Huddersfield takes the first win after Fulham has dropped his own goal down


If good things were to come to the waiting, few had waited longer than Huddersfield Town. They had passed 205 days without a home gate, a 659-minute barren series that made them a false history-maker. Instead, this coat goes to Fulham. No team has scored more goals in the first eleven Premier League matches when Huddersfield scored a first win to lift them off the table. Instead of suffering the insult of joining the 1971-72 Mansfield team, the only English teams to fail to score in their first six league home games, Newcastle are equal to six points.

Fulham's worst start to a high season worsened further. They have only scored two points from their last eight games in a single run endangering manager Slavisa Jokanovic's position. On a trip to Liverpool, he might approach the international break with some concern.

It was the third anniversary of David Wagner's appointment. While Huddersfield started in 20th place in the Premier League, he had inherited a team in 19th place in the championship. He was initially charged with keeping the Terriers away from League One. It is an understatement to say that he has delivered, although relegation from a higher league threatens to be a tough test.

Newcastle's victory over Watford on Saturday left Huddersfield with the unwanted award as the only Premier League team without a win, but it's a sign of the environment Wagner has created that gave it a positive atmosphere given his team's high marks Tempo started.

They got their reward, but could have beat earlier. Philip Billing was the only midfielder or striker in Wagner's squad that scored with a goal in November and the Dane almost doubled his record. He let fly from 30 meters with a shot that defeated the flying Sergio Rico and cut off the bar.

Aleksander Mitrovic and Slavisa Jokanovic exchange ideas for Fulham on a frustrating night.

Aleksander Mitrovic and Slavisa Jokanovic exchange ideas for Fulham on a frustrating night. Photo: Jacob King / Mercury Press / Rex / Shutterstock

Wagner had recalled Steve Mounié in search of more firepower and the striker headed Aaron Mooy's cross over the crossbar. Then it was his turn. Alex Pritchard broke away from André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and fired a shot that was deflected by Maxime le Marchand. Rico has adjusted well and saved, but although the resulting corner was clear, Chris Lowe had a chance to cross again. This time, he selected Christopher Schindler, who rose above Timothy Fosu-Mensah, and the man whose penalties were ended by the 45-year absence of Huddersfield from the first leg, scored since April, the first home goal. The previous one was so long ago that goalscorer Thomas Ince has since made 15 appearances for Stoke City.

It was a familiar sensation for Fulham's much-criticized, heavily modified defense. Slavisa Jokanovic has extended his record for naming another rearguard this season, but Fulham's wait for a top-cleaner goes back to April 2014. Jokanovic had named three center-backs on a decidedly defensive bench. Those he had chosen in their place considered the temptation to ask if he had made his decisions properly. As the youngest Jonathan Hogg won a header in the Fulham box, Rico had to save again.

It was an indication of Jokanovic's dissatisfaction that he had made a double change during the break and replaced the unpredictable Fosu-Mensah and ineffective Luciano Vietto and the change formation, but Kevin McDonald only took 20 minutes. His team could have previously conceded two goals. Mooy played after Mounié showed his strength in the air when he kicked off.

But a 4-2-2-2 formation gave Fulham a firm place in the game. Aleksandar Mitrovic twice scored the corners of Jean Michaël Seri, even though he had neither goal. Wagner responded by removing the influential Mounié to bring the workhorse Laurent Depoitre. He immediately appealed that Dennis Odoi, the last defender, had handled his touches outside the box, although the referee, Anthony Taylor, decided that the Fulham man used his shoulder.

Then Pritchard shot past when he had a chance to double Huddersfield's lead while continuing his search for a first-half goal of the season.

Andre Schürrle found the Huddersfield net, but only after the offside flag had been raised and the World Cup winner had widened when he could have reached a level after the release of Tom Cairney.



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