Lucas Joao scores twice but Rotherham the better side in draw at Hillsborough
Last Updated: 08/12/18 7:07pm
Sheffield Wednesday fans were chanting for manager Jos Luhukay’s head after a 2-2 draw with Rotherham at Hillsborough.
It was an abject display from the Owls, who were outplayed by their South Yorkshire rivals but earned a point they did not deserve through Lucas Joao’s double.
That was not enough to appease their angry supporters, who demanded for the Dutchman to lose his job after just one win in their last eight games.
It has now been 36 Championship away games since Rotherham came home with victory, but that horrible run should have ended here as two goals in 10 second-half minutes from Michael Smith and Richie Towell saw them lead 2-1.
Their inability to win a game they deserved to is symptomatic of their season, though, and they have now drawn nine of their last 12 league games and sit just above the relegation zone.
Despite their away drought the Millers would have made the short journey confident of ending it, given the current mood in the Wednesday camp, and they started well.
Jon Taylor had two efforts, first drilling a shot from the edge of the area well wide and then forcing Cameron Dawson into a low save.
Dawson was called to make a much better stop five minutes before the break as he flung himself to his right to palm Smith’s header away from goal, with the Millers striker then sending another header from the recycled ball just wide.
Wednesday were abject and would have been keen to get to half-time at 0-0, but somehow found themselves in front.
Joao raced on to Adam Reach’s long ball and after Zak Vyner missed his interception, the Portuguese closed in on goal and slotted into the bottom corner with what was their only shot on goal of the half.
Despite their side going into the break a goal to the good, many of the Wednesday fans booed their team off.
Perhaps they foresaw what was to come after the restart as the Millers needed only 15 seconds to get back on level terms, with a virtual carbon copy of Wednesday’s goal.
Smith got goal-side after Will Vaulks’ punt down the field, outran the home defence and sent the ball into the bottom corner.
It got even better for Paul Warne’s men nine minutes later as they took the lead thanks to a gift from Dawson.
The Millers worked the ball well to Towell on the edge of the area and the Irishman’s shot was decent but not unstoppable, yet it squirmed under the keeper’s body.
The visitors would have been sniffing that first away victory, especially when home fans turned on Luhukay and chanted for his dismissal, but Wednesday rallied and were level in the 64th minute.
A poor Semi Ajayi clearance allowed Wednesday a second bite of the cherry and this time Daniel Pudil’s cross found Joao, who headed into the bottom corner.
Rotherham had a golden chance to restore their lead as Smith played a clever little ball around the corner for Vaulks, but the midfielder rashly blazed wide from eight yards.
Another fine chance fell to the Millers in the last 10 minutes as Towell drilled over but the Millers were held and Wednesday fans let their manager know how they felt.
Jos Luhukay: “I think the draw at the end was the result for both teams. We scored the first goal at the right time, you thought it would give us confidence for the second half. This period is not easy for the team, they are expecting more, there is more pressure on my team than the opponent.
“They can win, but we must win and that is a different situation when you start the game. Rotherham are a team who are strong and fighting, it is not easy to play against them. In the second half the game turned in the first 10 minutes in a positive way, but we came back into the game and deserved the 2-2 draw. We have to go further in your work with the team and you hope that every new game you find your way. Next week we have a new chance.”
Paul Warne: “I am biased, I thought we were the better team, the aggressive team, I thought we tried to win. We tried to get at them and I thought our first-half performance to go in at 1-1 was harsh.
“We did well in the second half and created enough chances in the end to win the game, but regrettably we didn’t. But to get a point away is not my worst day at the office.”