Resolute defending and a Matt Smith goal ensured that ten-man Millwall were 1-0 victors against Sheffield Wednesday at The Den.

Jed Wallace’s sending off late in the first half seemed as if Millwall had a mountain to climb in the second half to protect their lead, but after 45-minutes of defending the Lions carried out back-to-back 1-0 victories at The Den.

First Half

Neil Harris opted to make nine changes to the midweek side that

beat West Brom in the Carabao Cup, but only two from the eleven that started in their draw against the same opponents.

Aiden O’Brien and Matt Smith, the influential scorers in the West

Brom doubleheader, were chosen as the striking partnership, while Ben Thompson, Jed Wallace, and Connor Mahoney were all reinstated for the Championship fixture.

After achieving 30% possession in both games against West Brom,

it was no surprise that despite starting on the better of the two-sides, Millwall was sluggish on the ball in the opening minutes.

After weathering Millwall’s pressure, Wednesday announced themselves

to the game in the 22nd minute when Liam Palmer latched himself onto a stray ball inside the area and tested Bialkowski, who managed to palm the effort behind for a corner.

Adam Reach then attempted the spectacular from 35-yards. The midfielder

spotted Bialkowski off his line and rasped a looping half-volley which, to the Polish international’s fortune crashed onto the roof of the net.

That missed opportunity by the Owls seemed to awaken the Lions from

their den as Sheffield Wednesday were naïve to allow their defensive efforts peter out for consecutive corners against the set-piece specialists.

On the third time of asking, Connor Mahoney managed to get his delivery

pitch-perfect as Kieran Westwood misjudged the flight of the cross and allowed Matt Smith to send a downward header into the back of the net.

However, just before the break a tenacious tackle from Jed Wallace

on Kieran Lee witnessed both the referee and lines-man opened a dialogue which ended in a red card for the Lions winger.

Second Half

As a result of the hosts being down to ten men, the Owls started

the second half with confidence as they searched for an opportunity to exploit their one-man advantage.

The introduction of Barry Bannan brandished Wednesday with a reel

of chances early on, the first witnessed Steven Fletcher’s effort be collected by Bialskowski while the goalkeeper also met Kadeem Harris’ effort minutes later.

Bannan then had an opportunity of his own on 70 minutes. Kadeem

Harris’ cut inside and set Steven Fletcher up for a shot, but the Scot dummied for Bannan who’s drilled effort was equally met by Bialskowski.

Inevitably, Wednesday continued to dominate for the remainder of

the second half but Millwall stood up to the challenge and limited the visitors to minimal chances to ensure that for the second time already this season the Lions.


The Lions again showcased that they worked on their defensive shape

during the summer. The red card meant that the Lions had to weather 45-minutes worth of pressure from the Owls, but as they showed against West Brom last week, they can set up a solid structure which does not let a lot slip through.

In the final ten minutes, all nine outfield players found themselves

behind the ball defending for their lives. They looked tired, but their effort was not affected. Bodies on the line, last-ditch tackles and wonderful saves from Bialkowski allowed the Lions carry out back-to-back 1-0 victories at The Den.