Wigan 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday: Five Things We Learnt

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Wallace nets the winner – mirror.co.uk

In a cagey affair in West Lancashire, good defending from Sheffield Wednesday and a first half strike from Ross Wallace earned them a 1-0 win over Wigan. But what have we learnt from the game?

Front men were isolated

In the first half, the forwards on the pitch were Will Grigg for Wigan while Fernando Forestieri and debutant Jordan Rhodes started for Sheffield Wednesday. Grigg and Forestieri have scored goals in attacking systems while many of Rhodes’ goals for Blackburn came alongside target man Rudy Gestede. However, none of them have extreme pace or strength that allows them to lead a line on their own. Sam Morsy’s forward surges and the odd decent cross from Michael Jacobs were the extent of Grigg’s support, while Forestieri and Rhodes fed off scraps for the visitors.

Defences were on top

Wednesday’s striking duo were often asked to control Keiren Westwood’s punts upfield, which proved food and drink for Dan Burn and Jake Buxton, despite the latter’s height disadvantage. Glenn Loovens was strong in the air for Wednesday while his centre-back partner, right-sided Vincent Sasso did more attacking than right-back Jack Hunt.

Wednesday had their best spell before the break

Sasso’s marauding run and one-two with Ross Wallace began Sheffield Wednesday’s best spell of the game, shortly before half-time. Their play in that time came down the left as Adam Reach and Barry Bannan grew into the game, Daniel Pudil’s cross leading to a succession of corners, one of which setting up Reach’s deflected effort that flew wide. They capitalized when Sasso’s diagonal ball was flicked on by Rhodes and Wallace applied an improvised finish at the near post.

Wigan spurned second half chances

Sheffield Wednesday created little, yet scored while on top. Morsy’s tight-angled effort forced a reflex save from Westwood, who subsequently required treatment early in the second half, before substitute James Weir headed over Michael Jacobs’ superb cross. Burn, one of the best players on the pitch, had two hopeful but fruitless efforts midway through the half while right-back Callum Connolly saw his equalizer controversially flagged offside.

Good defending enough for Wednesday

The Latics created marginally more than their opponents and saw some territorial advantages, yet they did not capitalize. With a reluctance to get men in the box and a lack of quality when they did, a point would have been the maximum they deserved. In a game from which neither side should take too many plaudits, Sheffield Wednesday’s good defending was enough to earn them a victory.