Leeds United 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday: Keiren Westwood, Tom Lees and intensity – six talking points after the Owls defeat
Sheffield Wednesday’s play-off hopes were dented once again as they suffered defeat at the hands of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United at Elland Road.
Owls writer Nancy Frostick picks out six talking points from the thrilling encounter.
Keiren Westwood and THAT save
The Wednesday ‘keeper was the best player in blue and white by some margin after pulling off stop after stop including a contender for save of the season after tipping over Tyler Roberts’ header from point blank range. Proof again that he’s one of the best in the division and that it would be madness to let him leave on a free this summer.
Both a positive and a negative as Wednesday withstood Leeds’ intensity well for around 60 minutes, before it all looked too much. From the minute the second half kicked off it was a case if when, not if, Leeds would score and they were justifiably rewarded for their hard work. A greater intensity is something that came with Steve Bruce’s arrival at the Owls, but Leeds were on a whole other level.
An outstanding performance in a big week for the Owls skipper. Making 200 appearances for the club is always a big achievement and it was clear why he has reached that milestone so quickly after another solid defensive performance. He was Wednesday’s best outfield player and has been Mr Consistent for so long – a fact that is probably under appreciated until there is reason to pause and reflect on his time at the club.
A big blow early in the game for one of Wednesday’s influential creative players. Reach had just been seeing more of the ball when he was forced off with an achilles injury – if the Owls are to try and keep the play-off dream alive, they need the midfield man in the team. And after his recent performances in the middle of the park, they might need him to move inside to show off his best attributes too.
Play offs out of reach?
The result is another blow to the already slim hope of reaching the play-offs. Results across the Championship mean it’s still mathematically possible, so we can all keep holding onto the prospect of a miracle until Friday’s test at Norwich. As the saying goes, it’s the hope that kills you.
Bruce at 900 games
A incredible achievement for any manager but certainly a milestone that deserves to be celebrated for Steve Bruce. There’s no denying that he looks like the right man for the job at Wednesday and it has the potential to lead to great things. Will he reach 1000 while he’s still in the Hillsborough dugout? If it means he’s taken the Owls back to the Premier League, then that would be fantastic.