Live Commentary: Huddersfield Town 0-1 Liverpool – as it happened

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Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole‘s live text coverage of the Premier League clash between Huddersfield Town and Liverpool at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The hosts come into this match still searching for their first win of the season, having picked up just three points from their opening eight games.

Liverpool, meanwhile, began the day joint-top of the table but failed to win any of their last four games across all competitions immediately prior to the international break.

Make sure you don’t miss a moment of the action courtesy of our minute-by-minute updates below.

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4.30pmGood afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for this late Premier League kickoff as struggling Huddersfield Town host Liverpool at the John Smith’s Stadium!

This match pits two friends against each other in the form of managers David Wagner and Jurgen Klopp, but they have experienced contrasting starts to their Premier League campaigns so far.

We will have a look at both clubs a little later, but first let’s check out the team news…

4.32pmHUDDERSFIELD STARTING XI: Lossl; Durm, Zanka, Schindler, Lowe; Billing, Hogg, Mooy, Pritchard, Hadergjonaj; Depoitre

4.32pmHUDDERSFIELD SUBS: Hamer, Bacuna, Diakhaby, Van La Parra, Mbenza, Mounie, Stankovic

4.34pmLIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Lallana; Salah, Sturridge, Shaqiri

4.34pmLIVERPOOL SUBS: Mignolet, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Origi, Matip, Alexander-Arnold

4.36pmWhat can we make of those two teams, then?

We, we are going to have to start with Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp has made a few interesting selections in his starting XI this afternoon, perhaps taking the chance to rest some players in a game his side are heavy favourites for.

The most notable absentee is probably Roberto Firmino, who is only named on the bench as Daniel Sturridge leads the line. Sturridge has already scored more goals in nine appearances this season than he did in 20 last season, but it is still a surprise to see him included ahead of Firmino.

4.38pmFirmino did feature for Brazil during the international break which may factor in to Kopp’s thinking, with Fabinho also left on the bench despite injury concerns in midfield.

Many of Liverpool’s injury worries from the international break appear to have been eased, though, with key players such as Virgil van Dijk, James Milner and Mohamed Salah all having shaken off concerns to start this match today.

4.40pmIndeed, Salah is the only member of the usual front three to start today, with Sadio Mane absent from the squad entirely after breaking his thumb while on international duty and Shaqiri taking his place.

Much has been made of Salah’s form this season compared to his record-breaking campaign last term, and the Egyptian international goes into today’s game hoping to end what is now a seven-game drought without scoring away from home for Liverpool across all competitions.

Mohamed Salah in action during Liverpool's Premier League clash with Chelsea on September 29, 2018© Reuters

4.42pmOne particularly notable inclusion is Adam Lallana, who has been sidelined since September 1 but is thrown straight back into the starting lineup for this one, with Keita injured and Wijnaldum left on the bench.

Lallana is one of three changes to the team which drew with Manchester City in their last outing before the international break, with Firmino and Mane also dropping out for Sturridge and Shaqiri. Gomez continues at right-back, meanwhile, with Alexander-Arnold once again on the bench.

4.44pmAs for Huddersfield, they have made just the one change from the team which earned a draw against Burnley before the international break, with David Wagner opting against too many new faces in a bid to improve his side’s form.

That one change sees Florent Hadergjonaj come into this side for his first start in four games, forcing Rajiv van la Parra to drop to the bench.

4.46pmOther than that it is as you were for the Terriers, though, which is good news on the whole as it means a number of their players have overcome injury problems to start this match.

The player over whom most question marks lay was Philip Billing, who picked up an ankle injury on duty with Denmark Under-21s but is deemed fit enough to start this match.

4.48pmIsaac Mbenza has also passed a late fitness test over a knee injury to take his place on the bench, while Aaron Mooy and Christopher Schindler – the latter of whom got the goal against Burnley – have overcome niggling doubts of their own to start.

There is no room in the squad for Ramadan Sobhi, though, with the midfielder having been pushing for a return to full fitness for a number of weeks now.

4.50pmHuddersfield boss David Wagner is without a trio of first-team players including captain Tommy Smith, who joins Terence Kongolo and Danny Williams on the sidelines.

Wagner continues to keep faith with striker Laurent Depoitre, meanwhile, despite his side’s obvious struggles to find the back of the net so far this term.

4.52pmA lack of goals is by no means a new thing for Huddersfield since their promotion to the Premier League, but it has become a much bigger problem this season and one that they need to solve if they are to stay in the division.

