Huddersfield loss ends Cherries' unbeaten run
- Michael Oliver
AFC Bournemouth slipped to their first league loss since before Christmas after being outgunned by the bright Terriers in Yorkshire.
In a whirlwind opening half, Junior Stanislas cancelled out Alex Pritchard’s opener, before Steve Mounie’s header ensured the home side had their noses in front come the interval.
The Cherries were in control for much of the second half, but hopes of salvaging anything from the game were dashed on the hour mark when Mounie netted his second of the afternoon.
Despite late Bournemouth pressure the away side were left with nothing to show for their efforts, conceding a late penalty scored by Rajiv Van la Parra, on a disappointing afternoon in West Yorkshire, ending the side's seven-game unbeaten streak.
Eddie Howe named an unchanged starting line-up following the week’s previous win over Stoke City, with Steve Cook was deemed fit enough to start from the off. Adam Smith returned from a groin injury to take up a spot on the bench.
The Cherries initially started positively, but with seven minutes on the clock it was the home side who struck first.
Mounie escaped the attentions of the Bournemouth backline, scampering to the byline and centring for Pritchard, who made no mistake from six yards out.
Undeterred, Bournemouth hit back on 14 minutes.
Jordon Ibe fended off a couple of Huddersfield markers before releasing the overlapping Ryan Fraser down the right side. Fraser then delivered a pinpoint cross for Stanislas, who took one touch at the back post before calmly side-footing the ball back across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.
It was a lively start to what was an entertain opening half. That said, further goalscoring opportunities were few and far between.
Mathias Zanka headed straight at Asmir Begovic, in the only other attempt of note until the half-hour mark when the home side regained the lead.
A routine set piece was tossed into the area by Aaron Mooy, with Mounie rising high to head the Terriers back in front.
Once again, Bournemouth responded. A clever corner routine was drilled low into the area by Charlie Daniels, with Steve Cook’s first-time shot clipping the outside of the post.
As half time arrived the heavens opened, with a combination of sleet and rain tumbling from the grey West Yorkshire skies.
Bizarrely, the second half began in glorious sunshine, and as the Cherries sought a route back into the game.
Inside the opening ten minutes of the half Ibe and Wilson both found space in the left channel, only for their low crosses in to the area to be cut out by covering defenders.
The signs were positive, and, as the hour mark approached, Howe introduced further attacking firepower in the shape of Joshua King.
On a rare foray into the Bournemouth half Mooy’s cross from the left was headed over by Ince, but for the most it was the Cherries who were asking all the questions.
But on 66 minutes hopes of a second equaliser were dashed, as Mounie arrived to meet Mooy’s low cross from the left with a neat low finish beyond Begovic.
Much of the half passed by with little in the way of goalmouth action.
Substitute Lys Mousset twice got powered shots away, but on both occasions Huddersfield bodies got in the way to block and keep the home lead intact.
The rain returned in the closing stages, but the Cherries were unable to get back on the scoresheet and into the game to set up a rousing finale.
Indeed, it was Town who finished the scoring deep int stoppage time. Pritchard was taken down by Gosling for a late penalty and Van la Parra slotted home confidently from the spot.