Birmingham news Blues player ratings vs Huddersfield as Bacuna and Placheta impress in win PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The latest Birmingham City news and views from BirminghamLive as we rate John Eustace's players in Friday night's match against Huddersfield
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Birmingham City have secured their first win of the new Championship season as John Eustace's side beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 at St. Andrew's. First half goals from Scott Hogan and Przemyslaw Placheta secured the victory in the first home game of the new campaign. Last season's play-off finalists Huddersfield were no match for Eustace's Blues as they remain unbeaten after the first two games, despite Danny Ward's strike in the second half which threatened to ruin the night. Blues came into this one with one point on the board after starting the season with a 0-0 draw against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road last weekend. Birmingham were winless in their last seven matches in the Championship - they last had a longer wait for a league victory during a 14-game run, between February and July 2020, but there's a positive feeling among the camp after momentarily moving top of the league table before the rest of the Championship matches are played this weekend. READ MORE: Birmingham City sent 'massive' Derby County transfer warning by Rams manager READ MORE: Birmingham City free agent set to join Championship rivals Huddersfield have been somewhat of a bogey team for Blues over the years, having won just one of their last six league matches against The Terriers, which was a 2-1 home victory in October 2020. And after firing a blank in their first match of the season, Blues were keen to start on the front foot and they broke the deadlock inside just five minutes at St. Andrew's. Summer signing Placheta came close to scoring his first goal for the club by nearly catching goalkeeper Lee Nicholls out at his near post, but Scott Hogan made sure the hosts forced through an early advantage. Juninho Bacuna picked the ball up on the right wing position and whipped in a dangerous cross, which Hogan converted from close range to give Blues fans their first goal of the new campaign. Huddersfield came into this one having won five of their last eight away games against Birmingham, including a 2-0 win last season, so it was key that Eustace's side started well to avoid history repeating itself. Keen to remain organised and compact after going one ahead, the hosts carved out their next opportunity just after the first 25 minutes had passed, while Huddersfield offered very little despite falling behind. It was Polish star Placheta who manufactured the chance after carrying the ball down the left channel, but Troy Deeney couldn't make anything of the full-back's cross. Deeney would have fancied his chances of scoring against the Terriers having been directly involved in six goals in seven home league starts against Huddersfield, scoring three times and assisting a teammates on three occasions. While he didn't add to his impressive tally, he was an effective outlet for Blues throughout. On the stroke of half-time, Blues doubled their advantage through Placheta. Hogan's ball across the box found Jordan James towards the back-post, but at an inviting angle he managed to get a shot away. Although his effort was blocked, goalkeeper Nicholls couldn't keep out Placheta's drive. Huddersfield were beaten by Burnley in their season opener, but haven’t won a match within their opening two fixtures of a league campaign since 2017-18, when they were in the Premier League. So Danny Schofield might not be having sleepless nights over his side's start to the new season, but Huddersfield couldn't have begun the new campaign much worse - they are without a point or and have scored just once after two games. Sorba Thomas should have halved the visitors' deficit 10 minutes into the second period as he dragged an effort wide of the mark despite being presented with a golden chance to beat Ruddy. The visitors did however get their goal on the hour mark as Danny Ward slotted beyond the Blues 'keeper after being played through by Thomas. Blues were on the ropes for a 10 minute spell after conceding, but Huddersfield failed to snatch an equaliser. Eustace's side held on and showed real character to win all three points. Formation 3-5-2 Players Ruddy 7.5 An assured presence in the Blues goal for the second match running. The 35-year-old was quick off his line and assured in his shot-stopping. Prevented Huddersfield left-back Josh Ruffels' fierce strike in the first half and had little more to deal with until Ward halved Huddersfield's deficit in the second half. Colin 6.5 He'll be a mainstay in Eustace's first XI this season, being a reliable, experienced operator in that right-wing-back role. Ventured forward on the odd occasion, but allowed midfielder Bacuna to occupy an advanced position, right of the two strikers. Sanderson 7.
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. Tracked Huddersfield's runners well when breaking in behind the Blues defence - he got stuck in to avert danger when it arrived more often than not. After Huddersfield scored their goal, Sanderson wasn't nearly as composed on the ball. Roberts 6.5 Played at the base of Blues' back three and he compliments Sanderson and Trusty well. Wasn't able to prevent Huddersfield's goal, which was played entirely in front of Eustace's defence. Trusty 8 After finding his feet at the end of the first half against Luton last week - with Carlton Morris and Elijah Adebayo a powerful combination to deal with - he looked calm and composed against Huddersfield. Dealt with Sorba Thomas' threat well, which is no mean feat considering the Huddersfield playmaker had Championship defences in knots last term. Placheta 9* Man of the match for Blues. Still learning the wing-back role on the job but will be a danger for Championship defences this season. Could have opened the scoring just a minute before Hogan bagged, as the Poland star nearly caught goalkeeper Nicholls out at his near post. But he got his goal on the cusp of half-time by driving the ball past the Huddersfield 'keeper. Woods 6.5 Kept it simple in the middle of the park, linked play and cleaned up at the base of Blues' midfield three. Woods plays a vital role in Eustace's 3-5-2 shape, with James and Bacuna relied upon to contribute in the final third and supply goalscoring opportunities for two strikers.
Jordan James of Birmingham City is challenged by Jonathan Hogg of Huddersfield Town (Image: Getty Images) James 6.5 After being deployed as more a No. 4 than a No. 8 against Luton, James was allowed to get involved higher up the pitch against Huddersfield. He's a quality distributor of the ball, but can fade in and out of games. Bacuna 8 Blues' main source of creativity. Often found linking play on the right wing, the midfielder was allowed to roam into space and find pockets when in possession. He provided energy, quality and that all-important final ball - a much-improved member of Birmingham's squad, one which will continue to develop under Eustace, no doubt. Deeney 6.5 Won his first duel of the game - a long-ball from Ruddy - and gave a thumbs up to the goalkeeper as Hogan buzzed about Blues' number eight all night. An effective out-ball for his teammates, Eustace knows what he can get out of Deeney and his skill set will be valuable for Blues this term. Hogan 7 Off the mark with his first goal of the season. A typical Hogan goal, sneaking in and causing problems when and where it hurts the opposition most. Was quiet after scoring his goal, but if he can replicate the sort of form in front of goal which got him a big-money move to Aston Villa in the summer of 2017, Eustace will be a happy manager. Substitutes Graham (for Deeney, 74) N/A Jutkiewicz (for Hogan, 81) N/A Friend (for Friend, 88) N/A Not used:Etheridge, Leko, Chang, Bellingham. Opposition HUDDERSFIELD (3-5-2): Nicholls, Turton, Edmonds-Green (Boyle 74'), Lees, Ruffels, Hogg, Thomas, Russell, Anjorin (Rhodes 74'), Rudoni (Koroma 88'), Ward (Holmes 74'). Not used: Chapman, Camara, Nakayama. Goals Blues: Hogan (5'), Placheta (45') Huddersfield: Thomas (61') Referee: Gavin Ward Who was your man of the match today? Let us know in the comments section. READ NEXT: Birmingham City boss John Eustace issues transfer update Birmingham City head coach John Eustace provides Krystian Bielik injury update Jeremie Bela completes free transfer after Birmingham City exit Birmingham City interested in second transfer raid on Derby County Birmingham City linked with selling senior defender to reduce wages
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