ANALYSIS Sheffield Wednesday 0 Leeds United 0: Owls dominated derby, but both sides rue missed opportunities

Sheffield Wednesday's Sam Hutchinson in action against Leeds United.
Sheffield Wednesday's Sam Hutchinson in action against Leeds United.
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Some games are more 0-0 than others.

Despite terrible playing conditions, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United both hit the woodwork and needed good saves from their goalkeepers to keep their derby scoreless at Hillsborough.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United were second best against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United were second best against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough

The Owls had the better of it but the Whites could still have snatched something, and being unable to do that is a valid criticism against them.

The driving rain which forced postponements across the country did not stop the derby going ahead, but it did influence how it was played, and it suited the hosts.

Wednesday played to their strengths and conditions by replacing the cultured Massimo Luongo with the agricultural Atdhe Nuhiu in a 4-4-2. Although Leeds kept the same team for the third time in a week they did change shape, trying to counter Nuhiu and Steven Fletcher with a back three.

Ben White in particular stood up well to the test the rugged frontmen subjected them too. When Fletcher played a lovely ball around the corner to release Adam Reach in the tenth minute, it was the on-loan central defender who slid in with a tackle even better than the one Gjanni Alioski had made on the winger earlier.

White was good in the air too, laying a marker with the header he won against Nuhiu in the 12th minute. There was even a foray into Wednesday territory and appeals for a penalty after he got tangled up in the area. The referee was not interested.

In such wet conditions too often moves were breaking down through slips or miscontrols, and it took until the 15th minute for a goalkeeper to be called on, Kiko Casilla making a good low save from Liam Palmer.

Barry Bannan produced some excellent skill at the byline to beat Kalvin Phillips and dink a ball over midway through the first half and on a day when good quality football was so hard to produce, it was frustrating to see Fletcher offside.

The goalkeepers produced the highlights of the first half, right at its end.

The touch Casilla got when Fletcher collected a one-two with Nuhiu and produced a thundering shot was slight in the extreme but hugely important, grazing the ball over the crossbar.

A minute later Kieren Westwood, back between the posts for the visitors, who had to be at full stretch, getting down low to keep out Patrick Bamford's header from a Jack Harrison cross. It would be the under-fire Bamford's final involvement, again making way for Eddie Nketiah, this time at the interval.

Wednesday dominated the start of the second half without making it count.

Fletcher twice came very close.

He hit the crossbar after an excellent sweeping move down the left saw Morgan Fox play a one-two before teeing up the Scot. His shot bounced off the frame of the goal, then Casilla's back, before going out.

The next chance was more difficult, Bannan whipping the ball across the box. Fletcher managed to stretch to it, but could only touch it inside with no team-mate able to get on the end.

Either side of those efforts, Nketiah broke up Wednesday's pressure. Harrison's shot was blocked after Nketia skipped past Joey Pelupessy, a late call-up after Julian Borner was injured in the warm-up.

Luke Ayling needed to make an excellent tackle after Reach's excellent turn and one-two with Nuhiu.

Nketiah was Leeds's dangerman, twisting into space in the 73rd minute, only for Westwood to beat his shot away at the neart post. When he beat a tiring Pelupessy at the byline, Harrison's shot was once more blocked, this time by Fox.

Although his footwork was excellent, Nketiah was fortunate the referee did not see what he did with his elbowed as he wriggled past Pelupessy.

Kalvin Phillips played the ball back in and Alioski headed against the upright.

Casilla's work was not done, as he clawed Kadeem Harris's shot away, then saved from Nuhiu at the corner.

That guaranteed that somehow, the game finished scoreless.

Sheffield Wenesday: Westwood; Palmer, Iorfa, Hutchinson, Fox; Reach, Bannan, Pelupessy (Lee 84), Harris; Nuhiu (Forestieri 86), Fletcher.

Unused substitutes: Dawson, Winnall, Murphy, Odubajo.

Leeds United: Casilla; Ayling, White, Berardi; Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Alioski; Costa (Cooper 76), Bamford (Nketiah HT), Harrison.

Unused substitutes: Miazek, Roberts, Gotts, Davis, Clarke.

Referee: Tim Robinson