The Premier League’s bottom side Huddersfield Town were controversially denied a late penalty as they ground their way to an attritional goalless draw away against relegation rivals Cardiff City.

A meeting between two of the division’s three lowest-scoring teams was never likely to set pulses racing, and it lived up to its modest billing during a turgid first half.

The best either side could muster was the occasional set-piece hoisted hopefully into the penalty area, and their combined total of one shot on target between them in the entire match told its own story.

With 14 minutes left, Huddersfield thought they had a golden opportunity to snatch what would only have been their third win of the season when referee Lee Mason awarded them a penalty after Cardiff’s Joe Bennett brought down Florent Hadergjonaj.

But assistant referee Stuart Burt intervened to tell Mason that it was in fact Hadergjonaj who had fouled Bennett, and Mason reversed his decision, prompting a furious reaction from the Huddersfield dugout.

The result means the Terriers stay at the foot of the Premier League, eight points adrift of safety, while Cardiff remain 17th in the table, one point in front of 18th-placed Newcastle, who visit Chelsea later on Saturday.

Huddersfield denied rare win

Nine successive defeats in all competitions had cut Huddersfield adrift at the bottom of the Premier League, eight points behind Cardiff in the first position of safety.

Chief among the reasons for their slump was an alarming lack of goals. Their total of 13 was the lowest in the division, with only five of those coming from open play.

Despite their struggles, however, there was no suggestion that manager David Wagner’s position was under threat.

Although his job was safe, Wagner recognised the importance of this match and described it beforehand as “a game we have to win and it’s a game which can affect our season massively”.

Like Cardiff, there was no shortage of endeavour from the Terriers but their dismal recent form had left them almost entirely devoid of confidence in attack.

They did at least improve as the match wore on, enjoying long spells of possession and putting their opponents under pressure during the second half.

Then, with 76 minutes gone, Huddersfield were given a precious opportunity to score a rare goal and secure an even rarer win when they awarded a penalty.

But Mason’s decision to reverse that call was a brutal body blow for the visitors.

Although this draw stopped the rot of eight successive league losses, this point will do little to allay the fears that Huddersfield are destined for the drop.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 1Etheridge
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 4Morrison
  • 22Bamba
  • 3BennettBooked at 82mins
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 19Mendez-LaingSubstituted forHealeyat 73′minutes
  • 21CamarasaSubstituted forRallsat 64′minutes
  • 7ArterBooked at 33mins
  • 33HoilettBooked at 71mins
  • 13Paterson

Substitutes

  • 2Peltier
  • 8Ralls
  • 11Murphy
  • 12Smithies
  • 14Reid
  • 18Cunningham
  • 32Healey

Huddersfield

  • 1Lössl
  • 33Hadergjonaj
  • 25M Jorgensen
  • 26SchindlerBooked at 10mins
  • 37Durm
  • 42Puncheon
  • 6Hogg
  • 8Billing
  • 9Kachunga
  • 21PritchardSubstituted forMbenzaat 73′minutes
  • 24MounieSubstituted forDepoitreat 87′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Smith
  • 5Kongolo
  • 12Hamer
  • 15Löwe
  • 18Mbenza
  • 20Depoitre
  • 27Stankovic
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
30,725

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamHuddersfield
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home3
Away14
Shots on Target
Home0
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away10
Fouls
Home12
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 0, Huddersfield Town 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Huddersfield Town 0.

Florent Hadergjonaj (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).

Dangerous play by Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield Town).

Neil Etheridge (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Laurent Depoitre (Huddersfield Town) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Florent Hadergjonaj with a cross.

Foul by Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town).

David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City).

Attempt blocked. Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Foul by Erik Durm (Huddersfield Town).

David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Philip Billing (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rhys Healey (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Laurent Depoitre replaces Steve Mounie.

Offside, Cardiff City. Joe Bennett tries a through ball, but Sean Morrison is caught offside.

Foul by Zanka (Huddersfield Town).

Rhys Healey (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Zanka.

Offside, Huddersfield Town. Isaac Mbenza tries a through ball, but Florent Hadergjonaj is caught offside.

Booking

Joe Bennett (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Joe Bennett (Cardiff City).

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Zanka.

Foul by Florent Hadergjonaj (Huddersfield Town).

Joe Bennett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Rhys Healey replaces Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Isaac Mbenza replaces Alex Pritchard.

Attempt missed. Zanka (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jonathan Hogg.

Booking

David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City).

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Christopher Schindler.

Attempt blocked. Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Attempt missed. Steve Mounie (Huddersfield Town) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Florent Hadergjonaj with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Bruno Ecuele Manga.