Nuhiu Brace Breaks Blackburn’s Hearts

Sheffield Wednesday earned another vital point towards mathematical safety in dramatic fashion, by overturning a two goal lead to grind out a share of the spoils, on an emotional day that commenced with fitting tributes to the ninety six Liverpool fans who sadly are no longer with us.

Rovers struck first after a quarter of an hour, as top scorer Jordan Rhodes capitalised on a horrible Miguel Llera miskick to round Chris Kirkland and stick the ball into an empty net. The Owls soon found themselves level though, when a Chris Maguire corner was bundled in at the back post by Lewis Buxton, who scored for the second game in a row. Before March this year, Buxton hadn’t found the net since January 2009, when he opened the scoring in a 1-1 draw against Birmingham City.

The visitors responded with a goal of their own six minutes later, when tricky winger Craig Conway notched his third goal in a Rovers shirt. Conway came into a central area, before ghosting past Sam Hutchinson and unleashing a superb right-footed drive from long range that beat Kirkland and snuck into the bottom left corner. Blackburn fans would have been forgiven for thinking that Michael Keane’s header two minutes from the interval would have secured a third straight victory for the Lancashire outfit, but anyone who did would have been mistaken, as the hosts rolled up their sleeves and fought back to earn a point in stoppage time, thanks to two goals from Austrian frontman Adthe Nuhiu.

Nuhiu’s first goal came after 72 minutes, when Michail Antonio’s low cross at the by line was parried by Paul Robinson straight into the path of the marmite-like striker, who was jolly on the spot to convert from very close range. And the comeback was complete deep into stoppage time, when Nuhiu bustled past two defenders in the box and hammered thunderous left-footed strike that found the roof of the net.

Sheffield Wednesday

Chris Kirkland – Could have done better for Conway’s goal and his kicking was pretty poor. Kirkland hasn’t been his usual self of late. 5.5
Lewis Buxton – Struggled to deal with the livewire that is Craig Conway. Couldn’t match his pace. Managed to get himself on the score sheet with a poachers finish from a corner. 6.0
Oguchi Onyewu – Probably the best of a bad bunch in terms of the back four. Still had a torrid second half and was beaten too easily by Keane for goal number three. Showed decent distribution and composure in the first half. 6.0
Miguel Llera – A complete liability. Partly at fault for the first two goals, got little power on his defensive headers, panicked on the ball and his distribution was abysmal. At 34 years old, Llera’s contract expires in the summer and is unlikely to be renewed. 4.5
Joe Mattock – Disrtibution was disappointing and he offered nothing going forward and very little defensively. Replaced by Helan who did a better job at left-back. 5.5
Sam Hutchinson – Got in the way of Llera which didn’t help him clear the ball for goal number one. Slipped in the build up to the second goal and didn’t really influence the game in a positive manor. Put in some great tackles but could have been sent off for a poor challenge on Williamson. 5.5
Kieran Lee – Kept possession well enough but he didn’t really get on the ball as much as the Owls would have liked. 6.5
Michail Antonio – Offered a threat with his pace and ran Keane ragid. Set up the second goal. 7.5
Liam Palmer – March’s player of the month looked pretty lightweight and was played in the number 10 role, which he isn’t used to. 6.0
Chris Maguire – His beautiful cross field pass released Antonio on the left wing to set up Nuhiu’s first goal. Looked lively and always wanted the ball. Looked better when he played in the hole. 7.5
Adthe Nuhiu – Struggled at times as the lone frontman with little support but he still managed to bag a brace with two well taken goals, and goals have been the only thing missing from his game recently. Arguably not mobile enough to play upfront on his own. 7.5

Substitutions

Jeremy Helan – Defended solidly at left-back and used his pace well defensively. 6.5
Caolan Lavery – Entered the fray when Wednesday were forced to pump balls into the box, which doesn’t suit him as he struggled to hold the ball up. 5.5
Benik Afobe – Didn’t really have an opportunity to make much of an impact. 6.0

Blackburn Rovers

Paul Robinson – Perhaps shouldn’t have parried the ball to Nuhiu for the second goal, but pulled off a world class save from an Antonio header in the first half. 6.5
Michael Keane – Couldn’t deal with the pace and direct running of Antonio, but was played out of position at right-back. Connected with a superb Jason Lowe cross to head Blackburn 3-1 up. 6.0
Matthew Killgallon – Got bullied at times with the superior strength of Nuhiu. Outmuscled at the back post for Buxton’s goal. Lacked any aerial ability. 5.0
Grant Hanley – Put his body on the line and defended well at times but he made plenty of mistakes and wasn’t reliable. 5.5
Tommy Spurr – The Owls academy product was generally quite solid at full back, but didn’t get forward a great deal. 6.5
Tom Cairney – Worked hard and trackedback well but was pretty quiet. Looked like a central midfielder being played out of position. 6.0
Jason Lowe – Anchored the midfield well, made plenty of interceptions and offered cover for team mates that pushed forward. Produced a sensational delivery for Keane’s goal. 7.5
Lee Williamson – Worked very hard and pressed high up the pitch. Hassled the Owls defence and didn’t give them a moment’s peace. 7.0
Craig Conway – Didn’t get on the ball a great deal but looked dangerous when he was on it. Provided a spark and energy on the left wing and scored a fantastic goal. 7.5
Rudy Gestede – Won plenty of headers, held the ball up well and linked up with Rhodes. 7.5
Jordan Rhodes – Demonstrated superior movement, had a good understanding with his partner and took his goal clinically 7.5

Substitutions

Luke Varney – Came on deep into stoppage time and it was impossible for him to make an impact. 6.0

 

Man of the Match

Adthe Nuhiu – On a day where nobody really stood out, 6’6 striker Nuhiu rescued his side from the brink by clinching his first brace in English football. He didn’t do much apart from score, but the Wednesday fans will settle for that. 7.5

Highlights


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