Arsenal vs Huddersfield

Lucas Torreira comes to the rescue as Arsenal leave it late in win

    Flat on his back and with his legs in the air, Lucas Torreira lay on the turf as  the cramp crept up his legs in the final few moments of this most bruising of Premier League encounters. As he rocked back on the ground, waiting for a team-mate to stretch away the pain, he was suddenly swarmed by a huddle of red-and-white shirts, all offering a hand of support.
    It was only a brief moment, but it  encapsulated this gritty, satisfying win. And if anyone deserved the urgent support of his team-mates, it was Torreira, the player who once again did more than anyone to drag Unai Emery’s side to victory.
    It has not taken very long for the Uruguayan to become the new cult hero of the Arsenal supporters, who have been craving a midfielder of his tenacity for so many years. Torreira has been endlessly combative since his  arrival, but he is also starting to add  attacking class to his game.
    His late winner here, against an  impressively spirited and organised Huddersfield Town, was his second goal in three matches. “In attacking and defensive moments he is very fast in his mind and his feet,” said Emery. “He has the quality and hunger we need.”
    Torreira’s late intervention provided a stirring end to an encouraging but draining week for Arsenal, who refused to be distracted by the “hippy crack” headlines in the week are now 
    Huddersfield’s physical approach proved tough for the home side to break down. “We limited Arsenal and kept them away from our goal,” said David Wagner, their manager. “There were very rare shots on target. This is enough, if you are Huddersfield, to  deserve a point.”
    Arsenal struggled in attack throughout, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette both missing first-half chances. Lacazette did have the ball in the net before the break, but he was ruled offside despite Huddersfield defender Mathias Jorgensen  playing him through on goal.
    The visitors had their own chance, too, with Alex Pritchard spooning his shot over before the break. It clearly troubled Emery, who sprung a double substitution at half-time. Lacazette and Stephan Lichtsteiner departed, with Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan asked to provide attacking creativity in their place. The Arsenal head coach was then forced to replace the injured Shkodran Mustafi, who limped off with a hamstring injury. The German will be unavailable against Southampton next week, as will centre-back Sokratis, who is suspended after picking up a booking.
    With Rob Holding out until the end of the season, the defensive concerns are piling up at a worrying rate. As long as there is Torreira, though, Arsenal will always have bite and fight. With just seven minutes remaining, he soared through the air to acrobatically volley Aubameyang’s cross down into the net and bring a memorable end to a memorable week.

    ArsenalV.Huddersfield Town
    • Goals
      Total Shots (including blocked shots)
      Shots On Target
      Blocked Shots
      Shots from outside the box
      Shots from inside the box
      Shot Accuracy (excluding blocked shots)

    Action areas of 19

    • Bernd Leno
    • 20Shkodran Mustafi
    • 5Sokratis
    • 12Stephan Lichtsteiner
    • 11Lucas Torreira
    • 2Héctor Bellerín
    • 31Sead Kolasinac
    • 34Granit Xhaka
    • 29Matteo Guendouzi
    • 9Alexandre Lacazette
    • 14Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


    • 17Alex Iwobi
    • 7Henrikh Mkhitaryan
    • 18Nacho Monreal

    Huddersfield Town

    • 1Jonas Lössl
    • 26Christopher Schindler
    • 2Tommy Smith
    • 25Zanka
    • 5Terence Kongolo
    • 10Aaron Mooy
    • 6Jonathan Hogg
    • 19Danny Williams
    • 15Chris Löwe
    • 21Alex Pritchard
    • 20Laurent Depoitre


    • 7Juninho Bacuna
    • 37Erik Durm
    • 33Florent 

    FT - Arsenal 1 Huddersfield 0

    One goal proves enough and Arsenal hold on for the win. Not their best day by a long shot, but they persisted and it paid off. 

    95 minutes - Arsenal 1 Huddersfield 0

    The Huddersfield goalkeeper is forward for Bacuna's free kick from just inside Arsenal's half. Nothing comes of it and luckily Arsenal's first counter attack is stalled by a block. 
    Arsenal again in transition, Torreira sends a through ball towards Guendouzi, but Lossl is back in position and beats him to it. 

