Report: Lacklustre Manchester United defeated by lowly Huddersfield Town, 65 years after their last victory over United


Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium in the Premier League. It was a poor match by United who gave the opening goal away easily with Aaron Mooy, a Manchester City player, scoring in the 28th minute. Just five minutes later, after a defensive error by Victor Lindelof saw Laurent Depoitre double the hosts lead.

United tried to get back into the game, to no avail. Romelu Lukaku set Marcus Rashford up twelve minutes from time, scoring a consolation goal, but an equaliser was not going to come for United. A first league defeat this season – it had to come some time. United now trail five points behind Manchester City and could be overcome by Tottenham Hotspur – if they beat Liverpool by more than eight goals!

Four changes were made by Jose Mourinho following the 1-0 victory over Benfica in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening. Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial have replaced Victor Lindelof, Daley Blind, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford – all of whom are on the bench.

United started the game in good stead, but so did Huddersfield. In the eighth minute of the match Anthony Martial and Tommy Smith were going at it, the referee was alerted to the fracas by his assistant, giving both players a yellow card. Just over a minute later, Jesse Lingard was taken out by Christopher Schindler, who was booked for the challenge.

Phil Jones looks to have played his last game for a while as injury seems to have struck, yet again. Victor Lindelof replaced the England international in the 24th minute of the match. United’s injury list is getting longer with Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all on the sidelines.

United conceded their third goal in the Premier League this season with Aaron Mooy creating a chance and being passed the ball to score the opening goal in the 27th minute of the match which was out of reach for David De Gea. It is not a great start for United, who could be losing their excellent record so far this season.

It got worse for United in the 33rd minute of the match with Lindelof making a defensive error and gifting Laurent Depoitre the second goal of the match. United need to find their feet and get something back otherwise Huddersfield will keep coming, pressuring the Swedish international and pushing for more goals.

Huddersfield made their first change of the match in the 38th minute with Elias Kachunga suffering an injury to his lower back, being replaced by Rajiv van La Parra. United have done little to get back into the game heading into the final three minutes of the first half. Jose Mourinho will not be happy with his team when they head into the away dressing room.

United had only spent two minutes behind in a match all season, at the end of the first half, they will have been behind for 18 minutes – which is not a good sign. United have many talented players on the sidelines through injury, but this should not be an excuse. It just shows that the fringe players are not as good as many thought they were.

At the start of the second half Mourinho made two more changes with Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan replacing Anthony Martial and Juan Mata. United have used all three substitutions with 45 minutes still to play. I hope these changes work and do not result in anymore injuries.

United had a change to get something from the game ten minutes into the second half with Young on the ball, having more time then he thought in a central position, firing the ball 25 yards off target, wasting the chance. United need to be more clinical and put in the blood, sweat and tears to grasp something from this match. In the 57th minute, Marcus Rashford received the ball inside the box, seeking the goal, his shot off target.

Young was booked in the 62nd for a challenge and the resulting free-kick was not dealt with all that well by United who seem to have forgotten how to play football today. United broke forward minutes later with Rashford on the ball, passing to Mkhitaryan, who was offside and flagged by the assistant. United need to be doing so much better. No chance of a goal coming if they continued to play like this.

Huddersfield made their second change in the 70th minute of the match with Steve Mounié replacing the scorer of the second goal, Depoitre, who had played a good game against United. Mourinho will need to inspire his side to get back into the game as right now, their haters and upcoming opposition will be lining up to strike and United will start their fall from grace.

United got a goal back in the 78th minute of the match with Romelu Lukaku on the ball on the right, keeping possession and lofting in the cross to Rashford, who found the back of the net. That was much better from United, who now have just over ten minutes, plus stoppage time to find a second and more importantly a winner in this match.

United had played better after scoring the goal, which at this time was still nothing more than a consolation, but that was a good sign that this United side were not so willing to give up so easily. It was still 2-1 to Huddersfield in the 90th minute, with four minutes of added time remaining for United to get an equaliser or Huddersfield to dig deep and keep the three points they have worked for very well in this match.

It was not meant to be for United, the first defeat of the season. It had to come sometime. Only Manchester City remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season. Chris Smalling had the chance to equalise, but his threat was defended well with Huddersfield still leading the match. It was all over for United, Huddersfield have beaten United for the first time in 65 years. United will now trail City by five points in the league, not the void they wanted to open.

Goals: Marcus Rashford 78′

Assists: Romelu Lukaku 78′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Jones (Lindelof 22′), Smalling, Young; Herrera, Matic; Mata (Mkhitaryan 46′), Lingard, Martial (Rashford 46′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Blind, Darmian; McTominay

Bookings: Anthony Martial 8′, Ashley Young 62′

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copyright: JW

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