Premier League
Huddersfield1Watford0

Huddersfield Town 1-0 Watford

Tom Ince celebrates his goal
The hosts are now seven points clear of the bottom three after a tense win over Watford sealed by Ince

Huddersfield manager David Wagner said his side's "job isn't done" despite an "emotional" late victory over Watford that moved them seven points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

Substitute Tom Ince's goal in injury time won the match for the Terriers with their first shot on target against well organised opponents at the John Smith's Stadium.

Huddersfield face Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in their final three games, after hosting Everton on 28 April.

Asked if Saturday's win over 12th-placed Watford guarantees their safety, Wagner said: "I have no idea, nobody knows.

"We need further points. The job isn't done, but with this performance the players are very focused and sharp. We have good momentum - and that is exactly what we need.

"It was a fantastic finish and a great afternoon for us - very emotional. The game was very weary, not a lot of cleat-cut chances for both teams. Both defended well and were very organised.

"We have this magic moment and all the emotions came out, and I am so pleased for the players and the fans who pushed us and I am glad we gave them something to celebrate.

"This is what it is all about this game - about emotion. Everyone who supports Huddersfield knows how important this is for the history."

The breakthrough came as Huddersfield defender Mathias Jorgensen latched on to a long punt into the area and squared the ball to Ince, who fired in from five yards.

Captain Jonathan Hogg's drive that went narrowly wide and a blocked Ince shot were among the few chances the hosts had mustered until the dramatic finale, with Javi Gracia's side unlucky when two goal-bound efforts were deflected wide.

Watford keeper Orestis Karnezis had been a virtual spectator before the goal, and his side perhaps deserved a point that would have eased any lingering fears the 12th-placed Hornets have of being dragged back into trouble.

Huddersfield's Alex Pritchard and Watford's Roberto Pereyra were booked for diving but the game was was free of any major refereeing incidents - which was probably welcomed by fourth official Michael Oliver, who was back on Premier League duty after overseeing Real Madrid's controversial Champions League win over Juventus in midweek.

Goals still hard to come by for Terriers

Huddersfield players salute the fans after beating Watford
Huddersfield players salute the fans after a dramatic end to their game

The scenes of delight at the final whistle were reminiscent of last May when Huddersfield clinched promotion from the Championship.

While Christopher Schindler's winning penalty in a tense play-off final shootout did it then, here it was more late drama.

But while Premier League survival now feels a lot more likely despite that daunting run-in, staying up again next term could depend on Wagner finding more goals.

Forward Steve Mounie is Huddersfield's top scorer with nine in all competitions and Ince's winner on Saturday was the side's second in their past six games. Owner Dean Hoyle may well be asked to bankroll more attacking talent in the transfer market this summer.

For the time being, though, their commendable spirit and perseverance will be a key asset as they face some of the top sides looking for the extra points that will really allow them to relax.

A dramatic defeat for fellow strugglers Southampton earlier was an early boost on Saturday and the home fans cheered as news of Chelsea's comeback on the south coast filtered through.

They were still cheering at the end - 90 minutes of low-quality, tense football forgiven thanks to one vital moment.

Shot-shy Watford unlucky

Abdoulaye Doucoure of Watford is challenged by Jonathan Hogg of Huddersfield Town
Doucoure (right) had one of Watford's few efforts and was close to opening the scoring

This was a fourth defeat in five games for Watford, whose season continues to meander to its end.

Despite this setback, which follows heavy losses at Arsenal and Liverpool, being pegged back in the final minute against Bournemouth and defeat by Burnley, the Hornets could still record their best top-flight finish for 31 years.

They must now overhaul Everton in ninth to equal the 1986-87 squad, managed by Graham Taylor - but Gracia may well be more concerned with the confidence-sapping effects of another late blow.

They saw three points become one back at Vicarage Road against the Cherries when Jermain Defoe's injury-time equaliser went in, and two goals in three minutes undid them against the Clarets.

On Saturday in west Yorkshire, they had more possession with 51%, more attempts on target and largely defended well.

But then they fell to that late sucker-punch and Gracia must find a way to lift his side before they face another club fighting for survival in Crystal Palace next Saturday.

Abdoulaye Doucoure was unlucky not to score when his drive was deflected wide by Jonathan Hogg's leg. Troy Deeney also saw a goalbound strike turned behind.

Midfielder Pereyra did not help their attacking efforts either, sending two corners straight out of play, and like their opponents they struggled in the final third.

Deeney only managed one effort all game, and substitute Richarlison fared no better.

Any feelings of misfortune were justified afterwards, but if they are to end the season on a high the hard luck stories cannot be allowed to mount up.