    93 minutes - Arsenal 1 Huddersfield 0

    Pritchard crosses right into the heart of the danger area to Depoitre, but again Sokratis beats him, this time in the air. 
    A couple of small chances for Huddersfield coming to nothing in these closing stages unfortunately. They haven't really been a huge threat in attack throughout. 

    90 minutes - Arsenal 1 Huddersfield 0

    Seven minutes of added time to come on account of all those injuries.

    89 minutes - Arsenal 1 Huddersfield 0

    Depoitre is on the run and is fed a great ball into Arsenal's box - but vying for the ball with Sokratis, the striker goes down too easily from a little shove. Penalty appeals, but the referee is having none of it - and the two players exchange some choice words. 

    GOAL!! 83 minutes - Arsenal 1 Huddersfield 0

    Less than ten minutes of play to go, and Arsenal's chances are coming to nothing. Crosses not finding their targets, finding it difficult to break Huddersfield down. 
    But finally there's a goal. Guendouzi crosses in to Aubameyang, who controls the tricky take wonderfully, and he's able to kick it back in the air to a waiting Torreira in the middle of the box. The Uruguayan finds the breakthrough for Arsenal with class, hitting an overhead volley straight into Huddersfield's goal. He's delighted, and the Emirates breathes a collective sigh of relief. 

    80 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Guendouzi tries to get past two of Huddersfield's defenders, Moye gives him a little push, and Guendouzi goes down appealing for a penalty. But the referee books him instead for diving. He's incredulous, but it's probably the right decision as Guendouzi was looking for the foul.

    78 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Mkhitaryan with a strong cross into Huddersfield's box. Three Arsenal players in strong positions to head the ball or even get a foot to it but all fail. The fans' patience is truly being tested this afternoon, but Emery is calling for composure from his players, telling them they've got time. 
    A couple of minutes later, Xhaka's shot from long range is blocked. 

    73 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Huddersfield has a half chance as Pritchard is fed the ball right into the box on transition, but luckily Sokratis is there to clear with a sliding tackle. 

    71 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Another solid chance goes flat with Arsenal. Xhaka curls in a free kick from a strong position at the edge of Huddersfield box. Lossl punches it away, and Bellerin is unable to capitalise on the ball falling to his feet. 

    69 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Arsenal with a chance. Bellerin fires in a cross from the right-hand edge of the area, and Aubameyang tries to reach it. Goalkeeper Lossl awkwardly volleys it away, and it rebounds off the Arsenal striker. Luckily the ball doesn't go far and Lossl is able to safely steer it away. 
    Williams off for Huddersfield, Durm on. All substitutes already used by both teams.

    65 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Whereas the first half was defined by seven yellow cards, this one so far has been injuries - this time it's Arsenal.  Mustafi limps off with a hamstring problem, and Monreal gets the call up to come on for him.

    62 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Chemistry is completely off for Arsenal, a lot of misplaced and incomplete passes. They're still desperately looking for a breakthrough goal. 
    Guendouzi produces a spark, seeking out Bellerin in the box with a looping cross, but Huddersfield manage to clear it but give away a corner. Sokratis' corner cross reaches Aubameyang on the far side of the goal but he misjudges his header and sends it wide. Add this to the list of poorly taken chances from the home side this afternoon.

    59 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Pritchard tries to turn in the Arsenal box but Bellerin makes a tackle that bring him down. Penalty appeals from Huddersfield go unanswered. Arsenal players looked slightly anxious there. 
    Another injury blow for Huddersfield. Smith has gone down with what looks like a hamstring issue, and is being stretchered off. Hadergjonaj replaces him.
    The stop-start pace is really killing any momentum Arsenal are trying to build. 

    54 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    The home crowd are really getting behind their team now, trying to give them the spark they've been lacking today. Meanwhile in the away stand is Huddersfield's Steve Mounie. Though he may be suspended he made the trip to the Emirates and is sat up in the stands with the away fans. 

