ANALYSIS: How Sheffield Wednesday flattered to deceive in defeat to QPR despite return of Fernando Forestieri

Fernando Forestieri
Fernando Forestieri

From the moment the teamsheets were handed in the stage was set and the script seemed written.

Only Queens Park Rangers, and their on-loan striker Jordan Hugill, clearly had other ideas.

As caretaker boss Lee Bullen continues his audition for the Sheffield Wednesday job, he handed his 'X-factor player' his first start of the season.

Fernando Foriestieri has been a peripheral figure this term, an appeal against an FA charge for racism and a possible six-game ban still hanging over the 29-year-old.

Bullen had insisted prior to this contest that the diminutive forward remains a key part of his plans and he showed flashes why on his return to the starting eleven.

But it was nowhere near enough to prevent the below-par Owls suffering their first home defeat of the campaign against a well-drilled Rangers outfit.

Forestieri won the 23rd minute penalty which was stroked home by Steven Fletcher, worked tirelessly off the ball and gave Fletcher some much-needed company in attacking areas. 

He also collected a yellow card for rather impetuously blasting the ball into an opponent from point blank range.

And, like his teammates, his impact severely waned after the interval as Hugill's quickfire brace turned the game on its head.

Wednesday had delivered a subdued performance, failing to apply any concerted pressure, and could have very few complaints with the outcome.

Despite trailing at the break, QPR had edged a niggly, stop-start first period.

Busy midfielder Ilias Chair had gone to close to breaking the deadlock with a powerful hit which deflected just over the bar.

The Owls enjoyed their best little spell at the midway point, getting widemen Adam Reach and Kadeem Harris more into the game, and it coincided with the opening goal.

The foul on Forestieri for the penalty may not have been clear cut but Fletcher was not about to waste the opportunity, confidently converting from the spot.

Keiran Westwood had to make a smart save from Nakhi Wells on the stroke of half time to preserve the home side's lead and Ryan Manning, whose set piece deliveries were causing problems, had also gone close with a curling free-kick.

Westwood made another important save to deny Wells just after the re-start but there was nothing he could do about the equaliser on the hour mark.

Wells showed excellent vision to release Hugill and the big striker tapped home after rounding Westwood.

Four minutes later the Owls found themselves behind. Rangers broke quickly down the left and Manning's cross was clinically poked home by Hugill, despite appeals for offside.

Harris cut inside and blazed a shot high and wide as Wednesday huffed and puffed.

Substitute Atdhe Nuhiu then ought to have done better from close range following Barry Bannan's deep cross but his effort rather summed up a disappointing afternoon for Bullen's men.

QPR had managed the game excellently, cut off the supply line to Fletcher and Forestieri and could reflect on a job well done on their part.