Huddersfield come from behind to take the Yorkshire derby spoils at Elland Road...
UNITED 1 (Dallas 22), HUDDERSFIELD 4 (Hudson 41, Bunn 69, Matmour 73, Wells 77)
United team: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Bellusci, Taylor, Bridcutt, Murphy (Cook 65), Mowatt, Dallas (Wood 74), Doukara, Antenucci. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Cooper, Diagouraga, Carayol.
Huddersfield team: Steer, Smith, Hudson, Husband, Lynch, Paterson (Matmour 63), Van La Parra (Bunn 45), Whitehead, Billing (Huws 66), Lolley, Wells. Subs: Murphy, Davidson, Scannell, Cranie.
Referee: Graham Scott
Booked: Murphy, Dallas, Bellusci, Taylor, Cook, Mowatt (United), Billing, Lolley (Huddersfield)
Att: 29,311 (2,082 Huddersfield)
The Yorkshire derby with Huddersfield Town saw United head coach Steve Evans make two changes from the previous weekend’s victory at Blackburn Rovers, with Luke Murphy and Stuart Dallas returning to the starting line-up in place of Toumani Diagouraga and Lewis Cook.
In front of the biggest Elland Road crowd of the season so far, some typically robust challenges set the tempo of the game during the early exchanges, and the visitors were awarded a 10th-minute penalty following Sol Bamba’s trip on Joe Lolley inside the area.
But Marco Silvestri, one of United’s key figures during the three-match winning streak heading into the derby, was on hand to deny Nahki Wells’ spot-kick with a superb low save down to his right before gathering the loose ball.
United soon threatened at the opposite end, though, Bamba looking to make amends with a towering header which sailed over Jed Steer’s crossbar after meeting Dallas’ pin-point free-kick from the left.
Evans’ side were starting to assert their authority on the game and deservedly opened the scoring 22 minutes in. Liam Bridcutt battled to claim possession inside the Town half and drove forward before clipping in an inch-perfect back-post cross for Dallas to climb above Tommy Smith and nod beyond Steer in front of a jubilant Kop end.
Leeds looked to be in the driving seat but needed to be alert as the visitors chased a quick-fire equaliser as Jamie Paterson’s low free-kick was diverted over Silvestri’s crossbar by Murphy.
Philip Billing then forced Silvestri into a sprawling one-handed save to push away his low strike from 25 yards out, before Dean Whitehead hammered well over the United crossbar moments later after a corner was cleared into his path.
The travelling fans sensed their side might be able to find a way through the United defence, and that proved to be the case four minutes before the half-time whistle, courtesy of Mark Hudson’s downwards header from a Paterson corner.
The second half began in a pulsating manner, with United withstanding some early Town pressure before pushing forward in search of a second goal to restore their advantage. The in-form Mirco Antenucci came the closest to doing so following a swift counter-attack after 55 minutes, curling inches wide of Steer’s far post after latching onto Dallas’ cross-field pass.
It was a game very much on the edge as the hour-mark passed, and Evans was soon prompted into his first change of the afternoon, introducing Cook in place of Murphy in midfield.
But it was the visitors who managed to claim the third goal of the afternoon and take the lead, substitute Harry Bunn rifling a low strike in off the post after a corner rolled into his path on the edge of the United area.
Huddersfield were then able to double their advantage within four minutes through another second-half substitute – this time Karim Matmour finding the net from close-range after being found arriving unmarked at the back post by Wells.
And it went from bad to worse for United as Wells added a fourth on 77 minutes to seal the three points, firing beyond Silvestri with a powerful effort from inside the area.
Town’s three-goal flurry, coming in the space of eight second-half minutes, stunned the home crowd to silence, as David Wagner’s side claimed their first West Yorkshire derby victory in five games.