Manchester United: Why the Huddersfield defeat was on the horizon

It’s a rarity, if not an impossibility, for a team to register an unbeaten run for the entire length of the season, more so in the modern Premier League era.

Manchester United and Manchester City were the only unbeaten sides in the league ahead of matchday 9, but the former looked at pains to maintain their fine run of form.


Cracks on the wall

After hanging by a thread against Liverpool in the Premier League and a narrow victory over Benfica in the Champions League, the eminence of defeat was staring at Jose Mourinho dead in the eye; making it a matter of when, rather than if they would stutter.

Many predicted it would come before the international break, quite possibly against Tottenham or Chelsea (or both), few could however have envisaged it would be against newly promoted Huddersfield Town.

The Terriers registered a 2-1 win over Manchester United courtesy of two first half goals by Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre; their first win over the Red devils in more than half a century.


Abysmal start

Jose Mourinho’s charges had only conceded twice in their last eight Premier League games this season and as such were heavy favorites heading to the John Smith’s Stadium.

Tables were however turned during the encounter, with mistakes by Juan Mata and Victor Lindelof proving costly.

Mata was culpable for the opening goal as he easily gave the ball away in the middle of the park leading to a counter attack while Lindelof’s unsettled self left David De Gea exposed, gifting the hosts with a two-goal cushion.

Although United recovered a goal back deep in the second half through Marcus Rashford, the Reds bowed to pressure- with their first defeat of the season coming from an unlikely source.


Compounding injuries

Phil Jones was taken off midway through the first half, becoming the latest victim in the ever growing list of injured players.

Other that Jesse Lingard’s usual altercations with opposing players and an unusually moody Anthony Martial, everything was going well for United until Lindelof come on for the injured Jones.

The pair of Smalling and Lindelof at the heart of defense proved unpalatable, as both goals were conceded in a ludicrous five minutes.

Jones joins the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini on the sidelines, further compounding Jose Mourinho’s injury frustrations ahead of decisive games before the November international break.


Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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