Hooper brace ensures Wednesday beat Leeds in Yorkshire derby

Gary Hooper’s brace gave Sheffield Wednesday a fourth straight win as Leeds United had a goal controversially ruled out in an enthralling Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough.

Hooper post-match
Doubling up: Hooper also scored twice in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Bolton in midweek (Picture from Sky Sports)

SHEFFIELD Wednesday moved into the Championship play-offs with victory over Leeds United in an entertaining Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough tinged with controversy.

After a bright first-half display from the visitors, Gary Hooper scored twice in the first five minutes of the second half to give Wednesday a fourth successive win.

The striker – in the final appearance of his current loan spell from Norwich – capitalised twice from poor defending after good work from man of the match Fernando Forestieri.

Leeds thought they had pulled one back with 12 minutes remaining when Liam Cooper bundled home but Stuart Dallas’s free-kick had to be retaken – and the goal ruled out – as Forestieri had not left the field when being substituted.

Referee Anthony Taylor – a late call-up for the ill Kevin Friend – awarded the goal initially but then changed his mind after consulting with fourth official Geoff Eltringham.

Leeds disallowed goal 78 mins
Baffling: The referee allows play to continue even though Forestieri (top right) is still making his way off the field (Picture from Sky Sports)

The decision was described by Leeds head coach Steve Evans – who had missed the incident having gone to the dressing room to use the toilet – as “the worst you will ever see” and “absolutely horrendous”.

Opposite number Carlos Carvalhal thought “it was clear that the substitution had not finished” as Lucas Joao had not entered the field before Taylor signalled for the free-kick to be taken.

It mattered little in the end after Hooper showed his predatory instincts from close range on two occasions in quick succession to take Wednesday up to fifth in the table – their highest position of the season so far.

Amid a bright start from the hosts, the former Celtic frontman headed over Jack Hunt’s cross early on but Leeds grew into the contest and had the better first-half chances.

Steve Evans on sidelines
Sticky patch: Evans’s team are now winless in five games as Leeds suffered only a second defeat in the last eight meetings with Wednesday (Picture from Sky Sports)

Souleymane Doukara – who scored the Football League’s fastest goal after 12 seconds at Portman Road on Tuesday – missed a sitter from four yards albeit Wednesday keeper Lewis Price made a miraculous stop after saving well from a low Dallas effort.

On-loan Middlesbrough winger Mustapha Carayol then missed his kick inside the box when latching on to a mishit Doukara shot.

Having been second best for long periods in the first half, Wednesday broke the deadlock just 70 seconds after the restart.

Marco Silvestri cheaply conceded a corner and – as a scrappy melee ensued – was eventually beaten when Forestieri’s persistence kept the situation alive and Hooper bundled the ball in despite the best efforts of Cooper on the line.

The Leeds keeper was culpable three minutes later when spilling Forestieri’s 20-yard shot and Hooper was on hand to stab into the bottom corner.

Hooper 2nd goal
Favourite opponents: Hooper has now scored seven goals against Leeds – more than against any other English club (Picture from Sky Sports)

Frustration appeared to kick in for Leeds, who were fortunate not to have Lewis Cook sent off for an aggressive lunge on Jack Hunt which received only a yellow card.

Doukara almost responded with a crisp strike that rattled the side netting after being fed by Luke Murphy before the drama ensued, to the fury of the Leeds bench.

At the second time of asking, Dallas’s free-kick found the head of Scott Wootton but Daniel Pudil – who was also lucky not to be shown a second yellow for a foul on Doukara – made a last-ditch clearance off the line.

Although Wednesday had a firm grip, Leeds pressed in the closing stages but to no avail as the Whites suffered back-to-back away defeats having previously gone eight games unbeaten.

It was Wednesday’s first victory over their fierce rivals since the infamous 6-0 drubbing two years ago – and their fifth in six league games as the Owls continue their fine start to 2016 and illustrate their play-off intentions.

Carvalhal on sidelines
Home sweet home: Carvalhal’s side are now unbeaten in 11 home games and have only lost once at Hillsborough (Picture from Sky Sports)

 

TEAMS:

Wednesday XI
Two changes: The experienced Lewis Price replaced Joe Wildsmith in goal and Sam Hutchinson came in for Atdhe Nuhiu (Picture from Sky Sports)

Substitutes:  Lucas Joao (on for Forestieri 78′), Helan (on for Wallace 83′) and Semedo (on for Hooper 87′).

Not used:  Dawson (GK), Sougou, Palmer, Nuhiu.

Booked:  Hutchinson (34′), Pudil (74′)

Goals:  Hooper (47′, 50′)

 

Leeds team
Two changes: Luke Murphy and Stuart Dallas were restored in place of Alex Mowatt and Sam Byram, who was left out after a £3 million bid from Everton was accepted on Thursday (Picture from Sky Sports)

Substitutes:  Mowatt (on for Carayol 70′) and Antenucci (on for Murphy 75′).

Not used:  Peacock-Farrell (GK), Bamba, Coyle, Adeyemi, Erwin.

Booked:  Bellusci (37′), Cook (55′)

Goals:  None

 

Anthony Taylor referee
Mixed afternoon: The Premier League official caused controversy by awarding a Leeds goal and then reversing his decision but largely kept his cards in his pocket (Picture from Sky Sports)

Referee:  Anthony Taylor (Cheshire) – 6/10
Attendance:  23,909

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