Huddersfield Town helped pile the pressure on Phillip Cocu at Derby County, with Juninho Bacuna scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win for the Terriers this evening.
Carlos Corberan’s side have now claimed 10 points in their last four fixtures, but it’s a very different story for the Rams and Cocu is under pressure after five defeats in the opening six games of the season.
Bacuna settled a tight game on 53 minutes, rounding off an impressive Huddersfield move.
— AGB (@BurnsAlfie) October 20, 2020
There was a lively start from Huddersfield’s right-back, Pipa, who broke into the Derby area and curled beyond the frame of David Marshall’s goal on only six minutes.
Corberan’s summer signing carried a lot of the Huddersfield threat early on, but he and the rest of the defensive unit were getting through a lot of work in an open start.
Nathan Byrne wasted an advanced Derby position and Tom Lawrence’s set-piece delivery wasn’t testing enough. At the other end, Josh Koroma couldn’t direct Pipa’s cross towards goal.
Lawrence had a penalty appeal turned down and Kamil Jozwiak curled a shot wide on 24 minutes, but the end-to-end nature of this game meant another Huddersfield chance was just around the corner. Pipa stinging the palms of Marshall this time.
As the home side looked to build some sustained pressure, Cocu will have been pleased to see Derby beating the press to get Lawrence into space.
He and Max Bird helped to tee up Andre Wisdom on 37 minutes, but the centre-back could only shoot straight at Ben Hamer.
Huddersfield came strong heading into half-time: Pipa was off-target again, as were Koroma and Bacuna, with Corberan’s side lacking some composure in the final third.
A brave break forwards and fierce ball from Harry Toffolo shortly after the break almost brought the game’s opening goal, but Fraizer Campbell was a stud away from connecting.
That break from Toffolo should’ve served Derby a warning, but it didn’t. The former Lincoln full-back was now far more advanced after a tweak in formation and a clever Huddersfield move set him free down the left.
Rather than flashing across goal as he’d done minutes before, he picked out Bacuna, who clinically finished beyond Marshall after supporting an attack he’d started.
Cocu’s side are up against it in the Championship and looked to respond. Martyn Waghorn was called for his return to action, with Duane Holmes joining him from the bench.
There was still Huddersfield threat from Koroma, Bacuna and the impressive Toffolo, whilst Richard Stearman had to use every inch of his experience to keep Jozwiak at bay.
As the game ticked into its final quarter, Holmes forced an outstanding save from Hamer low to his left and his counterpart, Marshall, also produced a decent stop to deny Naby Sarr and Huddersfield on 85 minutes.
The woodwork saved the Terriers moments later as Matt Clarke launched himself at a Waghorn cross, with time not on Cocu’s side; maybe in more ways than one.
As the pressure builds on the Dutchman, Corberan’s stock continues to rise with the Spanish revolution gathering pace in West Yorkshire.
FT: Huddersfield Town 1-0 Derby County.