??Huddersfield have secured their Premier League status for next season after earning a heroic draw at Stamford Bridge against ?Chelsea.
Prior to the game the stakes were huge, with Chelsea needing a win to pile on the pressure for a top four spot on the last weekend of the season, whilst a point for Huddersfield would’ve been enough to save them from any relegation battle on the final day.
The Blues headed into the game in good form, beating Liverpool 1-0 on Sunday on the same day ?The Terriers managed to scrape a fantastic 0-0 away at the Etihad Stadium against Man City. The good form of Chelsea didn’t stop Antonio Conte from making six changes, surprisingly Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud were left on the bench in one of the biggest games of the season.
You always felt the contest was likely to test the patience of Chelsea, with Huddersfield camped in their own half 11 men behind the ball, they came for the draw and rightly so after the weekend’s result. It was a scrappy affair to begin with, Aaron Mooy and Jonathan Hogg were providing the engine in midfield working tirelessly to stay organised and put pressure on Chelsea’s playmakers of Cesc Fabregas and N’Golo Kante.
Perhaps the hosts would’ve been more assured had Antonio Rudiger guided a volley wide from point-blank range 12 minutes in, it was a game in dire need of an early goal from the Blues’ perspective. With Jonas Lossl taking his time at every goal-kick, frustration was growing all around Stamford Bridge.
The game was all Chelsea as the side chasing a top four spot piled on the pressure, saves from Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso kept the scores level. David Wagner was just one half away from a huge achievement, and on the 50th minute Huddersfield were sent into further ecstasy. Their 28th league goal of the season came through a long ball over the top of Chelsea’s defence for Laurent Depoitre, a striker not known for his pace by any means.
The long-ball caused confusion leading to Andreas Christensen and Willy Caballero colliding, with the pair sent to a heap on the floor there was only Rudiger in the way of Depoitre. A slip from Rudiger made the Belgian’s job easier as he cleverly lifted the ball into the gaping net; cue mayhem in the away end.
Chelsea’s response was to fling on the cavalry, on came Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard to save their Premier League season. It definitely wasn’t for a lack of persistence from the Blues, attack after attack saw Huddersfield defenders throwing their bodies on the line.
The final minutes of the game saw a moment of magic. A goalmouth scramble occurred after a Chelsea corner and eventually the ball flew up perfectly for Christensen to head the ball in from close range. The header was perfect with Lossl going the other way, however somehow the Danish keeper managed to get an amazing fingertip to the header, pushing the ball onto the post.
A few more defensive heroics led by a man-of-the-match performance by Christopher Schindler came soon after, Huddersfield just wouldn’t wilt. They had an answer to everything Chelsea through at them, this was their night to cap an admirable season.
Chelsea team: Caballero; Azpilicueta (c), Christensen, Rudiger; Zappacosta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Pedro.
Subs: Eduardo, Cahill, Moses, Bakayoko, Barkley, Hazard, Giroud. #CHEHUDpic.twitter.com/KEopHn7lUI
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 9, 2018