A scintillating start to the second half secured West Ham a 1-4 victory over Huddersfield in the Premier League on Saturday - ensuring the Hammers leapfrogged the Terriers in the table. 

By 90Min
January 13, 2018

A scintillating start to the second half secured West Ham a 1-4 victory over Huddersfield in the Premier League on Saturday - ensuring the Hammers leapfrogged the Terriers in the table. 

West Ham capitalized on a defensive howler from Huddersfield in the first half which enabled Mark Noble to convert from close range. However, Joe Lolley - who was part of the costly error at the back - leveled the scores five-minutes before the break with a sumptuous strike. 

For all of Huddersfield's work to get back in the game a 15-minute blitz by the Hammers at the start of the second term secured all three points in style for the visitors as a goal from Marko Arnautovic and a double by Manuel Lanzini sealed the victory.  

Matchday 23 saw Huddersfield and West Ham enter John Smith's Stadium in contrasting form, David Moyes' men had lost just one league game in their last seven heading into the clash, while David Wagner's side were without a win in their last four. 

The dark and gloomy afternoon in West Yorkshire saw the home side make a bright start as their energy on and off the ball starved the Hammers of possession in the opening ten-minutes, yet their inability to convert their time on the ball into chances was once again on show. 

With just two goals in their last four league games the lack of a clinical edge offered West Ham the impetus to work their way into the match, to which they did with great effect.

Having dictated play with their pressure off the ball in an organized approach, a costly mix-up between Terriers stopper Jonas Lossl and winger Lolley gifted the Hammers the lead in the 25th minute. 

Lossl had opted to play his goal-kick short to Lolley who was instantly under pressure from Arnautovic, who nicked possession to bundle the ball towards Noble who calmly slotted the home just inside the near post.  

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The goal caused the balance of the game to swing in favor of the Hammers on more than just the scoreboard as despite being second best prior to opening the scoring, the goal took the steam out of the home side and their crowd as West Ham's intensity forced the Terriers into a series of errors.  

Yet, just like the first goal Huddersfield struck against the run of play as Lolley - who was partly at fault for the opener - leveled the scores in the 40th minute as his cut-back on the right wing allowed the winger to power into the box and curl a thunderous strike beyond Adrian into the far corner of the goal.

The half-time break ultimately came at the wrong time for Huddersfield who looked reinvigorated by their opener, but any optimism for the second period quickly vanished merely 11 seconds after the referees whistle. 

Angelo Ogbonna's hopeful ball forward from the kick-off was flicked on towards Arnautovic who expertly hooked the ball over Tommy Smith and his close control allowed him to power the ball home into the near post in the 46th minute. 

The Terriers appeared shell shocked from the visitors' quick start to the half as West Ham dangerously streamed forward on the counter with devastating effect. 

The third goal felt imminent for West Ham and it arrived in the 56th minute through Lanzini who finished off an exceptional bout of team play by latching on to Arnautovic's pin-point pass to send the ball beyond Lossl. 

Three soon became four as Lanzini and Arnautovic ran riot in the final third, with the Austria international using his pace and power to steam into the box before Lanzini latched onto the leftovers to fire the ball into the roof of the net in the 61st minute. 

The final third of the game was played with considerably less intensity with both sides taking their foot off the gas as they awaited the full time whistle to call time on the encounter.

Huddersfield will have a week to prepare for their crucial trip to Stoke City next Saturday, whereas West Ham have a mid-week FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury to contend with before hosting Bournemouth on the weekend. 

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