Sheffield Wednesday 1 Wigan Athletic 0 - Massimo Luongo the hero as Garry Monk claims first home win

Massimo Luongo notched his first goal in Sheffield Wednesday colours to seal Garry Monk's first home win in charge of the Championship club.

Saturday, 5th October 2019, 3:04 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th October 2019, 4:59 pm

The box-to-box midfielder, a £1m buy from Queens Park Rangers at the back end of the January transfer window, marked his first league start in style by bagging a 57th minute winner.

It was an ugly win but the Owls dug deep to grind out the three points.

They actually made a bright start and created the first chance of note.

Massimo Luongo, one of three changes made by Garry Monk, fired into the side-netting from an acute angle after a lovely move involving Barry Bannan and Kadeem Haris.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Steven Fletcher, deployed as a lone striker in the Owls' 4-1-4-1 formation, then dragged an effort well wide in the sixth minute as the hosts continued to make all the early running.

There was an injury concern for Wednesday when Fletcher went down with a knock inside Wigan's half. But, thankfully from an Owls perspective, the big striker received treatment and was fit to carry on.

Against the run of play, Wigan should have taken the lead on the quarter of an hour mark. Gavin Massey saw his shot blocked by Keiren Westwood following a swift Latics counter attack before Julian Borner cleared Jamal Lowe's follow up effort off the line. Massey picked up the loose ball and drilled wide as somehow Wednesday survived.

It was a scrappy affair, with few clear-cut chances.

Harris clipped a fine ball to the back post for Fletcher in the 28th minute but the striker miscued his left foot volley and Wigan cleared their lines.

The closest Wednesday came to scoring in a drab, uneventful first period was through Bannan. The stand-in captain tried his luck from 20 yards and saw his left foot curler hit the crossbar and bounce to safety.

The hosts recycled possession, with Charlie Mulgrew clearing behind Fletcher's intelligent header back across the face of goal and more pressure from the Owls.

Moses Odubajo picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon after a rash challenge on Wigan dangerman Josh Windass.

There were, understandably, a few groans that greeted the half-time whistle and some supporters aimed their frustration at referee Lee Mason.

Julian Borner had to be alert to clear away Massey's low cross from near the byline as Wigan pressed for the opener.

But Wednesday broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when Luongo lashed home from inside the penalty area after a neat cut back by Reach.

Monk's men visibly grew in confidence and belief after Luongo's strike and Bannan went agonisingly close to doubling their lead, curling a left foot piledriver inches wide.

Midfielder Sam Morsy was yellow carded after scything down Fletcher and the visitors made a double substitution, throwing on Kieffer Moore and Anthony Pilkington.

Westwood produced a vital save midway through the second half to tip Moore's bullet header from Mulgrew's free kick onto the crossbar to frustrate the Lancashire club.

Wednesday thought they bagged a second in the 74th minute when smashed the ball high into the roof of the net after Reach's low volley was expertly saved by Marshall but Fletcher was denied his sixth goal of the campaign by the linesman's flag.

It is the Owls' sixth win in their last six league meetings with Wigan (W5 D0 L1).

Owls: Westwood; Odubajo, Iorfa, Borner, Palmer; Pelupessy, Bannan, Luongo (Lee 75); Reach (Murphy 80), Harris, Fletcher (Nuhiu 89). Substitutes: Dawson, Fox, Winnall, Thorniley.

Wigan: Marshall; Byrne, Dunkley, Mulgrew, Robinson; Morsy, Williams; Windass, Massey (Pilkington 64), Lowe (Gelhardt 78); Garner (Moore 64). Substitutes: Jones, Fox, Evans, Naismith.

Attendance: 22,753

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)