Williams and Probert feature on Robins TV
Posted: Sunday, September 27th 2020
Sunday, September 27th 2020
City cranked up their attacking intent to beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 and go joint top of the Sky Bet Championship.
The Owls were impressive in the first half but couldn’t find a breakthrough, while City responded with second-half goals from Tommy Rowe and Jamie Paterson to round off their super September start in style.
Rowe was well-placed to finish off another flowing team move, while City matched their physical opponents before sealing off the weekend with Paterson’s injury-time drive.
City go unbeaten in their first three league games of a season for the first time since August 2001 and occupy second spot with nine points behind table toppers Reading.
This would be a contest between two teams who exited the Carabao Cup in midweek, though both unbeaten in their first two Championship games, and Dean Holden demanded his players bounce back following Thursday’s defeat.
They would do so, certainly in the second half, yet it was the visitors who started the brighter in the autumnal sunshine as they went on carve out the better opportunities.
Wednesday work the better chances early on
Owls captain Barry Bannan was pulling the strings and he played in Elias Kachunga who was unable to beat Dan Bentley who rushed off his line to narrow the angle.
At the other end, Tyreeq Bakinson, again a composed figure in City’s midfield, tried to sneak in a shot at the near post but Cameron Dawson always had it covered, while Nahki Wells wrapped his foot over a quick free-kick routine but Dawson watched the ball sail harmlessly over.
Garry Monk’s side grew in confidence though and threatened again when City struggled to clear a long throw from Joost van Aken. The ball broke for Isaiah Brown who opted to pass across the six-yard box instead of shoot from the angle, but City would scramble the ball away.
City were beaten on the counter attack for Aston Villa’s third goal on Thursday and they were almost behind in similar fashion only for Bentley to make a comfortable save to deny Kadeem Harris’ curling effort. And when a Chris Martin backheel was intercepted on the edge of Wednesday’s penalty area, Dominic Iorfa pushed his side forward, with Kachunga allowed to stretch his legs down the right. He played a cross for Josh Windass but the striker caught the ball on the half volley and it sliced wide of the far upright.
These were warning signs for the Robins, who would go in level at the break, but they knew they would need to find another level once the action resumed.
City step it up
Arguably they needed to create more in the final and it wasn’t long before the Martin-Wells interplay, as proved effective at Stoke a week earlier, was on show once more. It was the summer signing’s touch which played in his striker partner, but Wells’ pass across the six-yard box just evaded the run of Weimann.
And the Austrian forward would connect with a Jamie Paterson free kick not long after, and while his glancing header was on target, Dawson parried the ball away with Bakinson firing the rebound over.
Belated birthday goal for Rowe
But it was better from the home side and they got their reward on the hour-mark through Rowe. Again Wells found his strike partner Martin with a clipped, diagonal ball and the number seven cushioned his header back across the penalty area where Rowe arrived to roll the ball into the net and finish off a well-worked team move.
Now City were playing with confidence in attack and Wells could have got on the scoresheet moments later when he capitalised on a mistake by Dawson. The Sheffield Wednesday keeper couldn’t hold on to the ball but Wells was off balance and struck it over the bar.
By now the game had become a physical affair with the Owls trying to get back into the game, though the hosts were matching their opponents and giving just as much back in the duels.
Certainly, a second goal would make their afternoon a little more comfortable and it nearly arrived in the form of a tap-in for Weimann. He started the chance when he picked up the ball high up the pitch, having intercepted a loose Wednesday header. He fed Wells to his right who could have shot himself but drilled the ball across the face of goal where Weimann had made his run, but the defence got back to clear.
So far it had been a quieter half for Bentley but the shot-stopper had to be alert to block at the legs of Kachunga, as he looked to keep the clean sheet intact, before Holden introduced the fresh legs of Antoine Semenyo in attack as he replaced Wells with ten minutes to go.
He saw a snapshot not long after though Dawson was never troubled, while at the other end Taylor Moore produced some heroic defending by timing a sliding block to perfection with Monk’s men pushing for a late equaliser.
Game, set and match
Again, Holden made use of his bench with Famara Diédhiou and Steven Sessegnon replacing Hunt and Martin respectively, shortly before Paterson doubled the lead in six minutes of added time.
It came off the back of Rowe’s throw in, deep in the Owls’ half, with Semenyo showing his strength to hold up play. His reverse pass back into Rowe allowed the goalscorer to turn provider as he found Paterson, who created his own space before firing the ball low into the bottom right corner, out of Dawson’s reach.
City, with four clean sheets in all competitions now too, have a week to prepare for their trip to Nottingham Forest (Saturday, October 3rd, 3pm KO).
Photography by JMPUK.
Posted: Sunday, September 27th 2020
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