Huddersfield Town 1-1 West Ham United
The day started for me with plenty of hope.
On a personal level, things were going great for me. Football wise, there were so many great fixtures that I could look forward to. Not forgetting that my family had planned to have a good dinner on Saturday night (nothing fancy, just roast lamb with mash potatoes).
All that is left, is for Huddersfield Town to continue their good momentum against West Ham. Last season on both fixtures, the Hammers outplayed us to collect maximum six points. Nevertheless, I did have some belief that we could win it this time.
Collecting full points against Fulham, had reinvigorate a new-found energy within the club. Now it’s to the eleven players to seize the opportunity to keep that form going. I had all the confidence that we could just do it this time.
I love the fact the David Wagner opted for the 3-4-3 formation in this game. He is discarding the pragmatism approach in favour of something fearless. And that's the way it should be. We need to be more assertive as a Premier League club despite the odds stack against us.
The win against Fulham came with plenty of questions from the neutrals and non-believers. First, it was an own goal that broke the egg for us at home. Second, it was against the worst side in the league apart from us. It made the stakes even higher for Town this time.
Right from the start, Town was being ruthless against Pellegrini's team. It didn't take that long for the effort to be rewarded with a goal. Alex Pritchard played a one-two with Jonathan Hogg and drives a left foot shot pass the helpless Lukasz Fabianski. Finally, a genuine goal on home soil is accomplished.
We could have doubled our lead right before half time. Phillip Billing was having another monstrous afternoon in midfield. He was intercepting or winning the ball from every West Ham's attempt. Or making progressive runs in the opponent's half and giving them trouble.
He struck a brilliant curvy shot from the left which looked almost going in. Even Fabianski was left in a complete numb like situation on the curl was very unpredictable. Had the shot went in, it would have been worthy of a Puskas Award nomination. In the end, the ball hit the post.
West Ham were looking stronger in the second half. The moment they brought in Javier Hernandez, I knew trouble was in the air. Its these sorts of things that brings out the pessimist inside of me. That West Ham bench looked more solid than anything we can offer from the Town's dugout.
In the end, the inability to clear the ball not once but twice paid us dearly. Felipe Anderson was at the right place to pounce the ball in to score the equalizer. My heart just sank it while chewing the slice of meat from my well-cooked lamb.
I was glad the goal didn't dampen the team's spirit. Town kept pushing for the elusive win to make it six points from two games. Again, the strike-force of Steve Mounie and Laurent Depoitre were trying their very best. Beginning to feel the pressure to find the net is taking its toll on them.
And there is Isaac Mbenza. Against Fulham, his attempt to find the winner saw the ball reaching out to the far right of the corner flag which sent shock-wave. Today, he replicated that effort by sending the ball wide left. For the weak heart, it would have been life threatening to witness such atrocity.
In the end, just as what I tweeted; it’s not a game that I would be grateful for nicking a point. But rather it was a disappointment for us not take a victory against a team that completely dominated us last season.
On to the next game!