Reading 1 Sheffield Wednesday 3 – Five talking points as managerless Owls get off to winning start
Lee Bullen kicked off his third spell as Sheffield Wednesday caretaker manager with a superb opening-day victory over Reading.
Debutant Kadeem Harris, Sam Hutchinson and substitute Lucas Joao registered to ensure the Owls made a winning start to the 2019/20 season.The Star's Sheffield Wednesday writer Dom Howson identifies the key moments in a thrilling encounter at the Madejski Stadium.
Tom Lees' first half clearance off the lineIt was a key moment in the contest. The left hand side of Wednesday's defence switched off, allowing Andy Yiadom to nip in and have a sight at goal. The full-back's attempt was saved by Keiren Westwood and Mo Barrow should have buried the follow up. But Lees postioned himself well near the goal line to block Barrow's strike. The hosts felt they ought to have been awarded a penalty, claiming Lees handled the shot but referee James Linington was unmoved.Had Reading got their noses in front, it could have been a different story.
Kadeem HarrisThe Owls new boy was a handful and gave Yiadom a torrid time. Harris was a real outlet on the left wing. His pace stretched Reading's defence and he took his goal superbly. Wednesday urgently needed to add more speed and mobility to their front line and the early signs are that Harris will provide them with an extra dimension this season. He tired in the second half but it was a very good debut.
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Sam HutchinsonThe former Chelsea youngster put in a typically strong performance in the middle of the park. Hutchinson broke up play efficiently and kept things ticking over nicely, giving Barry Bannan the licence to get on the ball and dictate proceedings. And he celebrated his 30th birthday by grabbing his first Owls goal in almost two years by powering in Bannan's inch perfect corner. He is a key man in this team and it is vitally important Wednesday keep him fit.
Pace, pace and more paceFor the first time in years, Wednesday have pace in their armoury. With Moses Odubajo, Liam Palmer, Adam Reach and Kadeem Harris in the wide positions, they now have the ability to quickly turn defence into attack. The Owls have former boss Steve Bruce to thank for identifying that weakness and addressing it in this summer transfer window.
Keiren Westwood's red cardThe only real negative for the Owls was Westwood's dismissal. The Republic of Ireland intetnational, who signed a new two-year contract this summer, was shown a red card for bringing down Mo Barrow just outside the penalty area after a defensive mix-up involving Moses Odubajo. Wednesday are contemplating appealing Westwood's sending off but as things stand he will serve a one-match suspension, meaning he will miss their home duel with South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.