HUDDERSFIELD, England (Reuters) - Manchester United suffered their first defeat of the season with a shock 2-1 loss at promoted Huddersfield Town on Saturday, leaving them trailing leaders Manchester City by five points.
An ecstatic home crowd at a noisy and rainy John Smith’s Stadium celebrated what was the Yorkshire club’s first win over United since 1952 and one which few would doubt they deserved after a passionate display.
Huddersfield were without a Premier League win since August but there was no sign of any dent to the confidence of an energetic and determined side.
From the outset Huddersfield looked hungry and fired up while United looked far from the team that started this season in such convincing fashion with six wins from their opening eight games.
“Everyone at the stadium could feel in the first couple of minutes that one team was ready to give everything and the other was not ready for it. Maybe only my players realised at half-time,” a scathing Jose Mourinho said after the match.
United pushed forward in numbers after going in two down at the break but there was a lack of fluidity and craft to their play which resulted in little real trouble for Town keeper Jonas Lossl.
Mourinho’s side had 78 percent of possession but just three shots on target throughout the game.
Watched by former Huddersfield and United striker Denis Law, David Wagner’s side took the lead in the 28th minute.
Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy robbed Juan Mata in midfield, broke forward, slipped the ball to Tom Ince and fired home after Ince’s shot was blocked by David De Gea.
United lost defender Phil Jones to injury and his replacement Victor Lindelof was to blame for Huddersfield’s second when he completely misjudged a long clearance from Town keeper Jonas Lossl allowing Belgian Laurent Depoitre to round De Gea and slot home.
Nemanja Matic went close to pulling one back with a shot that flashed just wide shortly before the interval but at the break Mourinho gambled by using both his remaining subs – throwing on Marcus Rashford and Henrik Mkhitaryan as he sought to change the direction of the game.
But it was not until 12 minutes from the end that United got on the scoresheet with Rashford meeting a Romelu Lukaku cross with a firm header at the back post.
Despite intense late pressure from United the Yorkshire side held on for a famous victory.
“I said to the players that I wouldn’t expect a result, but that I can believe in a result,” said Wagner.
“That is why it so huge for us. It’s a very proud moment, that we were able to beat Manchester United at home.
“Small Huddersfield have beaten Man United and it is one of the proudest moments in my managerial career.
“It’s another chapter in the fairytale we started nearly two years ago. It has shown everything is possible in football. Today was our moment. It makes everyone very happy and very proud,” added the German.
Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge