Report: Joao brace and harsh Nsiala red card condemns Blues to Wednesday defeat

Ipswich Manager Paul Hurst watching the warm-up at Hillsborough Picture Pagepix

Ipswich Manager Paul Hurst watching the warm-up at Hillsborough Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town’s winless start to the season continues following this afternoon’s 2-1 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.

After Toto Nsiala had levelled for the Blues following Lucas Joao’s opener, the central defender was shown an extremely harsh red card with 15 minutes remaining, with replays showing he clearly got the ball from a challenge with Fernando Forestieri.

The Blues were not able to survive the following free-kick, which resulted in Joao’s second goal and, from there, there was no way back.

Paul Hurst’s side have now failed to win any of their opening five Championship fixtures, with the Blues sitting rock bottom of the second tier table heading into next weekend’s clash with rivals Norwich.

Hurst made two changes to his starting line-up, brining Tayo Edun back in following suspension and handing Kayden Jackson a first league start, with a shift in system seeing Ellis Harrison begin the contest wide on the left.

The intensity which was missing from the first whistle at Derby on Tuesday was in evidence again, with Nsiala heading wide and Trevoh Chalobah having a shot from the edge of the box blocked at source.

They couldn’t keep it up, though, as the hosts began to cut out the errors which dogged them from the early minutes and took a foothold in the contest.

Most Read

Wednesday’s reward soon arrived as Joao found himself unmarked from a Bannan corner which beat Bialkowski in flight, with the Portuguese forward on hand to head home after shaking off Chalobah.

Another set piece goal will be worrying to Hurst and assistant Chris Doig, with Wednesday threatening further dead-ball damage from a series of deliveries from which the Blues were again attracted to giant forward Atdhe Nuhiu, leaving free Owls in the box.

The Blues survived, though and began to play their way into the contest and were knocking on the door as the half entered its final stages.

Gwion Edwards had been looking dangerous whenever found in positions of space, with the Welshman wriggling free of his marker to deliver a ball which was deflected up in the air, headed on by both Edun and Luke Chambers and ultimately headed into the back of the net by Nsiala.

That was enough for the Blues to be level at the break, but they could easily have been ahead had goalscorer Nsiala’s next headed attempt not been cleared off the line by Liam Palmer.

The game remained even for the first 30 minutes of the second period but, with a little over 15 minutes remaining, the game was as good as up for the Blues.

Nsiala had barely left the field following his wrongful dismissal before Joao had the ball in the back of the net for a second time, having hit the post with a header seconds earlier, leaving the Blues with a mountain to climb for a second-successive Saturday.

This time, unlike last Saturday against Aston Villa, they were not able to climb it.

Next up is the visit of Norwich next Sunday.

Sheff Weds: Dawson; Penney, Lees, Thorniley, Palmer; Pelupessy, Bannan Reach; Matias (Forestieri 73), Joao (Fletcher 77), Nuhiu

Subs: Wildsmith, Kirby, Baker, Fox, Hutchinson

Ipswich Town: Bialkowski, Donacien, Nsiala, Chambers, Knudsen; Chalobah, Edun (Downes 77), Nolan; Jackson, Edwards, Harrison (Sears 85)

Subs: Gerken, Spence, Kenlock, Ward, Roberts

Nsiala sent off 75