In Saturday 25 February’s early kick off, Leeds faced Wednesday at Elland Road and the visitors were looking to recover after a 2-1 defeat at home to Brentford. Leeds however have a fantastic home record, like Wednesday last season, and had won 7 of their last 8 home games. Wednesday had only won 6 games away this season before this game. Leeds and Wednesday were level on points going into this game and Leeds were only just 5th because they have 1 better goal difference than Wednesday as it stood in the league table going into this game. Both Carlos Carvalhal and Garry Monk knew that it would be a crucial game in both teams’ race for a playoff place come the end of the season. Garry Monk got his first win for Leeds United the last time these two met in a 2-0 victory for the Whites at Hillsborough back in August.
A cagey start gave way to a more open first half, with both sides looking to profit in particular from the wide areas.
Adam Reach sent a low ball into the mix that caught the Leeds defence off guard before Hadi Sacko did the same thing moments later at the other end.
Neither move came to either team’s advantage but from their next meaningful attack on 24 minutes, the home side took the lead following an accurate cross from the left.
Eunan O’Kane found the figure of Wood in the six-yard box and Leeds’ top marksman did the necessaries with a calm finish to put his side in front.
An already electric atmosphere went up another notch but far from daunted, the Owls regrouped and took the game to the Whites.
Fernando Forestieri flicked one effort wide and Reach forced Rob Green into action with a fierce drive but Wednesday made little headway in terms of creating chances.
Indeed, the only opportunity described as clear cut went the way of Wood and it was his strike half time that gave Leeds the advantage.
The Owls introduced Callum McManaman for the second period and his side started on the front foot.
And on 54 minutes, Wednesday were handed the chance to draw level from the penalty spot when Souleymane Doukara felled Sam Hutchinson in the box.
Rhodes’ spot-kick was placed to Green’s left but the keeper got the slightest of touches to glance the ball wide of the post.
The Owls pressed on regardless in pursuit of the equaliser and certainly asked more the questions for the remainder, dominating almost all the possession.
But that crucial breakthrough failed to arrive and the early kick-off ended in frustration as the visitors slipped to their second successive defeat.
Leeds Manager Garry Monk said:”We were playing a very good side in Sheffield Wednesday. I thought they put some pressure on but we dealt with it extremely well.
“I can’t remember them having any shots on goal apart from the penalty so that was very pleasing.
“The pressure that’s there to win these types of games, both teams on the same points, a derby game. I thought we handled the pressure really well today and I’m very pleased with the players.”
Sheffield Wednesday Head Coach Carlos Carvalhal said:
“We didn’t lose today because we didn’t try. We fought a lot and created a big chance with the penalty.
“We win together and we lose together. The responsibility is not too any one player. Individual mistakes are part of the game and we must understand them. It is normal in football.”
MATCH RATINGS :
Man of the Match: Chris Wood – The New Zealand born striker was on target for Leeds once again and got the only goal in a crucial game.
Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Loovens, Sasso, Fox (McManaman 45), Wallace, Hutchinson, Abdi (Bannan 68), Reach, Rhodes (Fletcher 68), Forestieri. Subs not used: Wildsmith, Winnall, Palmer, Semedo.
Booked: Jansson, Doukara, O’Kane, Bridcutt, Wood (Leeds) Sasso, Wallace (Wednesday)
Referee: M. Jones
Venue: Elland Road