Sheffield Wednesday match report: QPR 3 Owls 0

Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday
Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday

There is little continuity with Jos Luhukay's line-up or system.

He likes to keep the fans, players and media guessing, frequently chopping and changing both personnel and the side's formation.

It is a thankless task trying to predict the Dutchman's team.

No one is assured of a place in Luhukay's side as he demonstrated at Loftus Road by dropping club captain Tom Lees to the bench. It was a bold, eye-catching decision to leave out Lees, who has been a stalwart at the heart of Wednesday's rearguard in recent years.

But Luhukay is not afraid to ruffle a few feathers and Lees paid the price for gifting Middlesbrough their second goal last Friday with a woeful back pass.

Luhukay also left out Liam Palmer, Jordan Thorniley, Matt Penney and Steven Fletcher for their trip to the capital.

It was a brave call to make a plethora of changes and switch the Owls' formation from 3-4-3 to 4-3-3.

But Luhukay's tactical alterations failed to pay off as they slumped to a second successive defeat.

Goals either side of half-time from Tomer Hemed, Luke Freeman and Nahki Wells extended Queens Park Rangers unbeaten league run to four matches.

The result means Wednesday have lost their last five league matches in London since a 1-0 win at Fulham in August 2017.

Wednesday created chances. Just didn't take them.

Atdhe Nuhiu, recalled up front at the expense of Fletcher, forced Joe Lumley into a smart save at near post while Lucas Joao hit the post with a header before Freeman doubled QPR's lead.

They were two big moments which Wednesday failed to capitalise on and QPR punished their brittle defence.

Wednesday made a positive start, fashioning the first chance in the third minute. Joey Pelupessy won a crunching 50-50 duel just inside the QPR half and the ball broke to Adam Reach, who dragged a shot wide from 30 yards.

Barry Bannan, wearing the captain's armband following Luhukay's eye-catching decision to leave out Tom Lees, featured prominently in the early stages and he fired wide when well-placed after good hold up play by Lucas Joao.

Joe Lynch produced an immaculate block on the edge of the penalty area to deny Reach a sight at goal as the Owls pressed for the opener.

But the visitors were almost undone on the counter attack when Ebere Eze slipped in Tomer Hemed but Cameron Dawson spread himself superbly to keep out the striker's low drive with his legs.

Pudil then came to the rescue for the Owls midway through the half, making a brilliant challenge to foil the lively Hemed inside the area.

Moments later, Bannan drilled agonisingly off target after a lovely flowing Owls move involving Adam Reach and Ash Baker.

Wednesday continued to pass and probe, with Atdhe Nuhiu latching on to Lucas Joao's neat through ball only to see his strike from an acute angle pushed behind for a corner by Joe Lumley.

Hemed was a lively presence for the R's. His clever movement and intelligent link up play troubled the Owls' backline, with Baker and Michael Hector both making excellent tackles to keep him at bay.

But the Israel international forward kept on plugging away and he was rewarded for his perseverance in the 35th minute. He headed home from close range after Dawson parried Pawel Wszolek's low strike.

QPR grew in confidence after Hemed's goal and things could have got worse for Wednesday had Morgan Fox not expertly charged down Wszolek's shot.

Hemed was a constant threat, seeing his right foot shot saved by Dawson.

Shortly after Joao struck the post, Freeman nodded in a fine centre from the right by Wszoley after he combined effectively with Eze.

It left Wednesday, who lost Daniel Pudil due to injury, with an uphill task but they refused to give up, with Reach cutting in from the right and seeing a left foot piledriver go inches wide before Josh Onomah fired straight at Lumley after a superb surging run and pass by Bannan.

Dawson, though, was the busier goalkeeper and he pulled off a fine save to tip over Wszoley's rasping right foot effort.

With 12 minutes remaining, Lumley produced a good stop at his near post to thwart Fletcher.

Wells compounded the Owls' misery, bagging a third for QPR after more sloppy defending by Luhukay's side. Wednesday have now gone 14 matches without a clean sheet and have lost each of their last six matches on Tuesday’s in all competitions.

Luhukay has bemoaned his team's inconsistency but he is doing himself no favours by constantly tinkering with the team. It is not a recipe for success.

QPR: Lumley; Rangel, Leistner, Lynch, Bidwell; Wszolek, Luongo, Cameron, Freeman (Cousins 88); Eze (Scowen 84), Hemed (Wells 65). Substitutes: Ingram, Hall, Smith, Osayi-Samuel.

Owls: Dawson; Baker, Hector, Pudil (Thorniley 62), Fox; Onomah, Bannan, Pelupessy (Penney 75); Reach, Joao (Fletcher 75), Nuhiu. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Palmer, Lees, Kirby.

Attendance: 12,534 (1,700).

Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire)