Arsenal 1-0 Huddersfield: Late Lucas Torreira overhead kick sends Gunners up

  • Arsenal have moved up to third in the Premier League ahead of Tottenham and Chelsea’s late Saturday games 
  • Seven yellow cards were dished out by referee Paul Tierney in a feisty first-half at the Emirates Stadium
  • Alexandre Lacazette had the ball in the back of the net after rounding Jonas Lossl but was ruled offside
  • Arsenal finally broke the deadlock late on through a close-range overhead kick from Lucas Torreira 

No ‘hippy crack’ required for Arsenal to get high this afternoon. The euphoria of victory to extend their unbeaten run to 21 games was entirely natural.

In a week where Arsenal’s players’ conduct was called into question after a number of their most high-profile stars were caught inhaling the dangerous – but illegal – gas nitrous oxide; Unai Emery’s side conjured an emphatic response.

For so long as it looked as if Huddersfield would leave London with a point – indeed David Wagner’s side deserve credit for this resolute display. 

An acrobatic overhead kick from Lucas Torreira in the 83rd minute gives Arsenal all three points against Huddersfield

Torreira keeps his eye on the ball as he adjusts his body in order to meet it full on the volley and fire home

Torreira keeps his eye on the ball as he adjusts his body in order to meet it full on the volley and fire home

Jonas Lossl scrambles around but can't get there as Torreira finally breaks the deadlock at the Emirates Stadium

Jonas Lossl scrambles around but can’t get there as Torreira finally breaks the deadlock at the Emirates Stadium

Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl can't get across in time as Torreira finds the back of the net late in the game

Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl can’t get across in time as Torreira finds the back of the net late in the game

The Uruguayan spins away with arms stretched out wide as he celebrates sending Arsenal up to third in the league table

The Uruguayan spins away with arms stretched out wide as he celebrates sending Arsenal up to third in the league table

The Arsenal players surround Torreira as they celebrate extending their unbeaten run to 21 games on Saturday

The Arsenal players surround Torreira as they celebrate extending their unbeaten run to 21 games on Saturday

MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND MATCH ZONE 

Arsenal: Leno, Mustafi (Monreal 66), Sokratis, Lichtsteiner (Iwobi 45), Xhaka, Bellerin, Guendouzi, Torreira, Kolasinac, Aubameyang, Lacazette (Mkhitaryan 45)

Subs not used: Cech, Elneny, Koscielny, Nketiah

Goalscorers: Torreira 83

Booked: Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Mustafi, Xhaka, Guendouzi

Huddersfield: Lossl, Smith (Hadergjonaj 60), Jorgensen, Schindler, Kongolo, Hogg (Bacuna 52), Williams (Durm 70), Pritchard, Mooy, Lowe, Depoitre

Subs not used: Kachunga, Hamer, Sobhi, Mbenza

Booked: Smith, Williams, Pritchard, Bacuna

Referee: Paul Tierney

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Lucas Torreira converts acrobatically from close range to give Arsenal the victory. CLICK HERE for more from MATCH ZONE

Lucas Torreira converts acrobatically from close range to give Arsenal the victory. CLICK HERE for more from MATCH ZONE

 

 

But in the end 5ft 5ins midfielder Lucas Torreira – the emerging darling of the Emirates Stadium – leapt high enough to win the game with a spectacular overhead kick to further bolster Arsenal’s top-four credentials.

That said, Arsenal were unrecognisable from their last outing here at the Emirates when they ruthlessly dispatched of Tottenham in the north London derby.

Emery’s men were oozing with intensity that day, their display against the Terriers far less eye-catching.

That won’t concern Emery an iota, however. Results and getting Arsenal back into the Champions League is all he’s worried about.

The significant team news ahead of kick-off came from the Arsenal bench; Laurent Koscielny appearing in the match-day 18 for a Premier League game for the first time since rupturing an Achilles tendon against Atletico Madrid on May 3.

There was a further boost for Emery, versatile defender Nacho Monreal also on the bench for the first time since injuring a hamstring at the start of October. 

Granit Xhaka goes to ground as Huddersfield's Aaron Mooy emerges with the ball during the first-half at the Emirates Stadium

Granit Xhaka goes to ground as Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy emerges with the ball during the first-half at the Emirates Stadium

Arsenal's French striker Alexandre Lacazette takes a tumble after tangling with Huddersfield's Mathias Zanka

Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette takes a tumble after tangling with Huddersfield’s Mathias Zanka

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang chases after Huddersfield's Jonathan Hogg as he holds onto the ball

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang chases after Huddersfield’s Jonathan Hogg as he holds onto the ball

Hogg receives some treatment from the Huddersfield medical team during a feisty opening 45 minutes in north London

Hogg receives some treatment from the Huddersfield medical team during a feisty opening 45 minutes in north London

Those defensive reinforcements couldn’t have come at a handier time for Emery after Rob Holding was ruled out for the rest of the season suffering cruciate ligament injury against Manchester United on Tuesday.

Not that either side required a defence the way this encounter started; subdued to say the least.

