An Early Battle for Survival: As it happened Huddersfield Town 1-0 Fulham
Bottom of the Premier League Huddersfield Town faced an early relegation battle against Fulham at the John Smith's Stadium on 5th November 2018.
Goalless at home and winless overall, The Terriers came up against the leakiest defence in the league. That proved to be the difference as Huddersfield Town edged Fulham by a solitary goal.
A Timothy Fosu-Mensah own goal in the first half proved to be more than enough for the hosts as they earned vital three points from a game much deemed as a six-pointer. The win lifted the home side to 18th and put The Cottagers bottom.
A Strong Start
The ever bouncing John Smith's stadium was significant to this season's first win for Huddersfield. A fantastic atmosphere on a night much important for the survival in the Premier League aided the hosts to a strong start.
Phillip Billing, Man of the Match, smashed the crossbar in the 15th minute from 30 yards out. The hosts were giving their all in search for a first home goal in their eighth league game. Wave after wave of attack was rewarded in the 29th minute when Christopher Schindler forced his header into the back of the net sending the home fans into delirium. Video assistance revealed that the ball had gone in due to a deflection from Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
A much-deserved lead for the Terriers as a toothless Fulham attack could only muster a single shot on target throughout the game.
In comparison with the first half, Fulham were much better in the second half as they came out with some intensity and desire. But it was not put to an effect as most of their attempts ended with an offside decision or a goal-kick. The team has lacked fluency and communication all through this season and it was evident once again this night.
There seems to be no cohesion amongst the Fulham squad whatsoever. Lack of leadership was crystal clear on a wintery Monday night. Mitrovic was left all alone in the opposition box. Schurrle was frustrated the whole night, he showed up in the second half but found himself offside most of the times. A clear disconnect in the Fulham team-mates is hurting their form if there is any.
Three times English league winners, Huddersfield Town have been very unlucky to find themselves in this position after 11 games. A single win and three draws do not paint the whole picture of The Terriers as they have been playing some exceptional football at times.
David Wagner, who was reassured that he would be the manager until the end of this season regardless the results, would be much relieved to finally earn three points as they will look to garner up some more points in a busy month.
As for Fulham, the job of Slavisa Jokanovic may be hanging by a thread. Six straight losses in all competitions along with the shame of having conceded the most at this stage in Premier League ever does not get any sympathy from the fixture list. Visiting Anfield, Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford in the space of five league matches is a daunting task for any manager. Fulham will need to tighten up their defence as soon as possible to have any chance of staying up.