Below-par West Ham battle back to secure draw
PUBLISHED: 17:11 10 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:11 10 November 2018
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The Hammers earned a point as Felipe Anderson grabbed the equaliser against Huddersfield
Huddersfield Town 1 West Ham United 1
Felipe Anderson silenced the Terriers’ bark at the John Smith’s Stadium, where his fourth goal of the campaign earned the Hammers a hard-fought point.
Having bagged a deadly double last weekend, the Brazilian struck again in the 74th minute to wipe out Alex Pritchard’s early opener and rescue Manuel Pellegrini’s below-par side, who certainly did not have it all their own way against lively Huddersfield.
Following last Saturday’s formidable 4-2 victory over Burnley, the Hammers were unchanged against a Terriers side, who had ended a 658-minute, scoring-drought on Monday night, when their long-suffering fans finally saw their team bag a Premier League goal on home soil after Fulham’s Timothy Fosu-Mensah headed into his own net.
That first top-flight victory in 14 matches had also doubled Town’s points tally to six and, having seen his side climb off the bottom of the table, David Wagner also named an unchanged line-up that came into this contest in 18th spot, five points and five places adrift of West Ham.
But after waiting so long for that precious goal, just like Huddersfield buses, the home supporters soon saw another one arrive within just six minutes of the kick-off, when Declan Rice was robbed by Steve Mounié some 30 yards from goal.
Having picked up the pieces, Pritchard then collected a return pass from Jonathan Hogg before stabbing a low 18-yarder past the flat-footed Lukasz Fabianski into the bottom right-hand corner to give the Terriers the lead.
Certainly, it had been a barking mad, all-action start to this contest with Fabianski acrobatically tipping over Mounié’s thundering header in the opening seconds after the Terriers striker had met Aaron Mooy’s perfectly-flighted corner.
And the Hammers had also had two quick-fire chances to bag an early lead of their own, too, but – expensively – after racing onto Grady Diangana’s throughball, Marko Arnautović saw the exposed Jonas Lössl beat his low, angled 12-yarder aside and then Anderson’s 18-yarder was deflected behind.
Buoyed by Pritchard’s strike, Huddersfield then saw Mounié go close before Philip Billing’s wind-assisted, left-wing cross swerved onto Fabianski’s far post and away to safety, while Mooy also forced another save from the Hammers ‘keeper.
With West Ham finding themselves both behind and under pressure, Robert Snodgrass was booked for hacking Hogg in another free-flowing home move that saw Mounié threaten, once more.
Ten minutes before the break, Zanka was also yellow carded for tripping Aaron Cresswell, while Chris Löwe was stretched away to be replaced by Erik Durm after the German came off second best in a challenge with Fabián Balbuena.
Javier Hernández replaced Diangana for the restart and, within just two minutes of his arrival, the Mexican sprinted onto Pedro Obiang’s lofted pass but Lössl saved with his thigh and the substitute could only head the looping rebound onto the roof of the net, as the visiting fans behind that goal looked on in utter despair.
At the other end, Issa Diop’s forceful challenge denied Pritchard a second goal after the Terriers striker burst behind the advancing Hammers defence and, after Arnautović and Snodgrass collided in the Huddersfield area, Anderson curled an angled effort high into the visiting fans.
On the hour, Snodgrass sent a clever corner towards the near post, where Obiang glanced a header across goal but the sliding Hernández could not apply a vital stud as Lössl and his defenders breathed a sigh of relief all round.
Shortly afterwards, Obiang was replaced by Michail Antonio, who saw Fabianski smother Mounié within just seconds of his arrival and, with the visitors failing to find any rhythm, the Hammers ‘keeper then saved Pritchard’s low curler.
After Antonio fired high over to the dismay of Pellegrini, the Hammers boss replaced skipper Pablo Zabaleta with Ryan Fredericks and, with that third and final substitute still finding his feet, Anderson finally conjured up a 74th-minute equaliser for his relieved boss.
Carving a channel down the left flank, the Brazilian played in the over-lapping Snodgrass, whose by-line cross was simply could not be converted by Arnautović, Hernández or, finally, Antonio in a penalty area scramble but when the ball ricocheted to Anderson, the £43million man rifled a no-nonsense 15-yarder under Lössl’s left-hand angle to the joy of everyone claret and blue.
Having got one, the Hammers went in search of a second as Mooy nodded Diop’s point-blank header off the line, while Durm also sent a low 20-yarder inches wide but after surviving a frantic finale in which Fredericks limped away to leave the Hammers with ten men, both sides simply had to settle for a point.
TERRIERS: Lössl, Zanka, Schindler, Hogg, Kongolo, Billing, Mooy, Löwe (Durm 45), Hadergjonaj, Pritchard (Mbenza 72), Mounié (Depoitre 89). Unused subs: Hamer, Smith, Bacuna, Kachunga.
HAMMERS: Fabianski, Zabaleta (Fredericks 73), Cresswell, Diop, Balbuena, Rice, Obiang (Antonio 64), Snodgrass, Diangana (Hernández h/t), Anderson, Arnautović. Unused subs: Adrián, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Pérez.
Booked: Snodgrass (17), Zanka (35),
Referee: Chris Kavanagh.