Huddersfield Town’s top-two hopes fading but Carlos Corberan up for challenge

Huddersfield Town head coach Carlos Corberan did not have to ponder too long after suffering back-to-back defeats in the Championship.

“The worst thing I can say is it’s very easy to explain the game. Individually and collectively, Bournemouth were better than us,” admitted Corberan.

Coming just three days after the Terriers lost their 17-game league unbeaten run at Millwall on Wednesday and this defeat ended a deflating week.

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Jaidon Anthony, Jefferson Lerma and Dominic Solanke were on the mark as the Cherries took a big step towards a Premier League return.

Dejected Town players after Bournemouth's second goal. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The win for Parker’s second-placed side opened up a healthy six-point advantage over Luton Town and the Terriers.

Corberan said: “There was a big difference between the sides’ performances. I think Bournemouth not starting well maybe made us take risks in the press that left us open.

“After they scored the goal it was difficult to be compact after half-time. We tried to be aggressive and we conceded the third goal.

“I think we took risks where if you win the one-v-one you get rewards but if you don’t it lets them attack open spaces and you’re going to suffer.

Town's Duane Holmes takes on Bournemouth's Jefferson Lerma. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“When the players got fatigued, they started to play worse.

“We did a lot of running against Millwall and didn’t achieve anything. We knew that in this type of game you can only compete at 100 per cent.

“The fact we didn’t show our strengths in the last two games doesn’t mean we won’t be able to in the next two games.

“That’s the challenge, that’s life, that’s sport, and we need to be able to show again.

Town's head coach Carlos Colberan. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“In life if you don’t show you can go again, you can’t live, you can’t compete, you can’t do anything.”

Solanke broke clear inside two minutes after the hosts were caught out at the back but had a tame effort parried away by goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.

Solanke threatened again shortly after, striking the bar with a free header from close range after Ryan Christie’s free-kick found the frontman unmarked in the box.

The 24-year-old then turned provider for a deserved Cherries opener in the 19th minute.

Christie unlocked the home defence with an inch-perfect pass for Solanke, who squared for Anthony to tap in and finish a delightful Cherries move.

The hosts started to capitalise on their intense pressing as Danny Ward forced a simple save from Mark Travers.

But a positive response was short-lived as Scott Parker’s side doubled their advantage.

Nicholls raced out to deny the dangerous Solanke, but Tom Lees skewed an attempted clearance and Lerma pounced. The Colombian international cleverly hooked beyond the scrambling Nicholls to find the bottom corner just after the half-hour mark.

Huddersfield simply had no answer for the incisiveness and quality of Parker’s side in the final third.

Former Terriers man Philip Billing received a frosty reception from home supporters, but looked bright and had a shot saved before the break.

Bournemouth started the second half where they left off, breezing through the hosts’ defence with ease.

Solanke struck his 23rd goal of the season just two minutes after the break, gloriously flicking past the helpless Nicholls to open up a three-goal cushion, deflating the home side.

Corberan’s side worked hard to make inroads against the visitors, but Parker’s men, who boast the league’s best defensive record, held firm.

The game began to loss urgency a little as midfield duo Lerma and Lewis Cook took control against the tiring Terriers. That was until Lerma’s brilliant cross-field pass found Anthony, who curled just wide as the visitors looked to inflict further pain on their promotion rivals.

Huddersfield striker Ward went close late on but there was to be no consolation goal for the home side.

Cherries boss Parker said: “Huddersfield are a good side but we were too good for them, I think that’s fair to say.

“To come here where Huddersfield have done so well and do that is a massive boost for us so we need to take that.”

Huddersfield: Nicholls, Turton, Pearson, Lees (Colwill 46), Toffolo, Thomas, Russell, O’Brien, Holmes (Anjorin 69), Sinani (Koroma 52), Ward. Unused substitutes: Pipa, Rhodes, Blackman, Eiting.

AFC Bournemouth: Travers, Smith, Phillips, Kelly, Zemura, Lerma (Lowe 83), Cook, Billing (Cantwell 80), Christie, Solanke (Dembele 88), Anthony. Unused substitutes: Woodman, Stacey, Pearson, Cahill.

Referee: S Hooper (Wiltshire).