Sheffield Wednesday: Three ups and one down from the Owls' 2-1 defeat to Derby County
Sheffield Wednesday succumbed to their third defeat on the bounce at Hillsborough, losing 2-1 to sixth-placed Derby County.
Here were the highs and lows.
Wednesday dominated the early stages. They started on the front foot, with Lucas Joao, one of three players restored to the Owls starting line-up, dragging a shot wide before Adam Reach's well-crafted 12th minute opener. Fernando Forestieri, making his first start since early October, also forced Scott Carson into action from a free-kick as Wednesday pushed hard for a second.
The 25-year-old was the shining light on another disappointing afternoon for the Owls. His goal oozed quality. He made a clever run in behind the Derby defence and knew exactly what he wanted to do as soon as he received Barry Bannan's lofted delivery and executed it to perfection. It was Reach's sixth goal of the season. He delivered an energetic performance in his attacking midfield role and was a constant threat.
WEDNESDAY SHOWED FIGHT
No one could accuse Wednesday's players of giving up or feeling sorry for themselves after going behind. There was no meek surrender like there was against Norwich City. Their attitude and application was spot on. What let the Owls down was their wayward finishing in the second half. Forestieri and Morgan Fox spurned gilt-edged chances.
There is no disputing that the Owls have had a tough run of fixtures at Hillsborough. Five of the Championship's top six clubs have visited S6 over the last two months. But Wednesday have alarmingly gone six matches without a win in their own backyard. They have lost three in a row on home soil and their last success at Hillsborough came against Ipswich Town on August 25.
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