Championship promotion contenders Huddersfield Town failed to do the unthinkable and defeat Premier League giants Manchester City, in their FA Cup fifth round replay at the Etihad.
Huddersfield boss David Wagner expressed his league priorities going into this game. Making nine changes, including key men such as Danny Ward, Aaron Mooy and Elias Kachunga take a seat on the substitutes bench. As, Wagner rested the core of his time in preparation for their season deciding promotion battle against league-leaders Newcastle United this Saturday.
Wagner’s side had an ecstatic start to the match. Local Manchester boy and former City youngster Harry Bunn, who had only made five league starts prior to this game. Put the Terriers ahead with an early goal, following an assist into the 18-yard-box from the Danish midfielder Philip Billing.
However, the Terriers were unable to maintain the same amount of pressure as shown in the first 10 minutes. As, young German winger Leroy Sane could creep around the muddled Huddersfield defence and tap in the equaliser.
Unwilling to make any match winning substitutions to try and counter Pep Guardiola’s side, Wagner kept leading goal scorer Kachunga and fan-favourite super substitution Michael Hefele on the bench, reserving his star men for the massive encounter on Saturday. Ultimately, leading to the Terriers handing City a 5-1 victory.
The Huddersfield boss was disappointed with his team’s performance as he stated: “We have shown too much respect, unfortunately, against a very strong Manchester City side.” As well as reinforcing his side need to improve in the defensive third.
He further declared how whatever happened against City wouldn’t influence their League Campaign. Therefore, the loss didn’t hurt as much as a league defeat.
Huddersfield fans will be hoping that commanding center-half Christopher Schindler will be returning into their starting lineup, come Saturday against Newcastle.
Despite the loss, the Yorkshire side could take positives from their FA Cup run in the form of Philip Billing. Who has been showered with praise following his performance against the Premier League outfit.
The young Danish men delighted BBC Match of the Day pundits on Wednesday. As, they believed Billing proved to be a shining light in a side that is pushing for promotion to the Premier League. Also, expressing his strong presence and ability to carry the ball forward.