'United Terriers seal survival at the Bridge'

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The impossible became possible as Huddersfield Town retained their Premier League status for another season with a hard-fought draw at Chelsea on Wednesday night.

10th May 2018

The Terriers held the champions Manchester City to a goalless draw on Sunday, which left them within touching distance of safety, but Southampton’s victory over Swansea City on Tuesday pretty much left it as a straight shoot-out between Town and the Swans for the final relegation place. 

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Chelsea, of course, were chasing a Champions League place and while they had the majority of the possession for large parts of the game, they could not break the Huddersfield resolve. 

I must have lost a stone in weight and aged another 10 years in the process of watching the game as the Terriers defended for their lives against a fairly strong Blues side. 

Even when Antonio Conte threw on big guns Eden Hazard and Oliver Giroud, they still could not break down Huddersfield and when Laurent Depoitre put the visitors in front just five minutes after the break it sent Town fans everywhere into delirium. 

Like a raging bull, the big Belgian striker chased Aaron Mooy’s ball over the top and after a coming together with Willy Caballero in which the Chelsea stopper came off worse, he put the ball into the empty net to put Huddersfield in the lead. 

It was not to last as just 12 minutes later Zanka’s clearance hit Marcos Alonso square in the face and the ball looped in the net to make it a rather nervous final thirty minutes for the Terriers. 

Huddersfield rode their luck but there was nothing lucky about Jonas Lossl’s performance as the Dane kept Chelsea at bay including a world-class save to tip Andreas Christiansen’s header onto the post. 

But despite the wave of Chelsea attacks they just could not break through as Town played a defensive masterclass to rightly earn a point and in turn, ensuring their Premier League safety. 

Colossal Lossl

The Danish international has been ever-present for Huddersfield this season and has come through trials and tribulations during the campaign but he has earned us more points than he’s lost. 

This was a man-of-the-match performance against Chelsea and the save from Christiansen’s header was just simply world-class. 

Lossl produced a strong save to deny Alonso early on and did well to avoid making contact with Alvaro Morata as the Spaniard rounded the goalkeeper which fortunately for Town, lead to nothing. 

He joined Huddersfield on a season-long loan at the start of the season after an indifferent spell in Germany and has since made the move permanent which I’m sure delighted many of Terrier fans including myself, as he is one of the best keepers I have seen in a Town shirt.

Unity is key to Huddersfield’s success

The unity of the players and staff is clear to see and they are all pulling in the same direction which is one of the key reasons why Huddersfield have stayed in the Premier League. 

You only have to look at West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City as their lack of team cohesion has cost them their place in the top-flight.

The recruitment has to be right too and Huddersfield have recruited players that fit into that team ethic we have and while we may have lacked the quality, you cannot question their determination and spirit.

Poor recruitment has been blamed at Stoke by their own goalkeeper Jack Butland and they have paid the price for signing players that may have had the quality but lacked the desire needed -  especially in a relegation battle. 

Wagner’s achievements shouldn’t go unnoticed

Getting Huddersfield to the Premier League was an achievement itself but to keep them there is astounding. 

The joke before the season even began was that Town would be down before the Christmas tree but David Wagner has defied all the odds to ensure the West Yorkshire club have another shot at the big time. 

It is Manager of the Year time and the names of Pep Guardiola, Sean Dyche and Rafa Benitez have been mentioned, but the German has to be a contender after keeping Huddersfield in the Premier League. 

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