Sheffield Wednesday recorded an impressive 2-0 win away to Yorkshire rivals Leeds United on Saturday, climbing back into the play-off places.
The Owls headed into this game looking to put behind them a run of three straight league defeats and were buoyant following their surprise win over Brighton in the FA Cup last weekend.
The game struggled to spring into life at Elland Road, with both sides showing elements of caginess in their play, not wanting to lose a lot more than they were eager to win the game. The hosts had the lion’s share of possession throughout the game but failed to make it count as Wednesday showed their ruthlessness in front of goal late on to snatch all three points and climb back into the top six, at Swansea’s expense.
There were a lot of positives to take away from this Owls performance, so here we take a look at three things we learnt about Garry Monk’s side following this win…
Defensive organisation is key
One of the hallmarks of how Garry Monk looks to manage his teams is the brilliant organisation in his defensive setup. It was seen at Leeds weekly when he was there, it was seen at Middlesbrough and Birmingham but we saw some of the best of this from Wednesday on Saturday.
They allowed no space for Leeds to create in the final third and it was clear of the processes that they went through when losing possession. Their defensive shape was set up as soon as they lost the ball and it gave no space for Leeds to play in between the Owls midfield and defence.
If Wednesday are to push for the play-offs this season, their solidity will be the reason for why they are up there, providing a platform for them to be clinical on the counter-attack.
Urhoghide looks a great talent
Coming in for your league debut against top of the table is never going to be easy, let alone when it’s coming away from home and in a Yorkshire derby. However, Osaze Urhoghide was brilliant for the 85 minutes that he managed before hobbling off.
Keeping two clean sheets in two games just shows how well the defence has played but coming up against Leeds and Brighton in two teams that love to spread the play out wide, he had his work cut out against Jack Harrison.
It’s early days in his Wednesday career so there is no need for him to get carried away just yet, but the signs so far bode well for the 19-year-old, especially given that Liam Palmer is struggling with injury. He has a potential run in the side that he can put together.
Can you name these former Owls?
They’ll be praying the points deduction doesn’t come
This win would typically bring huge amounts of confidence to everyone affiliated with Sheffield Wednesday, however, following their charge from the EFL surrounding the breach of profit and sustainability from 2017/18.
Garry Monk’s former club, Birmingham City were charged with a similar breach and hit with a 9-point deduction. The Owls’ current situation appears more serious and could carry a larger penalty, which would be disastrous to their push for the play-offs, especially given their jubilation around toppling the league leaders at Elland Road.
It’s hard to predict how severe the EFL will clamp down on them or whether it will even stand, but what is certain is that after such a great win, they will be hoping that the deduction doesn’t come so they can keep up their deserved push for promotion under Monk.