Going into this weekend Huddersfield were the joint-lowest scorers in the league alongside Cardiff with just four goals apiece, but Cardiff have today doubled their tally for the entire campaign to leave the Terriers with the most attacking record in the top flight.

Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner watches a pre-season friendly on July 25, 2018© Reuters

4.54pmCardiff’s victory today means that Huddersfield will begin this match sitting 19th in the Premier League table as one of only two teams still without a win this season – alongside Newcastle, who are currently losing at home to Brighton.

The Terriers were second-favourites to go down before the season began, and there haven’t been many signs of them disproving that so far. Indeed, a defeat today could see them overtake Cardiff as the favourites following that win for the Bluebirds against Fulham.

4.56pmIt has been an ominous start to the season for the Terriers, failing to win any of their first eight Premier League games – their longest run without a victory from the beginning of a top-flight season.

IThat Premier League winless run stretches to 12 games including the tail end of last term, which is their longest such streak in league football since 2000, while they have also only won one of their last 18 stretching back to the end of February.

4.58pmThe Terriers did pick up a respectable point at Burnley in their last game before the international break, but it is their form at home which will be of most concern to David Wagner at the moment, particularly on the goal front.

The Huddersfield fans are still waiting to see their side score at the John Smith’s this season, and another blank today would see them join Everton’s class of 1998-99 as the only teams to have failed to score in any of their first five home games at the start of a Premier League season.

5pmIt is only fair to point out that Crystal Palace have also not scored a home goal so far this season, although Huddersfield’s troubles have been going on since the end of last season.

Indeed, it is now six Premier League home games since they so much as scored a goal at home, just two games short of the unwanted all-time record of Man City in 2006-07.

5.02pmLooking even further back, Huddersfield have found the back of the net just once in their last 10 home matches across all competitions, which is a remarkably poor record considering it should be their home form keeping them in the division.

Tom Ince’s 91st-minute winner against Watford in April is the only goal any Huddersfield player has ever scored at home since February 11.

5.04pmThe source of that dearth of goals can be found in the fact that Huddersfield have had a league-low 20 shots on target this season, and it does not bode well for them that only Man City have allowed fewer than Liverpool this season.

The Terriers have not been able to keep their opponents at bay in general either, and their only home point of the campaign so far was in a goalless draw with fellow relegation candidates Cardiff City.

5.06pmToday’s match looks like an ideal one for Liverpool to return to winning ways, then, although the fans will be wary of past slip-ups in matches they are expected to win.

Indeed, under Jurgen Klopp the Reds have lost five of their nine away Premier League games against teams who began the day in the relegation zone, and they are winless in their last six such matches, taking just two points from a possible 18 in that time.

Last season alone, Liverpool dropped nine points against bottom-three clubs.

5.08pmIt is a dreadful record for a club of Liverpool’s size and calibre, and one they will be desperate to end over the next week, with Cardiff to come next weekend in what should be another three points for Klopp’s side.

This season’s Liverpool does have the look of a team who will not repeat those same old mistakes, though, and having got through a difficult patch of fixtures recently, they will be looking forward to a couple in which they are expected to win.

Jurgen Klopp in charge of Liverpool on August 25, 2018© Reuters

5.10pmLiverpool came through that spell relatively unscathed in terms of the Premier League, beginning the day still level on points with Manchester City and Chelsea after drawing with both of those title hopefuls in successive league outings.

It was in the other competitions where the damage was dealt, with Liverpool being beaten by Chelsea in the EFL Cup and then losing to Napoli in the Champions League to make it four games without a win across all competitions.

5.12pmNot since February 2017 have Liverpool gone five games without a win, but despite the prospect of that looming over them today, there is still an optimistic feel about the club which lingers on from a perfect start which saw them win seven games on the bounce.

Manchester City have laid down the latest challenge with a 5-0 win over Burnley this afternoon, but Chelsea dropped points against Manchester United so Liverpool could steal a march on one of their closest challengers at least today.

5.14pmThe Reds would equal their best-ever points tally after nine games of a Premier League season with a win today, and counting goal difference too it would be their best ever start to a campaign in the Premier League era, surpassing their mark from 2008-09.

Klopp’s side have now lost just one of their last 16 Premier League outings and are unbeaten in nine, the most recent of which was their goalless draw against Man City at Anfield in which Mahrez missed a late penalty.

Riyad Mahrez steps up to take a late penalty in Manchester City's away draw at Liverpool in the Premier League on October 7, 2018© Reuters

5.16pmThat stalemate with City saw Liverpool draw a blank for the second game in a row, and they haven’t gone three without scoring since February 2016.

