Millwall picked up their first league win of 2021, with Scott Malone’s goal enough for a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town.
Malone featured for Huddersfield back in 2017/18 but returned this evening to strike in the fourth minute and secure Gary Rowett a first Championship win of the calendar year.
Carlos Corberan’s side missed a 15th minute penalty as Fraizer Campbell struck the crossbar. However, the Terriers were lacking creativity and struggled to break Millwall down despite heaps of second-half possession.
— AGB (@BurnsAlfie) January 20, 2021
Richard Keogh and Naby Sarr were forming yet another new centre-back partnership for Huddersfield this season and a lack of understanding right across the defensive unit led to the only goal of the game.
Dan McNamara clipped a ball into the Huddersfield penalty area, causing confusion amongst the defence. Malone drifted in from the right unmarked – having moments earlier taken a corner – before powering past Ryan Schofield to punish his former club.
Campbell was offered a golden chance to draw Huddersfield level 10 minutes later; Corberan’s side awarded a penalty after Ben Thompson fouled Lewis O’Brien. The striker’s powerful effort rebounded off Bart Bialkowski’s woodwork, though.
Despite the setback of that miss, Huddersfield were positive heading into the next phase of the game. O’Brien was driving them forward from midfield, feeding Juninho Bacuna on 25 minutes. However, his shot across goal was the wrong side of Bialkowski’s far post.
Bialkowski was called into action shortly after and was equal to Danny Ward’s left-footed shot following a Harry Toffolo break.
Rowett’s side were holding plenty of threat still, despite letting Huddersfield boss large periods. Shaun Hutchinson was off-target with a header on 37 minutes with the last meaningful chance of the half.
A slow start to the second-half saw Millwall allow Huddersfield have the bulk of possession, with Hutchinson barking orders and pulling his teammates into shape well.
Rolando Aarons was wayward with an effort on 58 minutes, as Corberan’s men continued to be frustrated by the visitors.
Millwall were then left frustrated as Ryan Leonard was denied by a dubious offside flag after a corner broke his way – Rowett disappointed and in the ear of the fourth official.
Isaac Mbenza and Pat Jones were called for from the Huddersfield bench, as Corberan looked to breakdown Millwall’s narrowing five-man defence: McNamara had dealt with Aarons superbly, looking at home on the right.
Sarr was then unable to capitalise on Bacuna’s corner in the 72nd minute, knocking Huddersfield’s first clear opening of the second period well over the bar.
As the game ticked into its final 10 minutes, Huddersfield were struggling to create anything and allowed Millwall to squeeze the life out of the game, much to the frustration of Toffolo.
His opposite number’s early goal was enough to send Millwall back down to the capital with the points in the bag.
FT: Huddersfield Town 0-1 Millwall.