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Arsenal Keep Pace in Top-Four Chase As Iwobi & Lacazette Sink Huddersfield



Arsenal achieved their first away win since November at Premier League strugglers Huddersfield, maintaining their hopes of a top-four Premier League spot as they moved within a point of Manchester United.

United’s 3-0 win at Fulham earlier on Saturday had put them four points clear of the Gunners, who remain sixth – on the same points as fifth-placed Chelsea, who face Manchester City on Sunday (16:00 GMT).

Once Alex Iwobi’s strike deflected into the bottom right corner off defender Terence Kongolo, the visitors rarely looked like relinquishing the points.

While Iwobi and Lacazette missed opportunities to increase Arsenal’s winning margin, Huddersfield also had chances via Adama Diakhaby and Laurent Depoitre.

Saed Kolasinac’s late own goal, though, was a worthy consolation for the hosts, who kept going but have still only managed six goals at home.

The result leaves Huddersfield marooned at the bottom of the table, 13 points from safety with 12 games remaining.

Arsenal put indifferent spell behind them
Arsenal arrived in West Yorkshire in the middle of an indifferent period of form, with three defeats in seven outings during 2019 underlining long-standing defensive issues.

However, bottom club Huddersfield, with one home win all season, were the perfect opponents to get back on track against.

For all the Terriers’ admirable qualities, their shortcomings, particularly in attack, allowed Unai Emery’s side to brush off the absence of top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and win without ever being at their best.

The Gunners had won their last three matches against Huddersfield without conceding a goal and looked likely to repeat that feat until Sead Kolasinac inadvertently diverted Adama Diakhaby’s effort into his own goal in added time.

In attack, Arsenal’s thrust was generally provided down the flanks courtesy of right wing-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles and team-mate Kolasinac on the opposite side.

The Bosnian, who had the second most touches of any Arsenal player [70] behind Maitland-Niles [94], was the architect of the opening goal.

His strong running on the left was followed by a precision cross which allowed Iwobi to volley first time, albeit fortuitously, off Kongolo, into the bottom right corner from 10-yards out.

Maitland-Niles then fashioned the second goal, racing clear on the right and sliding a perfectly weighted ball across the face of goal for Lacazette to score his 12th goal of the campaign.

Gallant losers again
The Huddersfield supporters must feel that their season is one long broken record.

This reverse, their 11th in 12 games, represented the 10th occasion that they have lost by a single goal. And, as in many of the others, they competed gallantly throughout and were deserving of their late goal but fell short in attack.

While a muted first period only brought a penalty claim – waved away by referee Jonathan Moss – after Jason Puncheon’s shot had hit Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny, they did improve after the break.

Gambling with more men forward left them susceptible to Arsenal on the counter, but also allowed them to finally carve out some clear chances.

Juninho Bacuna could have dramatically levelled matters at the death and Adama Diakhaby was inches away from turning in from a corner midway through the half.

Had Laurent Depoitre’s right foot shot from 18 yards out found the bottom corner before Kolasinac’s own goal, it would have set up a grandstand finish.

Instead, the Terriers, who had not beaten Arsenal since 1971 – 11 years before their new coach Jan Siewert was born – succumbed to a familiar fate.

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