Stoke City 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0: Keiren Westwood, Gary Hooper, Steven Fletcher and George Boyd’s disallowed goal – Six talking points after the Owls’ hard-fought draw

Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood was the star of the show as Sheffield Wednesday secured a 0-0 draw at Stoke City.

By Dom Howson
Sunday, 31st March 2019, 10:47 am
Updated Sunday, 31st March 2019, 10:53 am
Stoke City v Sheffield Wednesday talking points
Stoke City v Sheffield Wednesday talking points

Westwood produced a number of vital second half stops to extend the Owls' unbeaten run under Steve Bruce to 11 matches.

The Star's Owls writer Dom Howson picks out five talking points after the Championship encounter at the bet365 Stadium.

Stoke City v Sheffield Wednesday talking points

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Keiren Westwood

It is impossible to understate the importance of Westwood in Wednesday's march up the Championship table. He has been a model of consistency, racking up 11 clean sheets in 17 matches. Westwood did not have much to do at Stoke but was there when called upon, pulling off three important saves to deny Bojan, Benik Afobe and Tom Ince in the second half. It is vital the club tie him down to a new contract.

Gary Hooper

It was so good to see the centre-forward return to action after 15 months out due to a raft of injury problems. He showed flashes of his undoubted ability, linking the midfield and attack well (although he was caught offside on a few occasions). He understandably tired after the break but his match sharpness will only improve the more minutes he gets under his belt.

Unbeaten run goes on

There was plenty of grit, determination and togetherness on show from Bruce's Wednesday side at the bet365 Stadium. Stoke were the better side and piled on the pressure in the second half but the Owls defended heroically and Westwood stepped up to the plate when required. It is now just one defeat in their last 17 Championship outings and 12 matches without defeat.

Steven Fletcher was a big miss

There were times when the Owls struggled to retain possession, especially in a first half which Stoke marginally shaded. Without the injured Steven Fletcher, they missed a focal point in attack. Fletcher has been in outstanding form and he could have given Wednesday more of a physical presence in the final third. Now the Owls will be hoping Fletcher makes a speedy recovery from his groin problem.

George Boyd's disallowed goal

Bruce claimed Boyd's first half strike should have stood. Nathan Jones, his opposite number, disagreed, insisting Boyd had strayed into an offside position. It was a tight call and a big moment in the contest but TV replays suggest referee Andrew Madley made the correct decision.

A lack of creativity

The Owls missed Rolando Aarons' pace and flair out wide. His speed on the counter attack could have been a real asset. Wednesday created few opportunities as Stoke took control of the second half.