Huddersfield Town vs Derby County

Competition: EFL Championship Matchday 6

Date: 20/10/2020

Score: 1-0

Ground: John Smith Stadium

Three days after their heroic win in Wales, Town were back playing again. Town had a shaky start on their return to the John Smith Stadium for the first time in 25 days. Ben Hamer was under pressure from the onset from the team he spent last season on loan at. Town struggled for the first 10 minutes of the game, although the best chance fell to Isaac Mbenza who nearly managed to push it around Marshall the Derby 'keeper. Town seemed to assert more pressure during the second 10 minutes of the game but this was quickly quashed by the Rams who went into the break looking like the better side. Pipa again in the first half showed what a big threat he can be, as he bombed up the right-wing, with two good chances nearly going in.
Town started the second half on top, as Koroma broke through the Derby backline, only for his shirt to be ripped in the process. The breakthrough came in the 53' minute as Harry Toffolo burst down the left wing before sending a dangerous ball into the box which was met by Juninho Bacuna, who fired home for his first goal since lockdown last season. Shortly after the goal, Mbenza made way for Schindler who made only his second-ever appearance off the bench for Town. Bacuna's goal was the only bit of real quality at either end as Town went onto see out the game and collect their 10th point in 4 games and climb to 8th in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Town's next game is matchday 7 in the EFL Championship this Saturday (24/10/2020) at home to Preston North End.

5 Conclusions from the Game

1. Toffolo and Pipa cost only £500,000 each

I think the board can be criticised for their lack of spending this season, but the money that has been spent on Pipa and Toffolo has definitely been worth it. Toffolo has 1 goal and 2 assists this season, with no Town playing having contributed more in the final third than Town's Left Back. Pipa on the other hand has had a solid contribution this seaon. The full backs for Town this season have been the driving Town forward and both players are key in the team's success.

2. Richard Stearman I apologise

I thought Richard Stearman was very poor against Norwich and Brentford and I went as far to say that I didn't want him to play again for Town. Since then he has been absolutely immense. This was no different again today. I think the change in style to playing out from the back has really helped him and those overlapping runs into midfield showed why he was back-up for Chris Basham as Sheffield United last season. What do I know about football eh?

3. Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

I was surprised to see only one change in the starting line-up today with Campbell coming in for Schindler. I would not be surprised to see more rotation in the coming weeks as Town have two more midweek games in the next two weeks. Although Carlos has only made changes due to injury or low fitness so far, I think in the next few games we will start to see Town field different sides as they looked tired in the second half today in my opinion.

4. It is amazing what a good run of games can do

After the Brentford game, it was looking like it was going to be a miracle if we stayed up, now we sit 8th in the league and the team spirit is back. It was great to see how Mbenza and Bacuna reacted at full time to Town winning against Swansea and how they congratulated Josh Koroma on his first league goal. I have not seen this sort of team spirit since our promotion and survival seasons under Wagner. Long may it continue!

5. Hamer to Bacuna

Town actually scored a goal which started with the 'keeper and in 7 passes ended in the back of the net! It was brilliant to see and is one of the best team goals I think I have seen us score for a long time. Hamer is a brilliant shot-stopper and while I think he can improve on his distribution, he is playing miles better than he did 2 seasons ago. Bacuna had a difficult start to the season and applied his quality for his cool finish into the bottom left corner. The goal shows that Bacuna has the ability just doesn't always apply himself fully.

Town Team:

Starting 11: Ben Hamer, Pipa (69' Demeaco Duhaney), Naby Sarr, Richard Stearman, Harry Toffolo, Jonathon Hogg, Juninho Bacuna, Carel Eiting (65' Lewis O'Brien), Fraizer Campbell, Josh Koroma, Isaac Mbenza (55' Christopher Schindler)
Subs: Joel Pereira, Demeaco Duhaney, Matty Daly, Christopher Schindler, Jaden Brown, Lewis O'Brien, Adama Diakhaby
Formation: 433

Match Statistics

Huddersfield Town: Derby County:
xG (Expected Goals): 1.09 0.80
Possession %: 54 46
Total Shots: 18 12
On Target: 3 2
Tackles: 16 14
Pass Accuracy %: 79 75
Fouls: 15 11
Yellow Cards: 1 3
Red Cards: - -