Match report: Blackburn 2 Owls 2

Modou Sougou, right, closes down Craig Conway
Modou Sougou, right, closes down Craig Conway

Super-sub Lucas Joao grabbed his seventh goal of the campaign to help Sheffield Wednesday draw 2-2 at Blackburn Rovers.

The Portuguese international, a half-time replacement, rescued a point for the Owls, heading home after Kieran Lee's shot turned cross. It was Joao's fourth goal as a substitute since arriving from Nacional last summer.

Atdhe Nuhiu puts Markus Olsson under pressure. Picture: Steve Ellis

Atdhe Nuhiu puts Markus Olsson under pressure. Picture: Steve Ellis


Until Joao's late intervention, Rovers appeared set to maintain their 100 per cent record under new boss Paul Lambert after goals either side of half-time by Hope Akpan and Corry Evans.


Modou Sougou had levelled things up for Wednesday in the 39th minute after Akpan's early opener.


Carvalhal rotated his pack, bringing in Liam Palmer and Sougou for their first start since the goalless draw at Queens Park Rangers last month. Jack Hunt was a notable absentee from the match-day squad while Ross Wallace dropped to the bench.


Wednesday made the worst possible start, falling behind in the fifth minute, with Hope Akpan rising unmarked to head in Craig Conway's corner.


At a rain lashed Ewood Park, Carvalhal's troops struggled to get a foothold and and former Owls loanee Ben Marshall drilled a free kick from distance off target.


There was another worrying moment for the visitors when Keiren Westwood required treatment for several minutes after picking up a knock. Joe Wildsmith warmed up and looked set to come on but Westwood shrugged off the problem and played on.


Blackburn's early strike knocked the Owls' confidence and Helan summed up their frustration when he unceremoniously brought down Adam Henley.


The home crowd were left incensed after Corry Evans was penalised for upending Jeremy Helan. It looked a fair challenge by the Rovers midfielder but he joined Helan in the book.


Against the run of play, Wednesday equalised after a great run by Lee, who waltzed past Rovers skipper Grant Hanley, before rounding Jason Steele and striking the post from an acute angle only for Sougou to rifle in the follow up.


Their joy was short-lived as Rovers regained the lead in the 44th minute courtesy of Evans, whose deflected drive wrong-footed Westwood after the visitors had only partically cleared a Conway corner.


Wednesday were too predictable and played into Rovers hands, prompting Carvalhal to make a double substitution at the interval. Strikers Lucas Joao and Gary Hooper were introduced, with Fernando Forestieri moving to the left flank.


The changes had the desired effect, giving the Owls much better balance in the final third. Former Italian Under-21 international Forestieri unleashed a fierce shot which flashed wide after good move by Carvalhal's men.

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Carvalhal won’t be pushed into starting Joao, despite another goalscoring cameo


That's not to say they had things all their own way and Marshall curled a free kick straight into the arms of Westwood before Sougou blazed over.


Rovers wasted a glorious chance after the hour mark to claim a third, with Shane Duffy escaping his marker only to steer his header wide following another fine delivery by Conway.


Forestieri demonstrated his class, flashing a dangerous centre with the outside of his right foot into the penalty area which went across the face of goal, much to Rovers relief.


Wednesday needed some inspiration and Carvalhal threw on Ross Wallace for Sougou to add to their firepower.


Joao continued to put himself about and fed striker partner Hooper, who poked wide inside the six yard box under pressure from Steele.


Marshall's rasping drive drifted harmlessly wide and Duffy failed to test Westwood with a header as Rovers piled on the pressure.


Those misses proved very costly as Joao stepped up to give the Owls a share of the spoils.


Blackburn: Steele; Henley, Duffy, Hanley (Henry 87), Olsson; Marshall (Lawrence 90), Akpan, Evans, Conway (Guthrie 79); Taylor, Rhodes. Substitutes: Eastwood, Spurr, Delfouneso, Brown.


Wednesday: Westwood; Palmer, Lees, Loovens, Pudil; Sougou (Wallace 69), Semedo, Lee, Helan (Hooper HT); Nuhiu (Joao HT), Forestieri. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Dielna, McGugan, Lopez.


Attendance: 15,837 (3,407)


Referee: Fred Graham (Essex)

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