Sheffield Wednesday 0 - West Bromwich Albion 3

Date: Wednesday 1st July 2020 Live on EFL iFollowBehind Closed Doors
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Sheff W:
5.3
Wildsmith, Palmer, Iorfa, Odubajo, Murphy, Harris, Luongo (Lee, 62), Bannan, Reach (Nuhiu, 62), Rhodes (Da Cruz, 46), Wickham
Unused subs: Dawson, Pelupessy, Hunt, Hughes, Shaw
WBA:
6.9
Johnstone 6.4, O'Shea 6.9, Bartley 6.6, Hegazi 8.0, Gibbs 7.1, Sawyers 6.3, Pereira 6.6 (Livermore, 88 5.3), Harper 6.3 (Ajayi, 88 5.7), Krovinovic 6.3 (Robson-Kanu, 68 5.3), Diangana 5.3 (Robinson, 55 6.2), Austin 6.8 (Grosicki, 68 6.6)
Unused subs: Bond, Furlong, Brunt, Townsend
Manager: Slaven Bilic 6.8
Scorers: Austin (37 pen), Pereira (58, 85)
Referee: David Webb 6.7
Attendance: 0
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 9

Brendan Clegg:

Well that was a massive relief!

I thought Bilic gambled quite a bit with the number of changes he made and I was concerned before kick-off about team cohesion. We looked to be in a 4-3-3.

And after a bright opening 5 I thought we were absolutely terrible for the first half. We didn't really look threatening, Diangana looked like he didn't really care enough to be there, Pereira had possibly his worst 45 for us and we couldn't get any supply in to Austin. I thought Wednesday looked the better team.

I thought Bilic tried to address how bad we were someway through the first half by switching Harper and Pereira over to get our man from Brazil into more central positions - either that or he just drifted there anyway and Harper kept filling in for him.

Fortunately for us, we got the sort of break we've really needed - a gift of a penalty for a foul on O'Shea from a situation that didn't look dangerous.

I had absolutely no doubt that Austin would put it away and I was grateful we got in to half time with a lead.

In the second half you could tell the goal had lifted us, and it also helped us that Wednesday had to come out and play a bit. We moved the ball better and quicker and the changes we made also improved us - Robinson and Grosicki brought pace and directness; HRK looked a different player with a bit more space around him and with willing runners to find.

Our second goal was lovely and a bit frustrating. Gibbs put in a lovely early cross (like he can) and Pereira ghosted in to the box (like he can) to direct a header home.

The third was a nice thumped finish after HRK should have squared in the first instance but shooting, and Grosicki crossing well with the rebound.

So a pretty dire opening 45 followed by half that inspires some optimism. We have to follow it up on Sunday now and Bilic will have some further tough calls to make.

  • SJ - 6 Don't think he had too much to do.
  • O'Shea - 7 I prefer Furlong as a player and I think at times O'Shea limits on the ball were found here but you cannot but admire the aggression and intensity he brought and we probably don't have enough of that.
  • Bartley - 6 I thought he did okay given it was his first game back.
  • Hegazi - 8 Had a great game. Solid, some big headers, looked after the ball well.
  • Gibbs - 7 Still playing within himself I'm certain but he's just so classy. One goal saving tackle and a great assist.
  • Harper - 6 Did okay and does have a shot on him but nothing that stood out. Keep waiting for lift-off with him.
  • Sawyers - 7 A bit sloppy early on but kept showing and in the end got the game under control and did a job defensively too.
  • Krovi - 6 Tried to make things happen, sometimes comes backwards or sideways too often.
  • Pereira - 7 A shocking first half but redeemed himself. Is it too easy for him?
  • Austin - 6 Did okay. If he plays he needs traditional supply. Great pen.
  • Diagana - 5 I love him as a player and he showed some great flashes again but bullied out of it too easily.
  • Robinson - 7 Looked really lively, I'd find a way for him to get into the first 11.
  • HRK - 7 Played to his strengths and got us up the pitch.
  • Grosicki - 7 Good cameo. Looked after the ball, direct and a decent assist.
  • Semi and Livermore shut the game down for us nicely.