It has not been the free-flowing, free-scoring Liverpool attack of last season so far this term – indeed they are the joint-lowest scorers in the top six at the beginning of the day – and considering two of the usual suspects are missing today it could be a challenge for the visitors to break their hosts down.

5.18pmLiverpool are, however, unbeaten in their last four Premier League away games, taking seven points from a possible nine on the road so far this season.

Should they avoid defeat again today, which they are overwhelming favourites to do, then it would be their longest away unbeaten streak since they went six without defeat on New Year’s Day of this year.

5.20pmPREDICTION: Right, we’re 10 minutes away from kickoff at the John Smith’s Stadium, which means that it is time for a prediction!

It is hard to see anything but an away win today, with Huddersfield in such poor scoring form at home. Liverpool’s own form has not been the best lately, but the standard of opposition must come into consideration there and they should return to winning ways today.

SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Huddersfield 0-3 Liverpool

5.22pmA 3-0 scoreline would match the result of both fixtures between these two sides last season, when Liverpool cruised to victory both home and away against the Terriers.

The two sides had not faced off in the league since 1971-72 when Huddersfield visited Anfield just under a year ago, with Sturridge, Firmino and Wijnaldum on the scoresheet on that occasion. The reverse fixture in January ended the same, with Can, Firmino and Salah getting the goals that time.

5.24pmI have already spoken about Huddersfield’s lack of goals this season, and it won’t fill the fans with optimism to learn that they had just one shot on target against Liverpool over both meetings last term too.

Indeed, the Terriers have failed to score in their last seven clashes with Liverpool, with their last goal in this fixture coming all the way back in a 1-1 draw at Anfield in April 1962.

5.26pmYou have to go even further back to 1959 for Huddersfield’s last win over Liverpool, which came when both sides were in the old Second Division.

Since then, Liverpool are unbeaten in 12 meetings with the Terriers across all competitions, winning nine of those. Two more goals tonight would incidentally see them become the first club to score 100 against Huddersfield in the top flight.

5.28pmRight, the players are out and we’re almost ready to get going now! A reminder of the team news before we do get started…

HUDDERSFIELD STARTING XI: Lossl; Durm, Zanka, Schindler, Lowe; Billing, Hogg, Mooy, Pritchard, Hadergjonaj; Depoitre

LIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Lallana; Salah, Sturridge, Shaqiri

1 minKICKOFF:  Here we go, then! Liverpool get us underway at the John Smith’s Stadium!

3 minIt is a back three for Huddersfield this afternoon, with Zanka, Schindler and Zanka in that trio. Durm and Hadergjonaj are operating as wing-backs.

5 minHuddersfield are by no means parking the bus in these opening exchanges. They are not afraid to get forward and are trying to close Liverpool down high up the field too.

7 minLiverpool are not having things all their own way by any stretch of the imagination so far. It has been a fairly subdued start from the visitors.

9 minHenderson feeds a pass into the box which Sturridge collects with his back to goal, but it just doesn’t sit up right for either him or Salah to have a swing at it. Huddersfield eventually see the danger out.

10 minVan Dijk knocks the ball back to Alisson, who is immediately shut down by Depoitre. The Huddersfield striker blocks the goalkeeper’s clearance, but the ball bounces behind to safety. Another nervy moment for Alisson with the ball at his feet!

12 minLiverpool are starting to control the ball now, but still nothing for Lossl to do in the Huddersfield goal so far. There hasn’t been too much of an attacking threat from the visitors.

14 minHuddersfield win a corner from a long throw, but the ball is played out to Mooy on the edge and Salah spots it to steal the ball back.

16 minStoppage in play here as Lowe needs treatment after getting hit in the face by the ball. Gomez was the culprit, charging on to a loose ball and trying to hit one first time, but his effort struck the Huddersfield defender.

18 minDavid Wagner will be happy with what he has seen from his side in the opening stages here. They have held their own against Liverpool and prevented the visitors from creating any really clear openings.

20 minLiverpool have the chance to break as Henderson wins the ball back in midfield, but the captain’s attempted pass through for Lallana is deflected into the arms of the keeper.

22 minWe’re midway through the first half now and it is evident that Liverpool do not pose the same attacking threat without the movement of Firmino and Mane up in the front three. Sturridge and Shaqiri are struggling to get into the game right now.

24 minGOAL!  HUDDERSFIELD 0-1 LIVERPOOL (MOHAMED SALAH)

24 minGOAL!  Liverpool break the deadlock as Mohamed Salah breaks his four-game drought and his seven-game drought away from home!

