The taste of victory and a huge result – SEVEN talking points after Sheffield Wedesday’s impressive away win at Bournemouth

Sheffield Wednesday picked up a very impressive away win at Bournemouth, and it was Jordan Rhodes who played hero with a big goal at the death.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 6:00 am
Sheffield Wednesday was the hero in Bournemouth. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

It was an incredibly respectable result for Wednesday on a cold Tuesday evening in Dorset, and the three points mean that they’re above 22nd-placed Rotherham United after their game against Derby County was once again postponed – this time for a waterlogged pitch.

Wednesday started very brightly and could’ve taken an early lead through Elias Kachunga, however it wasn’t to be and a tight first half continued goalless until just before the break when a comical bit of defending allowed Callum Paterson to open the scoring.

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Things looked to be going well, with Neil Thompson’s side keeping the hosts at bay, but that changed when Sam Hutchinson brought down Sam Surridge in the box to give them a way back in – they took it through Junior Stanislas, and were pretty much in control as they pushed for a winner.

Jordan Rhodes had other plans though, and an excellent break saw Kadeem Harris whip a beautifully delivered ball into the box, right onto the head of Wednesday’s number 20.

A big result in the end, and here are some talking points…

Unchanged…

It doesn’t happen much, and it feels like it’s been a while since it happened last. Neil Thompson was able to name a completely unchanged XI for tonight’s game following the victory at Hillsborough.

Wednesday were the more in-form side coming into this one, so it will have definitely come as a boost for ‘Thommo’ – regardless of the result – that he was able to get a bit of continuity going.

One position in particular that’s been chopped and changed is the centre backs, and while it was a boost to see Chey Dunkley back in the squad, there was absolutely no need to change Tom Lees, Sam Hutchinson or Osaze Urhoghide given how good they were last time out.

Early chances

We were barely a minute or so into the game when Elias Kachunga found himself one on one with Asmir Begovic, so close that they could see the whites of each other’s eyes. But it was the goalkeeper that came out on top, and you have to wonder what way the game could’ve gone if he’d taken that, or if the shot-stopper hadn’t made a great save to keep out Barry Bannan not long afterwards.

We all know that Wednesday don’t score very many goals, but lucky for them they got another chance at the death to win it, and they were able to pick up an invaluable three points.

Dr. Funk

He may not be your most typical centre forward, and his goal against the Cherries is definitely not one that he’ll be sticking on his highlight reel, but as Wednesday continue to hunt for a regular goalscorer, Paterson is raising his hand in a big way.

Paterson has now got four goals in his last seven games for the Owls, and has taken his tally to six goals for the season in all competition – just five away from setting a new personal best for him since his arrival in English football following a move to Cardiff City from Hearts of Midlothian.

The big Scot once again put in a top shift up front as he ran his socks off for the cause, but did seem to pick up a bit of a knock prior to coming off.

Big Dunks

He’s back. Dunkley either wasn’t deemed fit enough or Thompson decided not to shift things up after the Preston win, but the fact that he’s available for selection is excellent for the coming games.

‘Dunks’ is a leader in the team despite his short spell at Wednesday to date, and whether he’s in the starting XI or not, his presence is a plus for the team going forward.

He came on, and was his usual vocal self, roaring his teammates on from the back as they sought to see the gam

The penalty

It’s a talking point, yes, but I don’t think it was particularly contentious. It seemed like quite a clear cut decision for the referee to be honest, and you could see from Westwood’s reaction that he was more annoyed with Hutchinson than he was with the official.

Fortunately it wasn’t a decider in the result in the end, and there will be few players more delighted to have seen Rhodes pop up with the winner than SWFC’s number six.

It has to be said that, penalty aside, ‘Hutch’ was really good again in the heart of defence, proving his worth once more.

Away form

It was one win in 11 away games from Wednesday going into this evening’s match, and they were going up against a Bournemouth side that – despite a poor run of late – have only lost two home games in all competitions this season.

On top of that, it was the Owls’ first league double of the season having beaten the Cherries 1-0 back at Hillsborough in November, and picking up six points against a team with the sort of players they have available will be a huge, huge boost for ‘Thommo’ and his side.

The Rhodes to Glory

He came on to save the day, and he deserved it, too. Goal aside, Rhodes was excellent after coming on as a substitute in the second half, and played his role really well.

The same could be said against Preston to be honest, and you’ve got to give him credit for that. He’s got two for the season now, and hopefully there are plenty more to come.

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