Terriers bite back after first loss
DAVID WAGNER hailed his “fantastic” back four after table-topping Huddersfield Town extended their perfect home record over a sorry QPR at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Goals either side of half-time from a sparkling Kasey Palmer and Elias Kachunga were more than enough for the Terriers to extend their advantage at the top of the Championship.
Idrissa Sylla grabbed a late consolation for Rangers but even this narrow-looking defeat was flattering for the west London outfit.
Town have now triumphed in all four home league fixtures this campaign and Wagner admits he is loving life in Yorkshire.
“The fans are enjoying the ride and I am really enjoying it too, to be fair,” said the boss.
“We had to work hard but I thought my defenders, in particular, were fantastic. We hardly gave them anything to go at apart from that late goal.
“I am very pleased because our aim was to bounce back from our first defeat against Brighton and the boys did that. It was a great performance.
“There is such a positive atmosphere around the place but it is early days. It’s nice everyone is happy.”
Town broke the deadlock in style on 14 minutes. The lively Rajiv Van La Parra recovered possession on the left before whipping the ball across the face of goal for an unmarked Palmer to head home.
The goalscorer continued to drop deep to scoop the ball from the hosts’ back four and pull the strings from the heart of midfield. Try as they might, QPR’s counterparts couldn’t get near him.
The visitors offered precious little in attack and finally registered their first meaningful shot on target after 37 minutes, but Danny Ward saved comfortably from a Tjaronn Chery effort.
The Terriers raced out of the traps after the break and another impressive centre by right-back Tommy Smith was nodded just over the bar by Kachunga.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s charges were undone on 58 minutes when Palmer slalomed his way through before Nahki Wells rifled the ball into the net. Luckily for the Hoops, the linesman had flagged for a tight offside call.
But so poor was QPR’s defence that another cross from Smith was hung up to the back stick and Kachunga sneaked between two defenders to head over Alex Smithies and into the net.
Substitute Sylla was able to pull a goal back with his first touch of the game, three minutes after coming on though. Chery had a second bite at a cross and the Guinean headed home at the back post with 15 minutes left on the clock.
But a share of the spoils never looked likely, or deserved, as the home side marched on, and QPR manager Hasselbaink said: “We were second best, there is no doubt about that.
“We are going through a difficult period for sure and we need a lift quickly. We are the only people who can give us the lift as nobody else will do it for us. But there is a good group here and we have to work hard.
“Overall, without the ball we didn’t react as quickly as I would have liked. We were too slow.
“We had to change things for the second half and we were at least a little bit better after the break. It wasn't good enough from us and we have to put this behind us and go again.”
TOWN FLYER: Huddersfield’s Kasey Palmer scores the early opener