JOE LOLLEY’S first Premier League goal was scant consolation for a Huddersfield Town side well beaten by West Ham United.
The Terriers had no answer to the skills of Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini as David Moyes chalked up his 200th Premier League victory.
Watched by Sir Alex Ferguson, the man who made sure Moyes got the Manchester United job in 2013, the Scot’s side ran riot on their first league visit to Huddersfield since 1971.
Manzini netted twice, while Arnautovic and Mark Noble bagged a goal apiece on an afternoon that David Wagner’s side will want to forget.
In fact, the tone for much of what followed came in the game’s opening goal - which, from a Town perspective, was a total mess.
Goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, collecting the ball inside his own six yard box, chose to roll a pass to Joe Lolley, just outside the area.
Arnautovic was stood just a couple of yards away along with Mark Noble, meaning the Terriers midfielder had little, if any, chance with what was basically a ‘hospital pass’.
Sure enough, Lolley was dispossessed and Noble did the rest with an accomplished finish.
The blame lay with Lossl but Lolley, a confidence player, could have gone into his shell. Instead, the Terriers midfielder produced a quite stunning equaliser five minutes before the break.
After neat approach play between Tommy Smith and Aaron Mooy, Lolley collected the ball wide on the right before cutting inside Noble.
Then, as West Ham’s defence tried to scramble across, he bent an exquisite shot round Adrian and into the net.
The visitors restored their lead just 12 seconds after the restart, Arnautovic showing great skill to knock the ball past Smith before firing beyond Lossl.
Aaron Mooy prevented the Hammers putting the game beyond Town with a block on the line to deny Cheikhou Koyate.
It proved, however, to be just a temporary let-off as Arnautovic played Lanzini clear and he did the rest with a cool finish. Huddersfield appealed in vain for an offside flag but replays showed Tommy Smith had played Lanzini onside.
Town’s afternoon went from bad to worse just after the hour when Lanzini netted his second following a sweeping move.
Not quite a time for the alarm bells to ring at Huddersfield Town but next weekend’s trip to Stoke City has suddenly become a hugely important game.
The manner of this defeat was bad enough. But with West Bromwich Albion finally ending their five-month wait for a league win, Crystal Palace winning, and Swansea City battling hard at Newcastle United to claim a point, the dropzone is edging closer.
Adding to the need for the trip to the Potteries to yield points is Huddersfield’s next two games being a home clash with Liverpool and then a trip to Manchester United. Town need a win and fast to keep the bottom three at arm’s length.