Shaqiri does burst into life here, taking the ball in his stride before driving forward and sliding a pass down the right channel for Salah. The winger toe-pokes his finish across goal into the far corner, putting it beyond the reach of Lossl.

Mohamed Salah celebrates with Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri after opening the scoring in Liverpool's Premier League clash with Huddersfield on October 20, 2018© Reuters

26 minLiverpool hadn’t particularly looked like making the breakthrough before that goal, so that will be a big relief for them. Huddersfield will now begin having to take more risks in an attempt to get back into this match.

28 minIt has been a fairly decent response from Huddersfield to that opening goal. They have not let their heads drop and have quickly tried to get on the front foot, keeping Liverpool under some sustained pressure.

30 minWe’ve had half an hour of this match now and only really had one clear chance, which led to the goal. Huddersfield are holding their own, but they haven’t had enough shots on target this season and Alisson is yet to be tested today.

32 minOFF THE POST!  Well, this won’t count as a shot on target, but it is a brilliant effort from Hogg as he is denied by the woodwork!

The ball arrives to the midfielder a good 25 yards from goal – perhaps further – and he heeds the crowd’s urge to shoot. His driven strike beats Alisson all ends up, but it crashes against the post and comes back out as Liverpool survive.

34 minHere is the goal which separates these two sides with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half…

36 minYELLOW CARD!  Michael Oliver produces his first card of the game, showing Lallana a yellow for a late challenge on Lowe.

38 minSHOT!  Huddersfield win a free kick a long way from goal, but that doesn’t prevent Billing from going for a shot. It is a fine effort too, curling it over the wall and towards the top corner, but it flies a yard or so wide of the target.

40 minBig chance for Huddersfield to break as Hadergjonaj plays the pass inside for Depoitre, whose first touch is poor with Billing free on his left. He still manages to find the midfielder, but the split-second allowed Gomez to get back into position and make a challenge on Billing.

42 minPENALTY APPEAL!  Big penalty shout from Huddersfield, who are really giving this a go at the moment! The ball is nodded into the area and it strikes the arm of Milner – but only coming off his thigh first and bouncing up. Even so, there was a decision for the ref to make and it went Liverpool’s way.

43 minDISALLOWED GOAL!  Huddersfield have the ball in the back of the net moments later as the ball is nodded into Pritchard, who smuggles it past Alisson and in. The lineman’s flag is raised for offside, though, and the replay shows that it was a very, very tight one.

44 minLiverpool respond with an attacking thrust of their own, but Salah puts just too much on his cross to the back post and Sturridge cannot make anything of it.

45+1 minThere will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.

45+2 minHALF TIME:  HUDDERSFIELD 0-1 LIVERPOOL

6.26pmThe first half comes to an end at the John Smith’s Stadium, and it is Liverpool who have the lead against Huddersfield despite what has been a fairly even match.

The hosts have held their own for the most part and piled some late pressure on in the closing stages of the half, but Liverpool held out to take the lead into the break.

6.28pmThe only goal of the game so far came from Mohamed Salah midway through the half, with the Egyptian being given too much space by Schindler inside the box.

Shaqiri supplied the pass, but Salah’s movement was not that special and he was still left with plenty of room to poke his clinical finish into the bottom corner, leaving Lossl no chance in the Huddersfield goal.

6.30pmHuddersfield still haven’t scored a goal at home this season, but they will not have come much closer than Jonathan Hogg‘s effort just after half time, which smashed against the post with Alisson well beaten.

The hosts did actually have the ball in the back of the net late in the half, but Pritchard’s finish was ruled out for offside in a very narrow – but correct – decision. Moments earlier Liverpool had also survived a penalty shout, so they were very much hanging on at the end of that half.

6.32pm

46 minKICKOFF:  Huddersfield get us back underway for the second half, and the first thing to tell you is that Georginio Wijnaldum has replaced Henderson at half time.

48 minHuddersfield will have been encouraged enough by that first-half performance to know that there is something in this game for them – although another goal for Liverpool would make things much more difficult.

49 minSHOT!  Sturridge has a sight of goal here as the ball drops to him in shooting range, but his curling effort meant for the top corner flies a few yards over the crossbar.

50 minHogg is fortunate not to go into the book here following a naughty challenge on Wijnaldum, scraping his studs down his Achilles after failing to bring him down with a couple of challenges immediately before that.

52 minLiverpool will know that they may need a second goal to kill off most of Huddersfield’s belief here, as when the crowd got behind them in the first half the hosts began to look really dangerous.

