Owls beaten by Boro
Sheffield Wednesday's unbeaten Championship home record in 2018/19 came to an end on Friday evening in front of the Sky TV cameras on Friday evening. Jos Luhukay's side produced at times what looked like an early Halloween horror show as Middlesbrough ran out 2-1 winners.
The first half was largely bereft of quality from both sides. Middlesbrough pressed Wednesday high and the home side struggled to get any concerted possession beyond the halfway line but the visitors failed to do much when they won the ball side and chances were few and far between. Wednesday's best efforts unsurprisingly came from the in-form Adam Reach who clipped the top of the bar from a cute Bannan cross and then fired just over the bar from an acute angle with his right foot.
Middlesbrough looked like a typical Tony Pulis side, resolute and unlikely to give anything away and when Wednesday gifted their visitors the initiative early in the second half the result looked inevitable. Within 5 minutes of the restart Thorniley hesitated on a hig ball, allowing it to bounce and give Boro the chance to break down the Owls lef side. They found Mo Besic inside the penalty area and he shifted the ball past Lees before firing low past Dawson to make it 1-0.
Just before the hour-mark they doubled their lead when the Owls, not for the first time, passed the ball around indecisively in their own half, culminating in Lees playing a dreadful pass backwards into the path of Besic who advanced forward before passing to Assombalonga who had the simple task of rolling the ball into an open goal.
Substitute Adthe Nuhiu gave the Owls a little more life going forward as Wednesday finally managed to put some pressure on the visitors goal. On 82 minutes Boro failed to clear a free-kick into their area and inevitably it was Reach who gave the Owls a lifeline with a sweet right-foot volley from the edge of the box.
The Owls almost salvaged a point in injury time when a corner found its way to Lees at the back post but Middlesbrough piled on the ball in front of the goal line and the referee somehow deemed Wednesday players to be causing an infringement.
The game was not a great advert for the Championship but Middlesbrough were less poor than their hosts and deserved the points.
Too many players in blue and white produced under par performances and they will need to improve to get a result at QPR on Tuesday evening.