Full-time: Wigan Athletic 3 Sheffield Wednesday 2

A red card for Atdhe Nuhiu compounded Sheffield Wednesday's opening-day misery as they slipped to a 3-2 defeat at Championship newcomers Wigan Athletic.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 4th August 2018, 5:07 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th August 2018, 9:08 am
Latics v Owls
Latics v Owls

Nuhiu, a scorer in the first half, received his marching orders in the 90th minute of a contest which showed the Owls have much to work on. They struggled defensively and were well beaten by last season's League One champions.

Fernando Forestieri offered them hope when he reduced the deficit to 3-2 in the 67th minute but more than 4,700 away fans in a sold-out away end went hope disappointed.

Wednesday fell behind in the ninth minute when left-back Antonee Robinson ran 60 metres down the flank and Michael Jacobs was on hand to fire home as the Everton loanee's cross was headed out.

However, the Owls needed only 10 minutes to restore parity. Adam Reach delivered from the left and his ball was slowly put surely put away by Atdhe Nuhiu, the giant striker forcing his way towards goal and scoring at the third attempt.

But only seven minutes later they were in arrears again. Jacobs was the hitman once more, set up for his second goal by Nick Powell, following Gavin Massey's cross, and from then on it was a long afternoon for Jos Luhukay's men.

Wednesday were being out-hustled by a hard-running home side and were struggling at the back under the wave of home attacks. The scoreline was close to being worse, with Chey Dunkley powering a 37th-minute header just over from a corner and Jacobs' 20-yard curler smacking the bar three minutes before the break.

Four minutes into the second half, only a superb Tom Lees block denied Powell and seconds later Cameron Dawson had to be sharp at his near post to palm away Massey's stinging effort.

Dawson was preferred in goal as Keiren Westwood didn't even make the squad.

Wednesday were in enough trouble without adding to their problems, but Joey Pelupessy failed to react to Barry Bannan's pass and Wigan broke clear through Jacobs. The winger's hat-trick attempt was saved by Dawson, only for Powell to neatly dink in the rebound.

However, the introduction Lucas Joao lifted the Owls and good work from him set up Fernando Forestieri to strike from close range in the 67th minute and haul his side back into the game.

Wigan substitute James Vaughan headed on to the bar, Dawson saved from Massey and Vaughan's back-heel was ruled out for offside before Liam Palmer fired over for Wednesday.

The visitors pressed towards the end but failed to create any other clear-cut chances before Nuhiu, booked earlier for a stray arm, took out his frustration on Cedric Kipre.

Thus, on a worrying day, Wednesday finished a man down and a goal down.

Wigan (4-2-3-1): Walton; James, Dunkley, Kipre, Robinson; Gibson (Vaughan 70), Morsy; Massey (McManaman 81), Powell (Power 70), Jacobs; Grigg. Subs not used: Jones, Bruce, Roberts, Naismith.

Wednesday (3-5-2): Dawson; Lees, van Aken (Joao 61), Pudil; Palmer, Pelupessy (Fletcher 87), Hutchinson, Bannan, Reach; Forestieri, Nuhiu. Subs not used: Wildsmith, Fox, Matias, Boyd, J Lee.

Goals: Jacobs 11, 26, Powell 59 (Wigan); Nuhiu 19, Forestieri 67 (Wednesday).

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex).

Attendance: 14,207 (4,744).