Sheff Wed 0 Leeds United 2

Last updated : 09 March 2024 By David Watkins

8th March 2024, EFL Sky Bet Championship

That was a lot easier than I thought it would be! Coming into the game on the back of four straight wins I assumed the Owls would be tricky opponents but, once we got our noses in front, it turned out to be more of a stroll.

Certainly for the majority of the first half it did look like Wednesday were putting up a decent fight and, but for a miraculous close-range save from Illan Meslier, we could have gone behind very early in the game. The chance came from a corner and was one of several early corners for the home side, none of which we dealt with particularly well. This time, Djeidi Gassama latched onto a knockdown, turned sharply, and prodded a shot on target but Illan Meslier produced a top-class instinctive save to turn the ball wide of the post. At the other end, Leeds were making use of the long ball over the top of the home defence and one almost got Georginio on the scoresheet. He brought the ball down well but his initial shot was saved by James Beadle in the home goal and then Georginio’s follow-up strike was blocked by a defender. Patrick Bamford was also put through similarly but fluffed his chance.

It looked like the half would end goalless and it would have been a not unfair outcome for a pretty evenly matched contest at that stage. But, seconds before the halftime whistle, Leeds snatched a priceless lead. Willy Gnonto played the ball wide for Junior Firpo on the left, he took one touch and sized up the options before curling a ball into the corridor of uncertainty in front of goal. No one picked up the run of Patrick Bamford, ghosting in at the back post and he had the simple take of tapping the ball in. The whistle went almost immediately for halftime.

I think most fans were prepared for a nervy second half, perhaps expecting the Owls to fly at us even harder than they did in the first period but it never materialised and, in fact, the second half was one of the most comfortable we’ve had this season.

Scoring so early in the second half – 13 minutes in - probably knocked the stuffing out of the home side and their fans and, truth be told, we had some seriously good chances to score a couple more had we just been a bit more composed in front of goal – the story of our season really! Georginio was much more influential today than he had been in the previous two games and he forced a good low diving save from Beadle in the opening minutes of the new half. The goal was a beauty though and Georginio was involved again. A long clearance by Meslier was expertly brought down by Patrick Bamford, back to goal and being held by a defender but still able to offload to Georginio. He in turn lifted the ball first time over the Owls backline and Willy Gnonto was then through on goal. He took one touch and then steered a powerful strike perfectly wide of Beadle and into the corner of the net. Great goal. A similar move seconds later should have been put away by Cree Summerville but, for the moment at least, his goal-scoring touch has deserted him and he fired his shot straight at Beadle who saved.

There was only one worrying moment for Leeds when Illan Meslier seemed to make a meal of a speculative long range shot from Gassama. Admittedly it did bounce up awkwardly in front of Illan but we were lucky that Ethan Ampadu was then perfectly placed to clear the follow up shot off the line.

All of the sides near the foot of the table have been pulling off some decent results lately, Wednesday having those four consecutive wins themselves of course. So, to have taken seven points this week from three relegation-threatened sides who are fighting for their very Championship lives, is a terrific return and bodes well for the game next week against yet another of the sides in peril at the foot of the table; Millwall.

The second half performance from Leeds tonight was every bit as good as many we have seen during this incredible run of 13 wins from 16 games in all competitions since the turn of the year and we just have to hope now that our rivals falter tomorrow!



Sky Bet Championship

Sheffield Wednesday 

Leeds United 2 (Bamford 45’, Gnonto 58’)

Wednesday: Beadle (GK), Palmer (Iorfa 65’), B. Diaby (Vaulks 65’), Bannan (C), Ugbo (Cadamarteri 84’), Valentin (Smith 65’), Bernard, Johnson, Famewo, Gassama, Musaba (Wilks 84’). Subs not used: Dawson (GK), Ihiekwe, James, M. Diaby.  

Leeds: Meslier (GK), Firpo (Byram 90+2’), Ampadu (C), Kamara, Bamford (Joseph 83’), Summerville (Roberts 83’), Rodon, Gray, Georginio (Piroe 88’), Gnonto (James 83’), Gruev. Subs not used: Darlow (GK), Cresswell, Cooper, Gelhardt.

Referee: Sam Allison 

Booked: Famewo (Wednesday) Ampadu (Leeds) 

Venue: Hillsborough

Attendance: 30,032