Sheffield Wednesday: Massimo Luongo, Keiren Westwood and a forgettable first half - Five talking points after the Owls' hard-fought win at Wigan Athletic

Owls midfielder Massimo LuongoOwls midfielder Massimo Luongo
Owls midfielder Massimo Luongo
Massimo Luongo's 57th minute strike ensured Sheffield Wednesday returned to winning ways at Hillsborough today.

Victory over lowly Wigan Athletic nudged the Owls up to eighth.

Here are Owls writer Dom Howson's five talking points.

Massimo Luongo

There has been a big clamour from the terraces for the Australian international to be given more game time. Sam Hutchinson's one-match suspension opened the door ajar for Luongo to make his first Championship start of the season.

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We saw a few trademark driving runs from deep and Luongo put in a tireless shift, although he gave the ball cheaply at times.

But he took his goal superbly, rifling an unstoppable right foot past David Marshall after Adam Reach showed great awareness to tee him up.

Uninspiring first halfWednesday were not at the races in the opening 45 minutes and only showed glimpses of their attacking quality. There was a lack of creativity and Wigan goalkeeper David Marshall was not tested once.

Massimo Luongo and Steven Fletcher had a couple of half chances and Barry Bannan struck the post but the Owls looked for long periods bereft of ideas in the final third.

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Keiren WestwoodCometh the hour, cometh Keiren Westwood. Monk has described the Republic of Ireland international as one of the best goalkeepers in the league and he showed his class yet again on Saturday afternoon.

He commanded his area well and made a crucial stop with the score at 0-0 to foil Gavin Massey.

But the best of the lot came midway through the second half when he spread himself superbly to tip Kieffer Moore's header onto the crossbar following a dangerous free kick from Charlie Mulgrew.

A clean sheetMonk has shored things up defensively, with Wednesday conceding just four goals in his five league matches at the helm. The centre-back pairing of Dominic Iorfa and Julian Borner are getting better with each passing match.

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Westwood, as the last line of their defence, produced two vital saves either side of half-time but the Owls largely looked well-drilled and well-organised.

Much tougher tests to comeThis was a workmanlike performance but Wednesday will have to raise their game after the international break if they are to kick on. The Owls have had a kind start to the season and played few teams in the top half of the table.

So a trip to Neil Warnock's Cardiff City side a week on Friday will be a real test of Wednesday's promotion credentials.

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