Premier League
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Huddersfield Town 0-1 Liverpool: Mohamed Salah's strike earns narrow win

Mohamed Salah strikes
Mohamed Salah had failed to score in his previous four matches for Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he is "winning average games" for the first time in his life after Mohamed Salah sealed a narrow victory at Huddersfield that keeps them level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Salah's 50th goal in English football came courtesy of a smart low finish, as he put away Xherdan Shaqiri's 24th-minute through ball to dampen a mood matching Huddersfield's bright start.

Egypt forward Salah was visibly buoyed, having failed to score in his previous four appearances, but Huddersfield reacted positively as they twice went close to equalising before half-time.

Captain Jonathan Hogg smashed a long-range drive against the post before Alex Pritchard was marginally offside when lifting a finish past Alisson, while a penalty appeal for handball against James Milner was turned down.

After the break, Laurent Depoitre saw a header well held with Huddersfield's only attempt on target, while Salah fired wide when presented with a tough chance to finish at speed on the counter-attack.

There was a league debut for the Reds' £39m former Monaco midfielder Fabinho but, even with his introduction, Liverpool failed to totally assume control of a game that Huddersfield substitute Steve Mounie almost snatched away from them.

With eight minutes to play, the Benin striker rashly blazed over from inside the box after a cross spilled through unconvincing blocks from Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren.

"It is the first period in my life that we can win average matches," Klopp said. "I prefer the spectacular way, but I would take that today completely.

"When you come back from the international break there are many things no-one asks about, like the time difference.

"That is why I was a bit more animated on the touchline today because if you are tired, you at least need to be afraid of your manager."

Victory lifted Liverpool into second in the table. They trail Pep Guardiola's side on goal difference, with the defending champions 10 goals better off after a 5-0 win over Burnley earlier on Saturday.

Huddersfield, who last season defied the odds to avoid relegation, remain without a victory this term and are now two points from safety in 19th.

One touch is enough - just

This was not a vintage performance from a Liverpool side who many recognise as the most likely challengers to City, but, having drawn away to Chelsea and at home to the defending champions in their previous two league games, getting three points was what mattered most.

Without regulars Sadio Mane and Naby Keita - both were injured over the international break - at times the link-up play between midfield an attack was flat, and there were plenty of errors in possession.

In fact, Liverpool made the most failed passes they have all season - 111 - a statistic which also helps reflect Huddersfield's combative display.

Premier League top six

David Wagner's side often forced errors, but they were lacking in quality when chances presented themselves. The same was not true of the Reds in the one moment that ultimately mattered.

Salah's goal, tucked home first-time from Shaqiri's clever pass, decided the contest, as this Liverpool team became the first in the club's history to concede as few as three goals in the opening nine matches of a league campaign.

The dry run goes on

Huddersfield are now without victory in 13 league games, having drawn five and lost eight since a 1-0 victory at home to Watford on 14 April.

In failing to score once more, they equalled a top-flight record by going five consecutive home fixtures from the beginning of a season without a goal.

Might things have turned out differently? Had Hogg's blistering strike found net instead of post, they may well have grown further and capitalised against a side that looked vulnerable despite their lead.

In the end, Depoitre's 55th-minute header was comfortably saved by Alisson. Mounie appeared to lose his head when presented with a golden chance to equalise late on.

Only Huddersfield and bottom club Newcastle have failed to win since August's opening day, and neither can rely on the poor form of those around them any longer.

Man of the match - Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Mohamed Salah
In a match low on quality, Salah provided the decisive moment

Salah's landmark total - the stats

  • Huddersfield have failed to score in their past seven home Premier League games, since Tom Ince netted in a 1-0 victory over Watford in April. Only Manchester City (eight in 2006-07) have ever had a longer such run in the competition
  • Huddersfield have become just the second side in Premier League history to fail to score in any of their opening five home games of a season after Everton in 1998-99
  • Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in three goals in three Premier League outings against Huddersfield (two goals and one assist)
  • Salah's opener for Liverpool was his 50th goal for English sides (48 Liverpool, 2 Chelsea), reaching this tally in just 83 games in all competitions
  • Liverpool's Alisson has kept six clean sheets in his opening nine Premier League starts - the only goalkeeper to have kept more in his opening nine starts in the competition is Petr Cech (seven)

What the managers said

Huddersfield boss David Wagner: "This handball situation was a huge situation and I don't understand why it wasn't a penalty. I haven't spoken to the referee.

"It was a clear handball and the ball changed direction because of this handball and Laurent Depoitre couldn't receive the ball. It is handball. That could easily decide the direction of the match.

"But apart from this we limited them and they're a top class team. We were with them and we can take this forward with us."

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Huddersfield Town 0-1 Liverpool: Wagner pleased with Terriers' 'bravery'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "The basis we have created so far is brilliant - 23 points. I don't think I've had that after nine games. And there is still space for improvement, which is good as well, so let's get home and work on improving.

"Huddersfield did well. They defended well and were very aggressive around the second balls. After this game, everybody knows how good they are and how good they will be in the future."

What's next?

Liverpool next play in the Champions League, at home to Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday. Next Saturday they play at home to Cardiff in the Premier League.

Huddersfield travel to Watford in the Premier League next Saturday.

Line-ups

Huddersfield

  • 1Lössl
  • 25M Jorgensen
  • 26Schindler
  • 15Löwe
  • 33HadergjonajSubstituted forMbenzaat 69'minutes
  • 10Mooy
  • 6HoggSubstituted forDiakhabyat 90+2'minutes
  • 8BillingSubstituted forMounieat 70'minutes
  • 37Durm
  • 21Pritchard
  • 20Depoitre

Substitutes

  • 7Bacuna
  • 11Diakhaby
  • 12Hamer
  • 17van La Parra
  • 18Mbenza
  • 24Mounie
  • 27Stankovic

Liverpool

  • 13Alisson
  • 12Gomez
  • 6Lovren
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forWijnaldumat 45'minutes
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forRoberto Firminoat 77'minutes
  • 11Salah
  • 15SturridgeBooked at 76mins
  • 20LallanaBooked at 36minsSubstituted forFabinhoat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Fabinho
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 9Roberto Firmino
  • 22Mignolet
  • 27Origi
  • 32Matip
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
24,263

Match Stats

Home TeamHuddersfieldAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home13
Away11
Shots on Target
Home1
Away2
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Huddersfield Town 0, Liverpool 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Huddersfield Town 0, Liverpool 1.

Attempt missed. Zanka (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Adama Diakhaby with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Adama Diakhaby replaces Jonathan Hogg.

Offside, Liverpool. Joseph Gomez tries a through ball, but Daniel Sturridge is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge.

Attempt blocked. Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Alex Pritchard.

Attempt saved. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joseph Gomez.

Offside, Huddersfield Town. Jonas Lössl tries a through ball, but Steve Mounie is caught offside.

Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Attempt blocked. Laurent Depoitre (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Löwe with a cross.

Hand ball by Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

Fabinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town).

Attempt missed. Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jonas Lössl.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Roberto Firmino replaces James Milner.

Booking

Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Liverpool).

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

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Erik Durm.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Christopher Schindler.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Steve Mounie replaces Philip Billing.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Fabinho replaces Adam Lallana because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Isaac Mbenza replaces Florent Hadergjonaj.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Adam Lallana (Liverpool) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Laurent Depoitre (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Mooy with a cross.

Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Christopher Schindler (Huddersfield Town).

Attempt blocked. Philip Billing (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonathan Hogg.

Attempt blocked. Erik Durm (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge following a fast break.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Chris Löwe (Huddersfield Town).

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Jonathan Hogg.

Attempt blocked. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Adam Lallana (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Florent Hadergjonaj (Huddersfield Town).

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Jonathan Hogg.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City97202632323
2Liverpool97201631323
3Chelsea96302071321
4Tottenham9702167921
5Arsenal86021910918
6Bournemouth95221612417
7Watford95131312116
8Wolves943298115
9Man Utd94231516-114
10Leicester84041412212
11Everton83321312112
12Brighton93241013-311
13Burnley92251017-78
14Crystal Palace821559-47
15West Ham9216814-67
16Southampton9135614-86
17Cardiff9126819-115
18Fulham91261125-145
19Huddersfield9036418-143
20Newcastle9027614-82
View full Premier League table

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