HUDDERSFIELD (AFP) – Timothy Fosu-Mensah's first-half goal gave Huddersfield a 1-0 home win against Fulham and their first win in the Premier League this season on Monday.
Fosu-Mensah headed into his own net, under pressure from the town of Christopher Schindler as Huddersfield stopped home run eight games without a top-flight goal and moved above Fulham and Cardiff at the foot of the table.
Barriers to the league match The Terriers stretched back to April – 14 league matches in total – but manager David Wagner was able to celebrate on the eve of his third birthday in charge with a moral-improving victory.
Fulham's fifth straight league defeat did little to help pressure Slavisa Jokanovic, whose own team without a league victory was extended to eight matches.
"I don't care who scores or how we appear," Wagner said. "People know we can perform better. The pressure is for both teams, but how we fight – we leave everything on the grass.
"It was appropriate. Our first round was clear and our second half was able to keep them away from our goals.
"This is very big for us. We have a feeling of winning again. What is certain is that it is one of the most important wins we have had in the last three years. Everyone needs this trust again. This is huge for us."
Huddersfield almost stopped their barren spell in a spectacular manner when Philip Billing's 30-yard hammer struck the crossbar in the 15th minute.
Steve Mounie headed in Aaron Mooy's pass soon after and Alex Pritchard's brilliant effort from outside the box was expertly clawed by Fulham goalkeeper Sergio Rico.
But waiting for Huddersfield to suffer at home finally ended in the 29th minute, making it 659 minutes in total.
Chris Lowe crossed far from the left and German mid-half Schindler saw his header turn into the net from Fosu-Mensah.
It was the 29th goal given this season by Fulham, who did not set a single effort on target before halftime, like Huddersfield's first half performance.
Fulham boss Jokanovic sent Kevin McDonald and Cyrus Christie to Luciano Vietto and Fosu-Mensah at intervals and the London club started the second half more intensely.
Christie's cut was overcome by Hogg and Mooy left the corner.
The Terriers continued to bluff and chase and Pritchard fired a shot from the target in the 68th minute.
Substitute McDonald had been forced out of action on knock but Fulham began to make a fist.
Schindler blocked Aleksandar Mitrovic's shot and efforts by Andre Schuerrle were ruled out for an offside decision against the former in the 74th minute.
Schuerrle fired another shot, while City substitute Isaac Mbenza also rejected two half chances when sent through in the closing stages.
But the city must not be refused – and the first meeting between the two sides since 1952 ended in their favor.