Huddersfield Town scored three goals in seven second-half minutes as they beat Swansea City 4-1 this afternoon to secure a first win of 2021.
Fraizer Campbell (22) opened the scoring for Carlos Corberan’s side, but a free-kick from Conor Hourihane on the stroke of half-time pegged the Terriers back.
Steve Cooper’s promotion-chasing side folded after the break, though, with Lewis O’Brien (48) putting Huddersfield back in front before a Duane Holmes brace (52, 55) put the Yorkshire outfit in complete control.
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Swansea started the game with more intensity than their hosts, but were struggling to create anything substantial. Andre Ayew scuffed a shot at Ryan Schofield on three minutes without truly testing the Huddersfield goalkeeper.
Campbell had a goal chalked off on 12 minutes when O’Brien was flagged for offside in the build-up. Complaints followed and replays showed the ball deflected off Ryan Bennett in the penalty area.
O’Brien and Holmes were driving Huddersfield forwards in the next stage of the game and, after a good period for the home side, they opened the scoring.
An over-hit cross from Aaron Rowe found Pipa on the right, with the full-back picking out Campbell, whose scuffed finish beat Freddie Woodman.
Woodman was almost beaten again minutes later, with Juninho Bacuna’s opportunist strike from 25 yards crashing into the bottom of his post.
Both goalkeepers were now in the thick of the action: Schofield beat Ayew’s punched shot away and Woodman did well to hold Bacuna’s free-kick.
As you might expect from a side chasing promotion, Swansea came strong heading into half-time. Ayew worked himself a shooting chance; whilst Matt Grimes was offered time to shoot through bodies. However, both efforts were off-target.
Naby Sarr cleared Jake Bidwell’s header off the line, with Cooper’s side really starting to bang on the door in search of an equaliser. That goal came in stoppage time at the end of the first-half.
After a cheap O’Brien foul on the right-edge of the penalty area, Hourihane lined up the resulting free-kick and powerfully curled it beyond Schofield.
Despite that goal, Cooper was clearly unimpressed by his side’s first-half performance. Ben Cabango and Jordan Morris on for Bennett and Jamal Lowe at the break.
However, those changes backfired badly, with three Huddersfield goals in a blistering seven-minute period.
O’Brien drove from midfield in the 48th minute, with Bacuna and Campbell eventually finding the 22-year-old’s run to the edge of the penalty area. His fizzing shot beat Woodman via a deflection.
Then, it was the Duane Holmes show.
The January recruit scored his first goal on 52 minutes after Campbell and Aaron Rowe combined to put him into space to shoot beyond Woodman. His second was a stunning effort from distance, which nestled into the goalkeeper’s top corner.
Morris’ cameo from the bench was then cut short in a disappointing way after he injured his knee. Swansea were now down to 10-men after Cooper’s flurry of changes in wake of Holmes’ second.
Corberan’s side, naturally, had a spring in their step now. They were working space well and looking to add to their goal tally.
Bacuna should have done better after a cross from the left found him in space in the penalty area, but he scuffed a shot wide of Woodman’s post.
Ayew could have given the scoreline a little bit more respect, but put a late header over the crossbar as his frustration grew and the game was squeezed away from his side.
Corberan was able to hand minutes to Kieran Phillips and Scott High from the bench, with Huddersfield’s game management impressive; the polar opposite to what’s been on show in the last week.
So, a first win of 2021 for the Terriers that puts valuable distance between themselves and the relegation zone. For Swansea, though, a first defeat in the league since December 16th and a warning that the road to promotion will have plenty of twists and turns.
FT: Huddersfield Town 4-1 Swansea City.