Sheffield Wednesday moved to within six points of Championship survival on Easter Monday as they resurrected from Friday’s disappointment to rock Cardiff City for five goals.
In the absence of manager Darren Moore, the Owls got off to a dream start when centre-back Julian Borner headed home just three minutes after kick-off, and then the goals started to flow in. Callum Paterson and Adam Reach added two more before the break, and then the 27-year-old wing-back completed a brace with Jordan Rhodes also getting on the scoresheet.
Reach may well take most of the plaudits, having dominated that left flank to the point of him almost securing SofaScore‘s highest-rated player accolade, being graded at 8.4.
However, another man arguably stole the show in south Yorkshire – Barry Bannan.
The diminutive 5 foot 6 maestro was at his playmaking best, pulling the strings from the engine room. His commanding influence on this game was shown by the fact that he recorded the most touches (86) of any player on the pitch. In fact, it was 11 more than the next best, Reach and Borner (75 each).
Bannan delivered 83% of his 66 passing attempts – again amongst the Owls’ best performers – and three of these passes were key chances, one of which resulted in an assist – the cross for the big German to head home. He also played a major role in the third and fourth finishes as he dictated the play.
Often the main driving force of energy from the middle, the Scottish wizard managed to pull off four successful dribbles into the Bluebirds’ final third, via SofaScore.
For context, every other player on the pitch combined for just three dribbles (none from Cardiff), so that emphasises just how impressive he was.
The Sky Sports commentary team were left in awe at his display too, Andy Hinchcliffe said (via YorkshireLive): “Every Wednesday player has been a nine out of ten, Paterson and Tom Lees deserve a special mention, but Bannan is the star of the show. He has been absolutely everywhere, one of the best individual performances I have seen in the Championship this season. Pure class.”
Bannan was a key part in all aspects of Wednesday’s win and, as Hinchcliffe suggested, he was the real star of the show despite not getting his name on the scoresheet.