Sheffield Wednesday 2 Barnsley 0 - New arrival Jacob Murphy stars as Lee Bullen's side prove too strong for Reds

New boy Jacob Murphy starred as managerless Sheffield Wednesday defeated local rivals Barnsley 2-0 at Hillsborough this afternoon.

Saturday, 10th August 2019, 11:57 am
Updated Saturday, 10th August 2019, 16:56 pm

Murphy, signed on a season long-loan from Premier League Newcastle United on deadline-day, made an instant impact on debut by opening the scoring in the second minute.

Centre-forward Steven Fletcher added the second on the hour mark after good play by Kieran Lee to ensure the Owls won their opening two league matches of a season since the 1996-97 campaign when they were in the Premier League.

The result extended their unbeaten league run against their South Yorkshire counterparts to 11 league outings and lifted them to the top of the embryonic Championship table.

Sheffield Wednesday v Barnsley

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Wednesday made a dream start, taking the lead in the second minute. Kadeem Harris, one of four home debutants, latched on to a loose pass from Cameron McGeehan and drove at pace at Barnsley's defence. His low strike was blocked and Murphy coolly stroked the ball past Samuel Radlinger. It was a composed finish by Murphy and lifted the mood inside S6.

But Barnsley quickly responded to that early setback, with Alex Mowatt's 25 yard free kick forcing Cameron Dawson, standing in for the suspended Keiren Westwood, into a routine save.

There was a real purpose and intensity to the Owls' play in the early stages. They hunted in packs, pressing the Reds defence with vim and vigour. After Adam Reach, deployed in central midfield with Barry Bannan ruled out with a calf problem, was brought down deep inside Barnsley's half, Murphy curled the resulting free kick well wide.

There were times when Barnsley played themselves into trouble by trying to be too elaborate in possession at the back.

But Daniel Stendel's side always looked a threat going forwards and Luke Thomas drilled a low shot into the side-netting when well-placed.

However, the Reds struggled to cope with Wednesday's aggressive, energetic brand of football. Radlinger was equal to Julian Borner's downward header from Reach's free kick.

Reach then spurned a great chance to double the Owls' advantage in the 33rd minute. The attacking midfielder raced on to Steven Fletcher's through ball only to see his attempted chip kept out by Radlinger. Reach's first touch let him down at the crucial moment, giving Radlinger the chance to rush off his line and narrow the angle.

Fletcher was a real focal point for Wednesday in attack. He flicked a long ball on into the path of the lively Murphy and he sent Harris through down the left but the former Cardiff City man saw his drive blocked.

Barnsley enjoyed a good spell of pressure just before the interval. Mallik Wilks drilled wide from an acute angle before Dawson produced a fine save to deny Cauley Woodrow from close range.

There was a big flashpoint in the 48th minute when Radlinger, under pressure from Murphy, rushed off his line to deny Murphy. Home fans felt the Reds goalkeeper handled the ball outside the penalty area but referee Tony Harrington waved play on.

Wednesday then should have been awarded a spot-kick after Murphy was clumsily bundled over by Mads Andersen. Harrington was again unmoved.It was an entertaining contest and Barnsley played their part. After Tom Lees produced an immaculate tackle to prevent Woodrow from testing the reflexes of Dawson, Alex Mowatt sliced over after some sloppy Owls defending.

Those missed opportunities came back to haunt the Reds as the Owls doubled their lead on the hour mark.

Kieran Lee, who was busy in the middle of the park, scampered forward and squared the ball to Fletcher and he fired a low effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.

It was no surprise that Barnsley made a double sub after Fletcher's clinical finish and Mamadou Thiam nearly reduced their arrears. After a good counter attack, Thiam side-stepped Odubajo before seeing his shot cleared off the line by Borner.

Wednesday pressed hard for a third. Fletcher curled a free-kick narrowly wide, substitute Massimo Luongo was thwarted by Radlinger with his first touch and the Reds goalkeeper was also equal to Sam Hutchinson's weak shot.

Owls: Dawson; Odubajo, Lees, Borner, Palmer; Hutchinson, Lee (Luongo 80), Reach; Murphy (Pelupessy 73), Harris, Fletcher (Rhodes 77). Substitutes: Jones, Fox, Nuhiu, Forestieri.

Barnsley: Radlinger; Sibbick, Anderson, Diaby, Cavare; Thomas, Mowatt (Styles 77), McGeehan, Wilks (Thiam 61); Bahre (Chaplin 61), Woodrow. Substitutes: Miller, Halme, Williams, Collins.

Attendance: 28,028.

Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland)