Sheffield Wednesday defied the odds against Peterborough last night and Michael Ihiekwe was truly outstanding. The Owls beat Darren Ferguson’s team 5-1 and progressed to the League One play-off final on penalties.
Darren Moore pulled off a bit of a coup in the summer when he added Ihiekwe to his ranks. He was added in a double transfer that also saw Michael Smith swap Rotherham United for Hillsborough.
The centre-back was one of the top-performing defenders in League One last season. He helped the Millers win promotion to the Championship and he’s now 90 minutes away from a second promotion in succession.
It’s been a bit of a frustrating time of things during Ihiekwe’s maiden campaign at Hillsborough. After becoming a regular in the team, he suffered a knee ligament injury in January that saw him miss four months of the season.
The centre-back only returned to action during the 2-1 win over Exeter in April. He followed that up by playing for 75 minutes of the 3-0 win against Shrewsbury a week later as he stepped up his comeback.
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Last night, Ihiekwe was sensational. His performance defied the pretty serious injury that he suffered and he oozed class throughout the contest as he stifled the threat of Jonson Clarke-Harris.
Ihiekwe outstanding as Sheffield Wednesday create history
This was the performance of a defensive gladiator. Ihiekwe was a true warrior and lead by example from the back on a night when any sort of rationale went flying out of the window.
Who Scored produced some stats that showcase just how utterly brilliant Ihiekwe was during the 5-1 win for Wednesday.
The defender won no fewer than 15 headers which for context was more than Ronnie Edwards, Frankie Kent and Josh Knight managed between them for Peterborough.
Ihiekwe also defended superbly well. He completed seven clearances and made two interceptions on a night where he showcased exactly what he’s all about to Wednesday supporters.
The job isn’t done for Owls just yet, however. They have one more game to go against either Barnsley or Bolton who play their second leg at Oakwell this evening.
Ihiekwe has been sorely missed by Wednesday this season when he’s been out through injury. Clearly, he has class in abundance and one more performance of this nature could take the Owls to the second tier.