Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Leeds: Gary Hooper hits double for Owls
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 01/10/17 2:50pm
Gary Hooper's double inspired Sheffield Wednesday to a 3-0 victory over Leeds in the Sky Bet Championship on Sunday.
The striker netted twice before half-time to put the Owls in control at Hillsborough, before Kieran Lee sealed the three points late on to relieve some of the pressure on boss Carlos Carvalhal.
Carlos Carvalhal has made two changes as Ross Wallace and David Jones replace Morgan Fox and Jacob Butterfield, while Matthew Pennington came in for the suspended Liam Cooper in defence for Leeds. Pierre-Michel Lasogga, Samu Saiz and Eunan O'Kane all also returned to the starting line-up.
Wednesday were beaten by bitter rivals Sheffield United at home seven days ago, and also lost to Birmingham in midweek, but their big win over Leeds - a third away defeat on the spin for Thomas Christiansen's side - certainly improved the mood around the blue half of the Steel City.
There was a nervy atmosphere around Hillsborough after a poor week for Wednesday, and that wasn't helped at all by a bright start for Leeds inspired by the lively Samu Saiz. The Owls soon got control of the game, though, and took the lead from a set-piece after 25 minutes, with Hooper turning the ball home from close range after Tom Lees had nodded the ball into his path.
Wednesday should have had a second five minutes later via Lee, but his fine finish was denied by the linesman, who wrongly judged him to be offside as he charged into the box to latch onto Barry Bannan's clever through ball.
Steven Fletcher was then guilty of missing an absolute sitter after being found by Ross Wallace at the far post, somehow conspiring to head wide from close range when it seemed easier to score, but he made up for that after 41 minutes as his header across goal found Hooper, who showed his predatory instincts to get his second of the afternoon.
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith (7), Hunt (6), Lees (7), Van Aken (6), Reach (7), Wallace (7), Jones (7), Bannan (7), Lee (8), Fletcher (6), Hooper (8)
Subs: Butterfield (n/a), Palmer (7), Rhodes (n/a)
Leeds: Wiedwald (4), Ayling (4), Pennington (4), Jansson (5), Berardi (5), Phillips (5), O'Kane (4), Roofe (5), Saiz (6), Alioski (5), Lasogga (4)
Subs: Dallas (n/a), Sacko (n/a), Hernandez (n/a)
Man of the match: Gary Hooper
Leeds went close to getting a goal back early in the second half as Joost van Aken's failed attempt at a clearance presented a great opportunity for Pierre-Michel Lasogga, but his low drive hit the base of the post and bounced clear.
A bad afternoon for Leeds was made worse by an injury to Pontus Jansson, who was forced off on a stretcher with 20 minutes to go after a collision with team-mate Kalvin Phillips. And any hopes of a comeback were ended in emphatic fashion by Lee, who drove home superbly from 25 yards after a mistake by Eunan O'Kane.
Man of the match
A typical poacher's display from Gary Hooper as he kept up his fine run of form with two first-half goals against Leeds. Both strikes came from close range as he reacted more quickly in the box than anyone around him and it was enough to set Wednesday on their way to victory.
Carlos Carvalhal: "It was a very good game for the people in the stadium and watching on TV. Leeds have a good team and they are doing very well so far. We came from two defeats and I said before the game that we'd be ready to play our football, which we did with personality in what wasn't an easy moment.
"We have expectations but the personality of my players and their quality and organisation made it a fantastic game in this derby, and the fans will remember it for some time. I put players that played in the last defeat at home and they gave me an answer."
Thomas Christiansen: "We didn't score the goals when we had the possibilities. We started the game very well in the first 20 or 25 minutes until the goal. We had good opportunities and the ball, we knew how to stop them and we did what we'd worked on, but after the goal the team went down.
"We were too passive and soft [after that] and if we want to compete in this league we have to be much more aggressive."
Both sides have two weeks off during the international break, returning to action on Saturday, October 14 when Sheffield Wednesday travel to Bolton and Wolves host Aston Villa.