Huddersfield Town draw at Chelsea to secure Premier League safety
Chelsea 1 - 1 Huddersfield

Huddersfield Town draw at Chelsea to secure Premier League safety

10/05/2018

Huddersfield secured their Premier League status with a valiant 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge which significantly dented Chelsea's slim top-four hopes.

The Terriers drew at Manchester City on Sunday and claimed another point against City's predecessors as champions after Laurent Depoitre stunned the hosts with an opportunist strike.

Although Mathias Jorgensen's attempted clearance ricocheted in off Marcos Alonso's face for a Chelsea equaliser, Huddersfield held on to survive ahead of Sunday's game with Arsenal.

Chelsea's bid for Champions League qualification goes to the final day at Newcastle. They must win and hope Brighton beat Champions League finalists Liverpool at Anfield.

Chelsea will complain about time-wasting and gamesmanship from Huddersfield, but they had chances. Antonio Rudiger should have scored twice and Jonas Lossl saved brilliantly to deny Andreas Christensen following a late goalmouth scramble.

Speculation is rife that Antonio Conte will leave Chelsea this summer, despite guiding them to the title last season. This was not how the Italian would have chosen to bow out if this is his last home match at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had to do something City could not and find a way through Huddersfield. Patience was required of the Blues, perseverance from the visitors.

Conte made six changes following Sunday's win over Liverpool, with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois missing due to a back injury.

Like Conte, Courtois has 12 months remaining on his current contract and, with Chelsea unlikely to gamble on him leaving for nothing, the Belgian may have played his final game at Stamford Bridge unless he agrees an extension.

Willy Caballero was little more than a spectator in goal as the visitors sat deep with a flat back five, outnumbering restored striker Alvaro Morata.

Alonso had a shot parried by Lossl and next Rudiger missed a glorious chance from two yards out after Cesar Azpilicueta had headed a corner to the far post.

As Cesc Fabregas and Conte pointed out pre-match, too often this season Chelsea have failed to score, not just the strikers.

Morata turned a Fabregas cross goalwards on the volley, but Lossl saved, and the Spain striker next rounded the goalkeeper but found the angle too tight to shoot on target.

Rudiger spurned another opportunity, sending a free header over from Willian's free-kick early in the second half. It was costly.

Willian was moments later tackled in midfield by Chris Lowe, with a hint of a foul which was not given. It was not the first time Chelsea were frustrated with referee Lee Mason.

The ball broke for Aaron Mooy, who floated the ball over for Depoitre to chase. The Belgian beat Caballero to the ball and stayed on his feet as the goalkeeper tumbled in the contact.

Depoitre got the luck of the bounce and showed composure to prod the ball by the recovering Rudiger to spark celebrations from the visitors. It was Depoitre's first goal since December 23.

Conte called for reinforcements. On went Giroud for Davide Zappacosta and then Eden Hazard for Pedro.

The equaliser owed more to good fortune than the super subs. Azpilicueta's cross was met by Jorgensen, whose attempted clearance hit Alonso's face and went in.

Still one point would be enough for Huddersfield to preserve their top-flight status. The Terriers were under near constant pressure and Philip Billing tried to relieve it but dragged a shot narrowly wide.

A goalmouth scramble concluded with Lossl brilliantly pushing Andreas Christensen's header on to the post.

The goalkeeper was booked for time-wasting before repelling Morata's shot, as Chelsea repeatedly poured forwards, but found no way through, sparking jubilant celebrations from the visitors.

Related news

Manchester City beat Manchester United through David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan goals

Manchester City beat Manchester United through David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan goals

Manchester City took the derby spoils with a 3-1 victory over rivals Manchester United thanks to goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan, with Anthony Martial pulling one back for the visitors.

Arsenal winless league run extended to three games after draw with Wolves

Arsenal winless league run extended to three games after draw with Wolves

Arsenal extended their run without a league win to three games after a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves.

