Five talking points after Sheffield Wednesday 2 Barnsley 0

Managerless Sheffield Wednesday moved to the top of the embryonic Championship table after defeating South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley 2-0 at Hillsborough.

Saturday, 10th August 2019, 12:01 pm
Updated Saturday, 10th August 2019, 18:16 pm

A debut goal from Jacob Murphy and a Steven Fletcher eased the Owls to a deserved and comfortable home victory.

Here are Owls writer Dom Howson’s five talking points:

Jacob Murphy

Owls caretaker boss Lee Bullen. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

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An eye-catching performance from the debutant. He was quick, direct and a constant menace. Oozing confidence and class, Murphy finished with aplomb in the second minute after Kadeem Harris's effort had been charged down. He was very sharp and should have been awarded a penalty after the break when he was clumsily bundled over by Mads Andersen.

It is very early days, but Murphy already looks a great acquisition.

Bullen said: "You can't get a better debut can you, scoring with his first touch, he must have thought all his Christmas' had come at once. He could have frozen in that situation but it just shows his quality. He and Kadeem Harris are two fantastic outlets to allow us to play like that."

The front threeMurphy, Kadeem Harris and Steven Fletcher were an absolute handful and almost unplayable at times. The trio linked up so well.

Fletcher worked tirelessly up front and he capped an excellent showing with a lovely goal on the hour mark. He produced an unerring finish from the edge of the penalty after a good driving run by Kieran Lee to put the contest out of Barnsley's reach.

Cameron DawsonWith Keiren Westwood serving a one-match suspension, the academy graduate was given the nod in between the sticks. His kicking was not always the best, but Dawson produced a vital save on the stroke of half-time to deny Cauley Woodrow. Given the Owls have brought in Paul Jones to strengthen their goalkeeping department, it was important Dawson put in a solid display. He stuck to his job and helped keep a clean sheet.

Pressing gameWednesday got their tactics spot on. They allowed Barnsley to monopolise possession and play out from the back. But they set traps and refused to let the visitors settle by hunting in packs and pressing them high up the pitch. Steven Fletcher was instrumental in setting the tone as he constantly put the Reds under pressure. Wednesday appear to be reaping the benefits of a strong pre-season. The team is packed full of energy and pace.

Well done Lee BullenBack-to-back victories has raised spirits at S6. Wednesday may be without a permanent manager, but Lee Bullen has galvanised the squad. The players are right behind him and seeing off Barnsley has further boosted his job hopes. “All I can do is win football matches,” insisted Bullen. Well, the Scot has found a winning formula and lifted the gloom around Hillsborough.