Owls 0-1 Rams

In-form Derby County continued their stunning run of form under Steve McClaren by securing a scrappy smash and grab victory at Hillsborough. Wednesday controlled large parts of this keenly contested Championship encounter and looked the most likely team to score, but they lacked sufficient quality in the final third to break down a sturdy Rams defence. As time ticked on, McClaren made a positive substitution by sacrificing holding midfielder John Eustace for frontman Connor Sammon, and the switch paid dividends as almost instantly, Patrick Bamford broke the deadlock. The Chelsea loanee exquisitely curled the ball into the far corner from the right corner of the eighteen yard box with his left foot to ensure that the points would be heading back down the M1, as the Owls failed to conjure up an equaliser.

 Sheffield Wednesday

Chris Kirkland – Didn’t make any saves of note, mainly untroubled. 6.5
Liam Palmer – Muted the threat of Ward well and managed to get forward a few times. 7.0
Glenn Loovens – Won headers and read the game well. Good game at the heart of defence. 7.0
Miguel Llera – Lacked pace and showed poor distribution as usual. Often tries the ‘Hollywood ball’ which doesn’t pay off. Solid in the air however. 6.0
Joe Mattock – Steady game at left-back, marked Bamford out of the contest until he curled home the games’ only goal. 7.0
Kieran Lee – Forced off prematurely through injury. The ball bypassed him quite a lot. 6.5
Giles Coke – Similarly to Lee, the ball bypassed him quite a lot and he struggled to get into the game. 6.5
Chris Maguire – Frustrating game for the Scotsman who was well-marked by compatriot Craig Forsyth. His end product was poor throughout, especially from set pieces. 6.0
Gary Gardner – Anonymous on his Owls debut, couldn’t really get on the ball and make much of an impact. 5.5
Michail Antonio – Troubled Wisdom with his power and pace and was the home sides’ biggest threat. The winger seems like a new signing on his recovery from yet another lengthy injury lay-off. 8.0
Leon Best – Looked promising on his debut and held the ball up well. Would have appreciated a bit more support up front however. 7.0

Substitutions

Jeremy Helan – Did ok out of position in central midfield, replacing the injured Lee. 6.5
Sam Hutchinson – Made some excellent tackles in holding midfield. 7.0
Benik Afobe – Failed to make much of an impact. 6.0

Derby County

Lee Grant – Commanded his area very well and made some decent saves. 7.5
Andre Wisdom – Endured a difficult afternoon due to his inability to live with the pace and trickery of Antonio. 5.5
Jake Buxton – Put in an outstanding display at the heart of the Rams’ defence, dealt with crosses and long balls very well and he was dominant in the air. His distribution was also superb. 8.5
Richard Keogh – Like Buxton, Keogh defended very solidly and he was assured on the ball. 7.5
Craig Forsyth – Coped well with the threat of Maguire and defended very well. The former Watford full-back didn’t offer a great deal going forward however. 7.0
John Eustace – Did the dirty work well, won headers and prevented Gardner from getting on the ball. 7.0
Craig Bryson – The midfielder struggled to make much of an impact on proceedings, partly because the ball bypassed him. 6.0
Will Hughes – The youngster covered a lot of ground but like Bryson, the ball bypassed him a lot. 6.5
Patrick Bamford – Had a quiet game by his high standards, but the on-loan Chelsea star decided the game with an excellent strike. 6.5
Jamie Ward – Provided pace and energy down the left flank but he was replaced by Russell at half time, probably due to injury. 6.5
Chris Martin – Showed some nice touches but the ex-Norwich forward struggled to get into the game. 6.5

Substitutions

Johnny Russell – Similarly to Ward, summer signing Russell added extra energy down the left hand side but he didn’t make a great impact. 6.5
Connor Sammon – Didn’t have sufficient time to make an impact. 6.0

 

Man of the Match

Jake Buxton – Put in a real captain’s performance, martialled the defence brilliantly and used his physical strength to good use. 8.5

Highlights


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