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3 things we definitely learnt about Huddersfield Town after their 1-0 v Luton Town

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Huddersfield Town are heading to Wembley following a 2-1 aggregate win over Luton Town in the Championship play-off semi-finals.

The tie was poised finely heading into last night’s second leg, with Jordan Rhodes’ late goal all it took to send Carlos Corberan’s side within 90 minutes of a remarkable Premier League return.

Luton, in fairness to them, were the better side for an hour at the John Smith’s Stadium and can count themselves unlucky not to have punished Huddersfield.

However, Sorba Thomas’ free-kick was converted by Rhodes on 82 minutes and that was enough to seal a 1-0 win on a memorable night.

Nottingham Forest or Sheffield United, who play their second leg tonight, stand in the way of Huddersfield winning promotion, with the play-off final to be played on Sunday 29th May.

As the dust begins to settle on last night and focus switches to Wembley, we identify a few talking points to emerge from the John Smith’s Stadium:

New hero, old hero

Soccer Football – Championship – Play-Offs Second Leg – Huddersfield Town v Luton Town – John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield, Britain – May 16, 2022 Huddersfield Town’s Jordan Rhodes celebrates scoring their first goal with Sorba Thomas Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

A banner from Huddersfield’s supporters pre-match read: “Time for new heroes,” as they wait to find out whether Corberan’s class of 2021/22 can match David Wagner’s 2016/17 squad in reaching the Premier League.

In truth, new heroes have already been born this season: Lee Nicholls, Tom Lees, Levi Colwill, Jon Russell and, obviously, Sorba Thomas.

Thomas has registered 12 assists for Town this season, in what’s his first full campaign at this level, having stepped out of the National League in early 2021.

Last night, his introduction on the hour changed the game’s direction and his free-kick was expertly finished by Rhodes.

If Thomas is one of Huddersfield’s new heroes, Rhodes is proving to be a returning fan favourite whose exploits haven’t been forgotten in these parts; he’s an old hero, writing new chapters in his Huddersfield Town story.

That pair combined on 82 minutes and unlocked the tie with a real piece of quality.

Tom Lees produces a big 45 minutes

Soccer Football – Championship – Play-Offs Second Leg – Huddersfield Town v Luton Town – John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield, Britain – May 16, 2022 Huddersfield Town’s Tom Lees celebrates after reaching the Championship Play-Off Final Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

As mentioned, the first hour was difficult for Huddersfield. The first-half in particular was a struggle for Corberan as Luton swarmed forwards looking for a breakthrough.

Pipa’s trouble at right wing-back came directly in-front of the press box, with Luton clearly targeting the Spaniard.

That heightened Tom Lees’ contribution as Huddersfield’s right centre-back, with the 31-year-old forced to cover the erratic Pipa.

Wyscout stats tell us that three of Lees’ four interceptions, 12 of his 15 recoveries, one of his two clearances and six of his eight aerial duel wins came in a hugely important first-half.

Without Lees, Luton might have broken Town’s resistance inside 45 minutes.

“Tom Lees is an excellent, professional centre-back,” Corberan enthused post-match.

“He’s someone with skills to adapt to difficult games and difficult contexts. He’s always very stable on the pitch and I’m very pleased with him.”

An improvement needed, no matter who Huddersfield face at Wembley

Soccer Football – Championship – Play-Offs Second Leg – Huddersfield Town v Luton Town – John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield, Britain – May 16, 2022 Huddersfield Town manager Carlos Corberan Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

 

Had Harry Cornick brought his shooting boots, it might’ve been a very different outcome last night, with Luton enjoying the better of the tie for 60 minutes until Thomas was introduced from the bench.

As it is, Corberan’s tweaks swung the game in Huddersfield’s favour, as he outperformed Nathan Jones.

Looking ahead to Wembley, Town will either face Nottingham Forest or Sheffield United, two sides who, on paper, are better than Huddersfield.

With that in mind, you’ve got to say that there will need to be an improvement in Huddersfield’s performance on May 29th if they are to get the better of whoever the face.

Both Forest and Sheffield United have the ability to convert the chances Huddersfield gave up to Luton last night, with that the most obvious warning.

However, we’ve got to say that doesn’t mean that Huddersfield shouldn’t believe. They’ve come a long way this season and outperformed expectation levels by some distance.

They can do that again at Wembley, even if they’ll be the underdogs once more.

To do so, though, we surely have to see more of what we saw from 60 minutes onwards, rather than what was on show in the opening hour.

The ultimate Huddersfield Town end of season quiz – We’ll be impressed if you score above 80% on this

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Which Premier League club is Levi Colwill on loan from?


Alfie is a journalist based in Yorkshire with years of experience covering the EFL. A current focus on Huddersfield Town and their fortunes back in the Championship, but out and about at as many games as possible. Covered Leeds United during their promotion-winning season in 2019/20.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 things we definitely learnt about Huddersfield Town after their 1-0 v Luton Town

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