the Magpies’ Venezuelan frontman converting a low, inch-perfect cross from Javier Manquillo – deployed on the right of a five-man backline.
Prior to that, Huddersfield had shaded an opening period low on quality. David Wagner’s side huffed and puffed after falling behind, but United – no strangers to soaking up pressure away from home – looked resolute, and held out to record a significant win.
The home side got off to the more purposeful start, though they struggled to create anything clear-cut. A Chris Löwe corner from the right was directed wide – under pressure – by imposing frontman Laurent Depoitre, before Löwe himself volleyed into the ground and over the top from Florent Hadergjonaj’s cross from the same flank.
After exactly 20 minutes, though, Martin Dúbravka had to be alert to tip a sweetly-struck Philip Billing free kick over the crossbar. The Dane’s 25-yard effort looked set to find the top corner, only for the Magpies’ stopper to pull off a fine save.
It was an unlikely name who was presented with Newcastle’s first chance of the game five minutes later. Kenedy played a free kick short to Ki Sung-yueng, and the South Korean picked out Fabian Schär’s run towards the back post. The Swiss defender failed to control the ball as well as he may have hoped but still managed to get a shot away, which Jonas Lössl blocked.
That was as good as it got for United in the first half, though they did register an effort on goal less than a minute into the second. Ayoze Pérez presented Christian Atsu with a chance to take aim, with the wide-man working the ball onto his favoured left foot before bringing Lössl into action from the edge of the penalty area.
During a slightly more open start to the second period, Atsu forced Lössl into a parry from 12 yards, seconds before Kenedy drove one into the stands from a tighter angle. With their next attack, though, the Magpies opened the scoring after a sweeping move – the sort of which that rarely looked like coming during the first 45 minutes. On the counter, Pérez – his space to manoeuvre limited by two Huddersfield defenders – slid the ball through for Manquillo. The wing back then delivered a briliant first-time centre, presenting Rondón with a simple finish from deep inside the area.
Looking for a quick response, Löwe let fly for Huddersfield almost immediately, bringing another good save out of Dúbravka from 18 yards. Midway through the half, the Slovakian ‘keeper made a rather more simple stop from a Depoitre header.
The Terriers peppered the United goalmouth with crosses late on, but rarely looked capable of finding a way through. Their final effort of the afternoon – a shot from Alex Pritchard from at the death, which flew harmlessly over the top from 20 yards – rather summed up their lack of threat in front of goal, with the Magpies looking largely in control after forging ahead.