Sheffield Wednesday match report: Owls 3 Leeds United

Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United
Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United
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Gary Hooper starred as Sheffield Wednesday impressively defeated high-flying Leeds United 3-0 to secure their first win in four matches.

The striker notched a first half brace, taking his tally to seven goals in as many matches, to ease the pressure on under-fire Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal.

Kieran Lee, who had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside, added a third late on and the result was no more than Wednesday deserved.

Carvalhal made two changes to his midfield, handing recalls to Ross Wallace and David Jones. Morgan Fox and Jacob Butterfield made way.

Academy graduate Joe Wildsmith kept his place in goal, with Keiren Westwood failing to shrug off his rib injury.

Leeds dominated early on but wasted a number of opportunities to get their noses in front. Spanish winger Samuel Saiz was outstanding in the number 10 position, causing all sorts of problems. He looped in a cross which an unmarked Kalvin Phillips header over.

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After firing over from long range, Saiz jinked his way past a number of Owls defenders before floating an inviting cross towards the back post which Ezgjan Alioski nodded straight into the side-netting.

But Wednesday gradually found their rhythm and poise and Adam Reach's 25-yard piledrive was turned away by Felix Wiedwald after a short corner by Barry Bannan.

Against the run of play, the Owls broke the deadlock when Hooper stabbed home inside the six-yard area after Tom Lees knocked a free-kick back across the face of goal.

Hooper's strike lifted the mood inside Hillsborough and Wednesday bossed the rest of the half.

Joost van Aken was inches away from connecting with Ross Wallace's dangerous free kick and an on the half hour mark Kieran Lee had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside. The midfielder made a trademark late run into the box to convert Bannan's exquisite through ball but Lee was adjudged to have strayed offside. TV replays suggest Lee was at least a yard onside.

Wednesday laid seige to Leeds' goal and Matthew Pennington came to the visitors rescue, making an important block to prevent Hooper from testing the reflexes of Wiedwald after good play by Lee.

Steven Fletcher was a handful in the air for the Whites defence and he should have made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute but he headed wide from three yards out after a glorious cross by Wallace.

However, the Owls were not to be denied and Hooper doubled their lead. Liam Palmer, who replaced the injured Jack Hunt at right-back, whipped in a cross to the back post which Fletcher nodded back across the face of goal and Hooper added the coup de grace. Hooper is now the joint leading scorer in the Championship with seven goals.

Bannan, making his 100th Wednesday appearance, unleashed a fierce low shot which drifted narrowly wide as the hosts finished the half in the ascendancy.

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Leeds regrouped at half-time and almost pulled one back after the restart, Pierre-Michel Lasogga hit the right hand upright after van Aken made a hash of a clearance.

It was a pulsating, entertaining Yorkshire derby and Bannan blazed over when well-placed before Hooper flicked over Reach's centre as Wednesday pressed for a third.

Hooper linked up well again with Bannan just after the hour mark but the 29-year-old was thwarted in his attempts to bag a third by the agility of Wiedwald.

Lee was in the right place and the right time at the other end for Wednesday, heading Pontus Jansson's weak header off the liny following a corner by substitute Pablo Hernandez.

Moments later, Saiz cut inside and curled a shot narrowly wide as Leeds looked to set up a grand-stand finish.

There was a worrying moment in the 71st minute when Pontus Jansson was stretchered off another an accidental collision with his teammate Phillips. He was replaced by Stuart Dallas.

Wednesday were indebted to Wildsmith for keeping their two-goal lead intact. The youngster dived well at his near post to turn Saiz's shot behind.

But Carvalhal's side then turned the screw and Wallace forced Wiedwald into action with a rasping left foot drive.

After Bannan rattled the post from 12 yards, Lee netted a stunning third. He pounced on a loose pass by Eunan O'Kane, rifling an unstoppable right foot drive past Wiedwald.

Bannan was given a standing ovation when he was withdrawn in the closing stages. He ran the show in midfield.

Hooper scooped the man of the match award. He terrorised Leeds' back four and rattled the woodwork again in the dying minutes.

Victory lifts the Owls back into the top half of the table heading into the two-week international, four points shy of the play-off placings.

Owls: Wildsmith; Hunt (Palmer 38), Lees, van Aken, Reach; Wallace, Lee, Jones, Bannan (Butterfield 87); Fletcher (Rhodes 90), Hooper. Substitutes: Dawson, Nuhiu, Joao, Pudil.

Leeds: Wiedwald; Ayling, Pennington, Jansson (Dallas 71), Berardi; Phillips, O’Kane; Roofe (Hernandez 62), Saiz, Alioski (Sacko 62); Lasogga. Substitutes: Lonergan, Shaughnessy, Vieira, Grot.

Attendance: 27,972

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)

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