4 Things We Learned As Sheffield United Drew 0-0 With Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield United 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday
The Owls, playing under new boss Jos Luhukay for the first time, were resolute, disciplined and organised as they ground out a hard-earned point despite the second-half dismissal of captain Glenn Loovens.
Sheffield United still hold the upper hand in the Steel City
Although the home faithful were left frustrated by a dogged, tenacious display from the 10 men of SheffieldWednesday, Chris Wilder’s side can reflect on a four-point haul against their sworn enemies this season.
After thumping the Owls 4-2 at Hillsborough in September, United were seeking to record a first league double over Wednesday since the 2005/06 season.
They did not manage to achieve that but were still the better side for long periods of the game, certainly in the first half.
Wilder, a boyhood Blades fan from nearby Stocksbridge, has performed an amazing job at the club he has followed since childhood.
He steered them to promotion as League One champions last term and has made them promotion contenders this season.
After this goalless draw, United moved above Leeds United and into sixth place in the Championship – some 12 points above the Owls.
Jos Luhukay made an instant impact on the Owls
True, Sheffield Wednesday could not register the win they so craved to avenge their humiliating home defeat at the hands of the Blades in September.
But they fought hard to keep United at bay with a resilient and hard-working display which left new boss Jos Luhukay delighted.
It is worth remembering that the Owls reached the Championship play-offs in each of the past two seasons and were expected to push hard again this term.
That did not happen, prompting the dismissal of Carlos Carvalhal last month, but new boss Luhukay certainly has something to build on after this hard-earned point.
The Premier League remains a poorer place without these famous old clubs
When Sheffield United’s traditional ‘Greasy Chip Buttie’ song was played over the Tannoy shortly before kick-off, raw passion dripped from every corner of the home stands.
Ambition and desire pulsed around Bramall Lane louder than at any point in recent times from a near capacity crowd.
As with the first meeting of the season at Hillsborough in September, the 31,120 crowd was again comfortably in excess of 30,000 and the atmosphere electric.
This is a rivalry that has graced the top flight of English football before and can do again.
As a derby, it is a special occasion and the supporters of both teams were once again a credit to their respective clubs.
Glenn Loovens’ dismissal could have proved costly
The Dutch defender is Sheffield Wednesday’s captain and should have been more professional in such a pressure-cooker environment.
The Owls were entering a lion’s den in heading across town to face the Blades on their own turf and cool heads were needed in a game that mattered so much to the people of Sheffield.
Loovens was booked midway through the first half and was on a tightrope for the rest of the game.
But in the 64th minute he was shown a second yellow card for clumsily bringing down Clayton Donaldson.
That left the visitors hanging on desperately for the last 26 minutes, but they performed superbly to keep a clean sheet and almost nicked it late on through Adam Reach’s left-foot strike from 25 yards.