Man of the match - Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield)

Huddersfield's Jonathan Hogg
Jonathan Hogg (right) had more touches, passes, and tackles than any team-mate in a dominant display

Home sweet home again for Huddersfield - the stats

  • Huddersfield have won two of their past four Premier League games at home after failing to win any of the previous five.
  • In contrast, Watford have picked up one point from a possible 30 away from home since December.
  • Gracia is yet to see Watford score a league goal in his first five matches on the road - the last boss to have such a record was Gus Poyet after taking charge of Sunderland in 2013.
  • Indeed, the Hornets have failed to score in eight of their past 10 Premier League games on the road, including the past six.
  • Ince has scored one goal in his past five league games against Watford - only against Bristol City (eight), Rotherham (seven) and Millwall (five) has the winger scored more league goals.

'It wasn't fair' - what they said

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Huddersfield 1-0 Watford: David Wagner enjoyed 'fantastic, emotional' Terriers win

Watford manager Javi Gracia said: "The last few games football has been cruel for us - in two games we have lost in added time.

"Huddersfield dominated the first half. In the second half we felt better with more possession - but in the last moment conceded.

"I prefer to be focused on the next game to try to do better. It wasn't fair and we have to try to get points in the next game."

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Huddersfield 1-0 Watford: Football has been cruel to us - Javi Gracia

Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer said: "I think Huddersfield Town got a sense of how important victory was with the relief at the final whistle. You could hear it in the ground.

"They believe that win will keep them up."

What's next?

Huddersfield host Everton in the league on Saturday, 28 April AT 15:00 BST, while Watford welcome Crystal Palace to Vicarage Road next Saturday (21 April) at 15:00.

Line-ups

Huddersfield

  • 1Lössl
  • 33Hadergjonaj
  • 25M JorgensenBooked at 45mins
  • 26Schindler
  • 5Kongolo
  • 6Hogg
  • 10Mooy
  • 23QuanerSubstituted forInceat 61'minutes
  • 21PritchardBooked at 73mins
  • 17van La ParraSubstituted forBillingat 77'minutes
  • 24MounieSubstituted forDepoitreat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Smith
  • 3Malone
  • 8Billing
  • 13Coleman
  • 15Löwe
  • 20Depoitre
  • 22Ince

Watford

  • 30Karnezis
  • 2JanmaatBooked at 20mins
  • 5Prödl
  • 15Cathcart
  • 6Mariappa
  • 29Capoue
  • 16Doucouré
  • 21FemeníaSubstituted forRicharlisonat 58'minutes
  • 19HughesSubstituted forSinclairat 90'minutes
  • 37PereyraBooked at 33mins
  • 9DeeneySubstituted forGrayat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Gomes
  • 3Britos
  • 11Richarlison
  • 17Sinclair
  • 18Gray
  • 27Kabasele
  • 33Okaka
Referee:
Craig Pawson
Attendance:
23,961

Match Stats

Home TeamHuddersfieldAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home9
Away4
Shots on Target
Home1
Away2
Corners
Home9
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Huddersfield Town 1, Watford 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Huddersfield Town 1, Watford 0.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Christopher Schindler.

Attempt blocked. Sebastian Prödl (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jerome Sinclair.

Goal!

Goal! Huddersfield Town 1, Watford 0. Tom Ince (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Zanka.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Jerome Sinclair replaces Will Hughes.

Foul by Terence Kongolo (Huddersfield Town).

Will Hughes (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Andre Gray replaces Troy Deeney.

Tom Ince (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Richarlison (Watford).

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Philip Billing replaces Rajiv van La Parra.

Foul by Terence Kongolo (Huddersfield Town).

Richarlison (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Christopher Schindler.

Booking

Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town) is shown the yellow card.

Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Etienne Capoue.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Laurent Depoitre replaces Steve Mounie.

Terence Kongolo (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Richarlison (Watford).

Attempt missed. Rajiv van La Parra (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Aaron Mooy.

Attempt blocked. Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Tom Ince (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alex Pritchard.

Terence Kongolo (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Will Hughes (Watford).

Foul by Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town).

Will Hughes (Watford) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Tom Ince replaces Collin Quaner.

Offside, Huddersfield Town. Aaron Mooy tries a through ball, but Collin Quaner is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Richarlison replaces Kiko Femenía.

Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Abdoulaye Doucouré.

Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Etienne Capoue.

Foul by Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town).

Roberto Pereyra (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Rajiv van La Parra.

Foul by Florent Hadergjonaj (Huddersfield Town).

Will Hughes (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Second Half

Second Half begins Huddersfield Town 0, Watford 0.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City33283293256887
2Man Utd32225563253871
3Liverpool342010478354370
4Tottenham33207665303567
5Chelsea33186957332460
6Arsenal321661061431854
7Burnley33141093329452
8Leicester331110124947243
9Everton34119143954-1542
10Newcastle32108143341-838
11Bournemouth34911144156-1538
12Watford34107174260-1837
13Brighton33811143146-1535
14Huddersfield3498172754-2735
15West Ham32810144058-1834
16Crystal Palace34810163654-1834
17Swansea3389162746-1933
18Southampton33513153353-2028
19Stoke3369183063-3327
20West Brom33312182652-2621
View full Premier League table

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