    51 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Hogg off injured with a possible ankle problem for Huddersfield, Bacuna replaces him. 

    49 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Torreira curls a free kick into the box, and Huddersfield's Williams gets a foot on it which  could have been dangerous - luckily the goalkeeper controls the deflection.
    Big chance for Huddersfield too, Smith drives the ball with his left foot from inside the area and forces Leno to make his first save with the team's first shot on goal. 

    46 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Emery's substitutions immediately making an impact, Mkhitaryan with a chance from the edge of Huddersfield's area but it goes wide. Iwobi wins a corner, but it's cleared. That would have been a way to start.

    Substitutions - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Double change for Arsenal. Iwobi on for Lichtsteiner, Mkhitaryan on for Lacazette.

    Second half - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Second half about to start!

    HT: Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Arsenal have missed two good chance and possibly had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside, but they have not played particularly well. Huddersfield frustrating them. 

    45 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Arsenal respond, this time Torreira lets fly from 30 yards. Fantastic strike that Lossl plucks from the top corner. 
    Arsenal then want a penalty for a foul on Mustafi...but again it's the Arsenal player who gets booked for diving. Arsenal's back three all on yellows now. If Emery was already thinking about a back four, that might decide it. 

    44 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Ooooh, now Huddersfield have a great chance. Poor pass out of his own area from Xhaka, Huddersfield work the ball down the right, find Pritchard in the area but his shot is over. 

    42 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Six yellow cards in the first half, there have certainly been more fouls than moments of genuine quality. 
    Ooof, that was a big let off for Huddersfield...they might have got lucky with the linesman's decision. Lacazette was offside when Aubameyang flicked the ball on, but then Jørgensen secures possession and plays an under-hit back pass. Lacazette gets onto it and scores, but the flag is up. Was that a second phase?

    40 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    More tackles flying in from Huddersfield, a little needlessly on this occasion because the whistle had already blown. 
    This is the referee's first game at the Emirates, and he looks to be losing control of this a bit. This time Sokratis launches himself into a tackle in midfield with the ball loose. Fully deserved his booking, which means he will miss next week's game at Southampton. 

    38 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Arsenal furious at a tackle from Williams on Torreira, flew into a slide tackle when he was never getting anywhere near the ball. Lichtsteiner over immediately and up in his grill - he could start an argument in telephone box. A yellow card for both players. 

    37 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Arsenal thought they were going to get a free-kick for a foul on Torreira, then they do get one for a foul on Lichtsteiner. 
    Xhaka shoots from a ridiculous range, and he skews it miles wide. Silly decision-making, guilty of listening to the crowd too much. 

    34 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Huddersfield are doubling and even tripling up on Xhaka, Arsenal could do with playing through Guendouzi who is free as a result. The Frenchman is the one with time and space this afternoon. 

    32 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    At least there is a bit more cut and thrust to the last few minutes. Arsenal's pass and move football is not quite there, but they look really dangerous in transitions  - perhaps that's a sign of this becoming an Emery team rather than a Wenger one. 

    30 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Another Arsenal chance goes a begging! Arsenal have an overload on the edge of the Huddersfield box, Guendouzi squares for Lacazette but his shot flies over with only the goalkeeper to beat. Looked like he struck the ball onto his standing foot. 

    28 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Poor play in possession from Sokratis, who turns down a few chances to play simple and ends up gifting the ball to Huddersfield with a mis-guided long ball.
    Depoitre then wins a foul after an all-too eager barge from Mustafi but Arsenal clear the free kick. 
    Then the best chance of the game...Guendouzi does brilliantly to lead a break, Xhaka whips a good ball across with his weaker right but Aubameyang diverts a volley wide. No more than eight yards out. 

    26 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    You can't quite accuse Huddersfield of parking the bus because they did try to press in the first 10 minutes, but they have had nothing to offer as an attacking force. 
    Thought Mooy was about to be booked for a foul in midfield, but Xhaka was actually booked for diving. 

    24 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Sokratis steps out defence and wins the foul. Been a few niggly ones in the opening quarter that have helped Huddersfield slow the game down. 
    Aubameyang is free down the right but his cross is cleared - you really want him on the end of those. 

