Sheffield Wednesday match report: Owls 1 Leeds United 1

Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds UnitedSheffield Wednesday v Leeds United
Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United
It was a tale of two stunning goals in a thrilling, entertaining Yorkshire derby.

Adam Reach's thunderbolt on the stroke of half-time gave Wednesday a lead against the run of play at Hillsborough.

But Leeds, the Championship leaders, battled back to earn a deserved share of the spoils after a 54th minute cracker from Poland midfielder Mateusz Klich.

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The Owls were under the cosh for long periods of the second half after Klich's leveller and had to dig deep to keep Marcelo Bielsa's high-flying team at bay.

It was far from a vintage performance by Wednesday but Owls chief Jos Luhukay, who freshened his side up by bringing in Jordan Thorniley and Fernando Forestieri, can take positives from the fact they extended their unbeaten home run to five matches.

Although the draw lifted them above Nottingham Forest into ninth spot, Wednesday missed the opportunity to move into the play-off positions for the first time this season.

Having completed a three-match suspension, Forestieri was recalled to the starting line-up and it didn't take the mercurial forward long to make an impact.

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He was involved in a controversial flashpoint in the third minute. Forestieri seized on a loose pass and went down in the penalty area under a challenge from Pontus Jansson. It looked a clumsy piece of defending from the big Swede but referee Rob Jones was not interested and waved play on.

Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa stuck to his word and named the same side who suffered a surprise home loss to Birmingham City last weekend.

And the Whites, backed by a sold-out 4,600 away following, created the first meaningful opportunity. Samuel Saiz, their Spanish playmaker, floated a teasing centre towards the back post but Barry Douglas' downward header was turned behind by Cameron Dawson.

Wednesday were disciplined and kept a good shape in the early stages, stifling Leeds' creative talent. Michael Hector, making his first Hillsborough start, kept dropping into midfield when Leeds were on the ball to stop Saiz pulling the strings.

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After Tom Leeds headed an Ash Baker delivery off target, Steven Fletcher volleyed wide from the edge of the penalty area after a superb cut back from Matt Penney.

There was nearly a comical own goal at the other end when Baker stretched out a leg trying to cut out Jack Harrison's cross but his clearance went just wide of Dawson's left hand upright.

Moments later, Wednesday had another lucky escape as an unmarked Barry Douglas headed against the post after a peach of a cross by Saiz. Kalvin Phillips saw his effort from the rebound brilliantly blocked as the visitors pressed hard for the opener.

Jack Harrison was a lively figure down Leeds' right wing. His pace and quick feet repeatedly troubled the Owls' backline. He cut inside on to his left foot before dragging a low left foot strike wide.

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The home fans were left fuming after Penney was booked for a sliding challenge on Luke Ayling just inside Wednesday's half.

It was a pulsating, enthralling opening 45 minutes. You couldn't take your eyes off the action.

Forestieri slipped in Baker on the right and the Wales Under-21 international saw his right foot shot tipped away by Peacock-Farrell.

It was end-to-end, with Dawson producing a fine save to keep out Mateusz Klick's rasping shot before Barry Bannan fired wide when well-placed after a careless pass by Phillips.

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It looked destined to be level at half-time but Reach had other ideas. Fletcher flicked on Baker's throw in and the ball sat up nicely for the attacking midfielder, who lashed a stunning 30 yard volley out of Peacock-Farrell's reach. The goal of the season contender flew in off the inside of the post.

It took Reach a few seconds to realise it had gone in but he then wheeled away in celebration, heading towards the home dug-out to dedicate the goal to the Kalinins family. The Wednesday man raced over to the bench to collect a named team shirt to pay tribute to Hayley Kalinins.

Hayley, the wife of the club's performance director Andy, lost her seven-year battle with cancer last week.

It was a lovely gesture.

Reach's sublime goal prompted Wednesday's fans to chant 'Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again.'

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But the West Yorkshire club are made of stern stuff these days and levelled things up in the 54th minute. Klich curled in a spectacular 25 yard effort into the corner of the net past Dawson. It was the least Leeds deserved after a strong start to the second period.

There was nearly an instant response from the Owls, with Penney turning sharply before seeing a 25 yard shot expertly turned behind by Peacock-Farrell.

The equaliser visibly lifted Leeds and Tyler Roberts' speculative attempt drifted agonisingly wide.

Wednesday struggled to retain possession and frustration got the better of Bannan, who collected his fifth caution of the season after a late lunge to stop Saiz bursting clear on the counter attack. The yellow cards means Bannan will serve an automatic one-match suspension and miss the West Bromwich Albion encounter next week.

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It was all Leeds and Owls skipper Lees produced an immaculate last ditch challenge to prvent Ezgjan Alioski from testing the reflexes of Dawson as Marcelo Bielsa's team piled on the pressure.

Wednesday barely landed a blow on their West Yorkshire counterparts in the second half. Their passing was off and they lacked penetration in the final third. There was no purpose or confidence in their play.

Leeds kept knocking on the door but Hector, who was a tower of strength at the back, made a vital clearance inside his own six-yard box to stop Roberts turning in Douglas's clever back header across goal.

It was then Jordan Thorniley's turn to come to the Owls' rescue, clearing Roberts' header off the line after Dawson could only parry a shot.

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Reach continued to carry the fight for Wednesday late on but Peacock-Farrell was equal to his 25 yard drive as it finished honours even.

Owls: Dawson; Lees, Hector, Thorniley; Baker (Palmer 58), Pelupessy, Bannan, Reach, Penney; Forestieri (Joao 81), Fletcher (Nuhiu 77). Subtitutes: Wildsmith, Palmer, Rice, Preston, Onomah.

Leeds: Peacock-Farrell; Ayling, Jansson, Cooper, Douglas; Phillips; Harrison, Saiz (Forshaw 90), Klich, Alioski; Roberts. Substitutes: Blackman, Baker, Dallas, Shackleton, Edmondson, Pearce.

Attendance: 26,717

Referee: Rob Jones (Merseyside)

Star man: Tom Lees