Sheffield Wednesday squandered the chance to move into the Championship play-off positions after letting a two-goal lead slip against promotion-chasing West Bromwich Albion.
Adam Reach and Fernando Forestieri scored in the first half before WBA staged a stunning late fightback to salvage a 2-2 draw at Hillsborough last night. Joey Pelupessy turned in Chris Brunt's low cross and then Harvey Barnes finished off a mazy run with a low finish with three minutes to go.
Here are six talking points from a thrilling clash.
Wednesday can mix it with the big boys
The team have played two of the Championship’s top four in the last week and have more than held their own.
They defended resolutely and ground out a draw with Leeds United before producing their best home performance of the campaign against West Bromwich Albion.
It felt like a loss after they blew a two-goal lead but the Owls went toe-to-toe with a top club last night. They did an awful lot of things right.
Fernando Forestieri is getting back somewhere close to his best
The talismanic forward was a real nuisance throughout. His work rate was top notch and he produced a calm, unerring finish for Wednesday’s second goal.
Forestieri was a big threat, terrorising the WBA defence with his energy and silky footwork.
Forestieri could have wrapped up the contest in the second half after he picked Ahmed Hegazi’s pocket inside the penalty area but he fired wide with only Sam Johnstone to beat.
Wednesday’s shoot on sight policy is working
No team in the second-tier has scored more goals (8) than the Owls from outside the penalty area this season.
Adam Reach has lashed in two absolute belters in the last two Hillsborough outings but the likes of Barry Bannan and Lucas Joao have also weighed in with spectacular effort.
It is something Wednesday used to do lot of in Carlos Carvalhal’a first year at the helm and it is nice to see the players not being afraid to have a go from far out. As the old adage goes, you have to be in it to win it.
Josh Onomah has given the manager a selection dilemma
The Tottenham loanee had the unenviable task of deputising for the suspended Bannan in the centre.
But the England Under-21 international put in an assured, mature performance alongside Joey Pelupessy. Onomah, making his first home start, used the ball intelligently and never shirked his defensive duties.
It was important for Onomah’s self confidence and belief that he performed well on the big stage after a mixed showing at Nottingham Forest. He stepped up to the plate and has given Luhukay a selection poser for Sunday’s trip to Bristol City.
Jos Luhukay made the wrong tactical substitutions
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but Luhukay made a mistake in taking Atdhe Nuhiu off and replacing him with Lucas Joao. Nuhiu ran himself into the ground and perhaps needed a breather but it was an error of judgement to not put Steven Fletcher on over Joao.
What Wednesday required late on was someone to hold the ball up and ease the pressure on the defence. Joao has undoubted qualities but Fletcher is a target man and could have done a better job of taking the pressure off the defence than what Joao did.
It was also baffling why Onomah was withdrawn for Connor Kirby with the score at 2-0.
It is commendable Luhukay wants to promote youth and Kirby is one for the future. His time will come.
However, Kirby is an inexperienced player and what the Owls needed in the heat of battle last night was for someone to put their foot on the ball and take the sting out of the game . Barry Bannan's composure and ability on the ball was sorely missed in the final quarter of an hour.
Could Luhukay have brought on Jordan Thorniley to stiffen up the defence and moved Michael Hector into midfield? It was another option open to Luhukay.
The harsh reality is that Luhukay's changes failed to pay off.
Naive defensive errors are costing them dearly
Both WBA goals were poor from Wednesday's perspective.
It was far too easy for ex-Owls midfielder Chris Brunt to fizz in a low cross for the visitors opener.
Their second was a comedy of errors at the back.
It was fantastic mazy run from deep by Harvey Barnes but Joey Pelupessy should have committed a tactical foul and brought the Leicester City loanee down inside the Owls’ half. Pelupessy should have taken one for the team to halt the counter attack but he didn't. It overshadowed a hard-working, battling showing from the Dutchman.
Neither Tom Lees nor Daniel Pudil covered themselves in glory for the leveller, either. After shrugging off the attentions of Pelupessy, Barnes glided forward, checked back in on to favoured his right foot, taking Lees and Pudil out of the game, before hitting a fierce right foot shot into the bottom corner (Cameron Dawson will feel disappointed he was beaten at his near post).
Luhukay is demanding the Owls learn from their defensive lapses in concentration. He pointed to them improving the "fine details". Their game management and ability to close out the game was found wanting.
No clean sheets in 11 league outings is a worrying, alarming statistic. Until they rectify their defensive problems, it is hard to see past a mid-table finish.