    22 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Now Pritchard is limping slightly. Huddersfield gifting the ball back to Arsenal a little to easily here, with the home side also winning the majority of second balls. 
    Arsenal are not quite connecting through midfield though, the passing is not that fluent. Their best chance at the moment looks like being a counter sprung from a Huddersfield turnover. 

    20 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Torreira gets a kick on the ankle from Mooy but he is ok to continue. Sweeping long pass from Xhaka sets Kolasinac away down the left, and the Bosnian is right to ask more of his teammates. Was a nice ball cut back towards the penalty spot but Lacazette and co were lagging behind play. 
    Huddersfield then settle into a spell of possession but end up back with Lossl. 

    17 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    That was a good two to three minutes stoppage. Incisive passing move from Arsenal who cut through Huddersfield's midfield pressure, but Torreira's through ball towards Bellerin is a tad over-hit and Lossl gathers. 

    14 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    All a little bit scrappy at the moment, which will suit the visitors. Now there is a stoppage for the injured Hogg, who is down injured. Slid into a tackle, and contorted his body into a strangle angle. Looks to be a wrist problem, which you would imagine is treatable with ice and a painkiller. 

    10 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Nobody really taking the responsibility to conduct things for Arsenal so far, this is a team short of a playmaker with no Ozil or Mkhitaryan. 
    Lowe strides forward for Huddersfield but drags his shot well wide. 

    8 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Depoitre is an aerial presence up front for Huddersfield, but they do not have much pace to threaten Arsenal with on the counter-attack. That's usually an essential an the Emirates. 
    Quiet-ish start and atmosphere, with Arsenal going direct on a few occasions. Aubameyang is an outlet in-behind but none of their longer passes have found their target. 

    6 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Arsenal steadfast in their desire to play from the back, and Depoitre charges down Leno. Then the home side spark into life, and have bodies forward. Bellerin has Aubameyang in the middle but his cross is cut out. 
    Looked like it was opening up for Arsenal there. 

    4 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Good level intent from Huddersfield who are trying to put the ball under pressure and push up the pitch when they can. Xhaka, who can be a little slow-footed, an early target for this ratting, but he does well to keep his composure and retain the ball. It is an old fashioned 3-5-2 from the home team.

    2 minutes - Arsenal 0 Huddersfield 0

    Bright start from the visitors, as they press Mustafi into his own corner and force him into a giveaway. Arsenal must be careful that this does not become an anti-climax after four points from Spurs and Man Utd. 
    Torreira wins a foul and Arsenal start to settle into their first period of possession. 


    Still a few empty seats at the Emirates as Arsenal get the game under way. 

    Team are on their way out

    Kick-off shortly!

    Welcome return for Koscielny

    Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny is back in the first-team squad for the first time since he ruptured his Achilles against Atletico Madrid in April. With Rob Holding out for the season, his return is timely, but you have to wonder how competitive a 33-year-old will be after such a serious injury. 
    Koscielny's pace and spring were key assets also, and you need a pain free Achilles tendon to sprint and jump. 

    A little conservative from Arsenal?

    Five defenders in the Arsenal line up, as well as three central midfielders who are used to playing in deep-lying positions. Is there enough creativity against a Huddersfield team likely to sit in and defend?
    The upside of this system is Aubameyang doesn't have to play wide, and Arsenal get their two star forwards in a proper strike partnership. With the security of a back three plus Xhaka and Torreira, Arsenal's wing-backs can be super-aggressive in their starting positions.
    Perhaps it's a nod of respect from Emery to Huddersfield's midfield of Mooy, Hogg and Pritchard who - along with Philip Billing - dominated Wolves on their own patch a few weeks ago. They also dominated the ball at Bournemouth in mid-week. 

    The old fashioned way

    Arsenal: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis, Bellerin, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Torreira, Kolasinac, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
    Huddersfield: Lossl, Smith, Kongolo, Zanka, Schindler, Lowe, Williams, Hogg, Mooy, Pritchard, Depoitre.
    Next Post »