Chelsea fail to breakdown Everton in Stamford Bridge stalemate

Chelsea fail to breakdown Everton in Stamford Bridge stalemate

Chelsea's Alvaro Morata had three penalty appeals turned down as Maurizio Sarri's men drew 0-0 against Everton at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool see off Fulham in controversial win at Anfield

Liverpool see off Fulham in controversial win at Anfield

Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a controversial 2-0 win over Fulham at Anfield.

Juan Foyth's header gives Tottenham Hotspur win over Crystal Palace

Juan Foyth's header gives Tottenham Hotspur win over Crystal Palace

Juan Foyth banished the memory of his nightmare Premier League debut to score Tottenham Hotspur's only goal in a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Leicester, Burnley draw at emotional King Power following Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha death

Leicester, Burnley draw at emotional King Power following Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha death

Leicester City shared a 0-0 draw with Burnley at the King Power stadium on Saturday when football again took a back seat with emotional tributes to the club's late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Chelsea's Alvaro Morata nets two in victory over Crystal Palace

Chelsea's Alvaro Morata nets two in victory over Crystal Palace

Alvaro Morata made it four goals in his last four Premier League matches with a brace as he helped Chelsea to a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace.

Sergio Aguero scores 150th Premier League goal as Manchester City rout Southampton

Sergio Aguero scores 150th Premier League goal as Manchester City rout Southampton

Manchester City made light work of Southampton as three goals inside the opening 18 minutes put them in complete control en route to a 6-1 win.

Nervy Tottenham survive two second-half penalties to win at Wolves

Nervy Tottenham survive two second-half penalties to win at Wolves

Tottenham Hotspur held on nervously to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 away in the Premier League on Saturday after conceding two second-half penalties.

RELATED NEWS

Manchester City beat Manchester United through David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan goals
Manchester City 3 - 1 Manchester United

Manchester City beat Manchester United through David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan goals

Manchester City took the derby spoils with a 3-1 victory over rivals Manchester United thanks to goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan, with Anthony Martial pulling one back for the visitors.

Arsenal winless league run extended to three games after draw with Wolves
Arsenal 1 - 1 Wolves

Arsenal winless league run extended to three games after draw with Wolves

Arsenal extended their run without a league win to three games after a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves.

Chelsea fail to breakdown Everton in Stamford Bridge stalemate
Chelsea 0 - 0 Everton

Chelsea fail to breakdown Everton in Stamford Bridge stalemate

Chelsea's Alvaro Morata had three penalty appeals turned down as Maurizio Sarri's men drew 0-0 against Everton at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool see off Fulham in controversial win at Anfield
Liverpool 2 - 0 Fulham

Liverpool see off Fulham in controversial win at Anfield

Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a controversial 2-0 win over Fulham at Anfield.

Juan Foyth's header gives Tottenham Hotspur win over Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace 0 - 1 Tottenham

Juan Foyth's header gives Tottenham Hotspur win over Crystal Palace

Juan Foyth banished the memory of his nightmare Premier League debut to score Tottenham Hotspur's only goal in a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Leicester, Burnley draw at emotional King Power following Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha death
Leicester 0 - 0 Burnley

Leicester, Burnley draw at emotional King Power following Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha death

Leicester City shared a 0-0 draw with Burnley at the King Power stadium on Saturday when football again took a back seat with emotional tributes to the club's late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Chelsea's Alvaro Morata nets two in victory over Crystal Palace
Chelsea 3 - 1 Crystal Palace

Chelsea's Alvaro Morata nets two in victory over Crystal Palace

Alvaro Morata made it four goals in his last four Premier League matches with a brace as he helped Chelsea to a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace.

Sergio Aguero scores 150th Premier League goal as Manchester City rout Southampton
Manchester City 6 - 1 Southampton

Sergio Aguero scores 150th Premier League goal as Manchester City rout Southampton

Manchester City made light work of Southampton as three goals inside the opening 18 minutes put them in complete control en route to a 6-1 win.

Nervy Tottenham survive two second-half penalties to win at Wolves
Wolves 2 - 3 Tottenham

Nervy Tottenham survive two second-half penalties to win at Wolves

Tottenham Hotspur held on nervously to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 away in the Premier League on Saturday after conceding two second-half penalties.