54 minHuddersfield are still yet to have a shot on target in this match, although on this occasion it is a little more misleading considering they have hit the post and had a goal marginally disallowed.

55 minSAVE!  Just as I say that, the hosts do produce a shot on target! It is fairly simple for Alisson, though, as he gathers Depoitre’s header with minimum fuss. The striker had to get all of the power on his header himself, and could not get enough to really trouble the keeper.

57 minHuddersfield have had 63% possession in this second half, which is a surprising statistic. There haven’t been many scares for Liverpool, but they will want to develop a greater level of control over this game.

59 minShaqiri is dropping deeper and deeper in an attempt to get on the ball and pull the strings at the moment. He has been a peripheral figure in this second half so far.

61 minLiverpool swing a deep corner into the box which Gomez meets at the back post, trying to cushion his volley back into the middle. It comes to nothing, though.

63 minCHANCE!  Big chance for Salah to perhaps put this game to bed! It falls to Salah again as he darts forward and collects a lofted ball in a good position. He chests the ball down into the box, but then drags his finish wide of the target when he should have done better.

65 minGood spell of pressure for Huddersfield as they come forward down the right flank, although there is a lack of players up there in support. When the ball does eventually arrive in the box Lovren does well, and Shaqiri is ultimately able to hack the ball away.

67 minJust over 20 minutes remaining in this match now and Huddersfield are still very much in the contest. They have never won a Premier League game after conceding first and may not go on to win here, but a draw would be a good result for them.

69 minLIVERPOOL SUB: Liverpool make their second change of the match as a fatigued Lallana is replaced by Fabinho, who makes his Premier League debut.

70 minHUDDERSFIELD SUB: The hosts also make a change with Steve Mounie replacing Billing.

70 minHUDDERSFIELD SUB: Indeed, the hosts snuck another sub on in that stoppage with Isaac Mbenza coming on for Hadergjonaj.

72 minEven if Huddersfield don’t get any points from this game, they can be very happy with their performance. Of course, points are what matters in their relegation battle, but they can take a lot of encouragement from this display.

74 minBetter from Liverpool as they build an attacking with some slick passing, ending with Sturridge darting into the box but seeing a low cross blocked.

76 minYELLOW CARD!  Sturridge picks up a needless yellow card for kicking the ball away after Shaqiri’s corner had gone straight out of play before swinging back in.

77 minLIVERPOOL SUB: Liverpool make their third and final change as Roberto Firmino replaces Milner.

79 minJust over 10 minutes remaining in this match and it is still very finely poised. Liverpool do not look particularly safe and comfortable with a one-goal lead, although it is Huddersfield’s own lack of attacking threat which is costing the hosts at the moment.

80 minFirmino slides a pass through for Salah, who could go for goal on his left but instead tries to find Shaqiri in the middle and sees his pass cut out.

82 minCHANCE!  That is the danger for Liverpool! A huge chance falls the way of Huddersfield as both Van Dijk and Lovren fail to deal with a cross into the box from the right.

It falls to Mounie, but he snatches at it and slices his finish over the crossbar when he really should have scored! Golden opportunity!

84 minCould that be the chance Huddersfield were waiting for? It is certainly a warning shot for Liverpool, who have a big six minutes ahead here. Dropped points in this game would see them fall behind Man City, who thrashed Burnley earlier today.

86 minLiverpool have been far from their best tonight – not for the first time this season – but as things stand they are set to ground out another valuable three points. Huddersfield will feel that they deserve something from this game, though.

88 minCHANCE!  Better from Salah as he collects the ball inside the area and turns his man really well, but the angle is against him and Lossl comes out to smother the chance.

89 minCHANCE!  Another chance for Liverpool to put this game to bed once and for all! This time Salah and Firmino combine to find Firmino, who almost lazily fires his effort over the crossbar from the edge of the area. He should have done better there!

90+1 minThere will be four minutes of added time at the end of this match. Can Huddersfield steal a point?

90+2 minHUDDERSFIELD SUB: A final throw of the dice for the hosts as Adama Diakhaby replaces Hogg.

90+5 minFULL TIME:  HUDDERSFIELD 0-1 LIVERPOOL

7.28pmLiverpool hold on for all three points, then, and while it was far from their best performance of the season it is another crucial three points which takes them back level with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

Mohamed Salah scored the only goal of the game at the John Smith’s Stadium with a clinical finish in the first half, but that was a rare moment of attacking quality on show today and it proved to be the difference.

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