A fantastic strike from Australian international Aaron Mooy proved to be the difference in a clash of two Premier League newcomers at The John Smith’s Stadium, as Huddersfield Town continued the fairytale start to their first Top-Flight season in 45 years.
The hosts, who had shocked Frank De Boer’s Crystal Palace 0-3 at Selhurst Park last week, put in a dominant display against Rafa Benitez’s men to take all three-points in Yorkshire.
The visitors were low on confidence coming into the tie after being beaten at home by Spurs last Sunday and were also without skipper Jonjo Shelvey who was dismissed for a stamp on Dele Alli during that match.
However, Newcastle were bolstered by having a new signing, former Real Madrid forward Joselu, from Stoke City in their squad. However, The Terriers had a star striker of their own in the form of the League’s joint top scorer Steve Mounie and the Benin International was in fine form on his home debut.
The last time that the two teams met, they were involved in a Championship race for Automatic Promotion and The Magpies were victorious with a 1-3 victory at The Kirklees Stadium.
However, David Wagner’s men did get the better of The Geordies at the start of the 2016/2017 Sky Bet Championship season, with a 1-2 win at St James’ Park and that would be the theme of yesterday’s clash.
The hosts started the game brightly in front of a capacity crowd at their home ground and could have led early through Mooy, but his effort was well saved by Rob Elliot in the Newcastle net.
Elliot would soon be called into action again to keep out a powerful strike from former Derby County man Tom Ince, but it was visitors who came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half with Matt Ritchie’s effort superbly saved by Jonas Lossl.
However, it would take The Play-Off Champions’ just five second-half minutes to find an opener through Mooy. The no. 10 started the move for the goal on the left side before exchanging passes with Chris Lowe and Elias Kachunga, to fire a delicious curling effort into the far corner to give Huddersfield a first home top-flight goal in close to half a century.
Despite going one down, the four-time First Division and six-time F.A Cup-winning opponents were not going to go down without a fight and came close to an equalizer after the introduction of Joselu. The Spaniard found himself with a glorious opportunity to bring his side level from inside the area, but his tame shot was easily dealt with by Lossl.
The Toon’s best chance to draw level would be squandered by forward Ayoze Perez just moments later, as Ciaran Clark’s header found the former Tenerife man but he could only fire over on the turn from close-range.
As referee Craig Pawson finally blew his final whistle after a nervy finish for the hosts, Huddersfield Town had beaten Newcastle United for only the second time in the club’s last twelve meetings and it had all unfolded in front of the Sky Sports Super Sunday cameras.
The victory takes The Terriers up into a dreamy second place, but The Magpies sit dangerously close to the Relegation Zone in 17th.
Rafa Benitez’s men will go in search of their first points of the season when they host fellow strugglers West Ham United in The League on Saturday after facing Nottingham Forest in The Carabao Cup.
Whereas, Wagner’s men will entertain Rotherham on Wednesday, before bidding for a third consecutive Premier League victory next weekend against The Saints.
Man of the Match: Aaron Mooy