Eventually, the Gunners shifted though the gears to carve out two clear cut chances in quick succession.

First in the 28th minute; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang prodded wide from close range after Granit Xhaka’s dangerous low ball into the box.

A minute later, Aubamenyang’s strike partner Alexandre Lacazette was the guilty party, ballooning over from 12 yards after slipping at the vital moment.

Finally signs of life from Arsenal; also from Huddersfield midfielder Danny Williams who was perhaps lucky to stay on after going through the back of Torreira to spark a flurry of yellow cards in the closing minutes of the first half.

Next to enter Paul Tierney’s book was Tommy Smith for a lunge on Matteo Guendouzi that looked suspiciously high. 

Huddersfield striker Laurent Depoitre tries to take the ball round Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Huddersfield striker Laurent Depoitre tries to take the ball round Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner takes a tumble after a heavy tackle by Huddersfield midfielder Alex Pritchard

Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner takes a tumble after a heavy tackle by Huddersfield midfielder Alex Pritchard

Pritchard argues his case with referee Paul Tierney as he is shown a yellow card during the first-half on Saturday

Pritchard argues his case with referee Paul Tierney as he is shown a yellow card during the first-half on Saturday

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette puts the ball int the back of the net only to see it ruled out for offside

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette puts the ball int the back of the net only to see it ruled out for offside

Sokratis’ on Jonathan Hogg just seconds later was just as suspect, the Greek defender would have been relieved Tierney didn’t pull out a red instead.

After a lethargic opening, this game had exploded into action – and both side could easily have gone in ahead at half-time.

Lacazette had the ball in the net in 42nd minute, latching on to Mathias Jorgensen’s loose back pass – but the effort was ruled out for offside much to Emery’s disbelief.

The Gunners striker was slightly offside when Aubameyang flicked on Bernd Leno’s long punt, but Arsenal appeared to be remonstrating that Jorgensen’s touch negated the original ruling.

As Arsenal stewed, Huddersfield should have taken the lead as Pritchard fired over from deep inside the area before Lossl produced a excellent save to deny Torreira’s long-ranger that was headed for the top corner.

That wasn’t the end of drama, though – Shkodran Mustafi picking up his fifth booking of the season for a diving in the area, thus picking up a one-match suspension.

Given Sokratis’ earlier booking was also his fifth – Emery’s facing a major defensive dilemma ahead of next weekend’s visit to Southampton.

But at this point, Emery had far pressing problems – finding a way past Wagner’s dogged and well-organised outfit.

Arsenal’s frustration was laid bare as Tierney blew the half-time whistle; boos – directed at the official for disregarding Lacazette’s seemingly legitimate goal – ringing round the Emirates. 

Lacazette reacts with frustration after seeing the assistant referee has his flag up for offside to deny him the opening goal

Lacazette reacts with frustration after seeing the assistant referee has his flag up for offside to deny him the opening goal

Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner puts his hands on Huddersfield's Danny Williams cheeks in an angry confrontation

Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner puts his hands on Huddersfield’s Danny Williams cheeks in an angry confrontation

Williams chases after Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira as he attempts to launch his side further up the pitch

Williams chases after Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira as he attempts to launch his side further up the pitch

Huddersfield defender Tommy Smith is carried off on a stretcher after pulling his hamstring in the second-half

Huddersfield defender Tommy Smith is carried off on a stretcher after pulling his hamstring in the second-half

Xhaka continued his remonstrations with Tierney after the whistle, Mustafi took his anger out on fourth official Stuart Attwell

Like the win over Spurs when they were 2-1 down at the break, Emery responded with a double substitution at half-time – Alex Iwobi replacing Stephan Lichtsteiner and Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming on for Lacazette. 

Emery’s double change against Tottenham worked a treat, Aaron Ramsey providing an assist before Lacazette scored.

Mkhitaryan fired narrowly wide two minutes after the restart as Emery’s quick thinking nearly paid instant dividends for the second weekend in succession.

But Huddersfield were in no mood to relent and could have been awarded a 58th minute spot kick when Pritchard, albeit rather theatrically, fell under Bellerin’s challenge.

As if Emery’s defensive concerns aren’t already profound, Mustafi, replaced by Monreal, limped off in the 65th minute with what looked like a hamstring injury which surely leaves him doubtful for Arsenal’s festive schedule.

Guendouzi’s name was added to the book in the 80th minute, the Frenchman rightly booked for simulation as Arsenal’s desperation became all too apparent.

But just as Arsenal looked like their afternoon would end in frustration Torreira popped up to clinch victory for the Gunners with his acrobatic 83rd minute winner from Aubameyang’s lofted cross.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves Huddersfield defender Terence Kongolo on his backside

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves Huddersfield defender Terence Kongolo on his backside

Gabon international Aubameyang rues another missed opportunity as Arsenal struggle for the breakthrough

Gabon international Aubameyang rues another missed opportunity as Arsenal struggle for the breakthrough

Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl launches himself off his line to punch the ball clear as Aubameyang looks to pounce

Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl launches himself off his line to punch the ball clear as Aubameyang looks to pounce