The numbers behind Sheffield Wednesday's draw with Nottingham Forest

The scoreline is often seen as the only statistic that matters in football, but what else stuck out for Sheffield Wednesday in their return to action on Saturday?

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 9:10 pm

Wednesday’s perseverance paid off as Connor Wickham grabbed a dramatic late equaliser against the Reds, cancelling out Joe Lolley’s opener to secure the Owls a deserved point at an empty Hillsborough.

Garry Monk’s side had more shots, more possession and a better pass completion rate than their opponents in red, but lacked in the final third as they fashioned just three shots on target over the course of 90 minutes.

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Probably the least surprising statistic of the day was the fact that captain, Barry Bannan, was top of the charts with regards to possession (9.6%), touches (81) and passes (59), with only Julian Börner (46) making more accurate passes (45). He dictates Wednesday’s play, and was heavily involved once again.

The midfield man runs things in the centre of the park for Wednesday, but on Saturday, his delivery was left lacking – just one accurate cross from 11 – and his one key pass was bettered by Jacob Murphy and Massimo Luongo (2).

In total, Wednesday finished with 59% of the possession and having completed 297 of 388 passes (77%), but more telling was the fact that only nine of their 40 crosses reached their target, and four of their seven corners were effectively wasted.

Defensively, Murphy and Dominic Iorfa made more tackles than any other players on the field (4), while Liam Palmer had a 100% tackle success rate and made double the amount of interceptions (4) than any other player.

What do the stats say about Sheffield Wednesday's Championship return? Pic Steve Ellis

Wickham, who only remained on the field for 90 minutes because of Steven Fletcher’s injury, showed his prowess up front as he finally broke his Wednesday duck in 2019/20, had more shots than any other player (5), hit the post and had two shots blocked. He looks fit and fired up, which bodes well for Monk and Wednesday going forward.

Next up for SWFC is a trip to Bristol City this weekend, and the manager will be hoping to see better – more accurate – decision in the final third as they push for more goals.

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