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Luongo nets winner on first Sheffield Wednesday start against Wigan

Sheffield Wednesday’s Massimo Luongo marked his first league start for the club with the only goal in a 1-0 victory at home to Wigan.

The Australia international, who joined Wednesday from QPR for a reported £1m fee at the start of the season, was included in the line-up after making a number of appearances as a substitute.

Luongo put an early effort into the side netting and Steven Fletcher also shot wide.

Wigan had a great chance to score with a quarter of an hour gone after Josh Windass broke free and advanced into the left-hand side of the area. Windass squared to Gavin Massey, whose weak effort was saved by Keiren Westwood and Jamal Lowe, following up, also saw his shot blocked before Massey fired wide.

Fletcher failed to make proper contact on the volley after meeting a Kadeem Harris cross at the far post.

In the latter stages of the half, Barry Bannan struck the angle of bar and post with a fine 25-yard strike.

Soon after the re-start, Wigan’s Charlie Mulgrew swung over a dangerous free-kick which was headed clear by a defender.

The breakthrough goal came shortly before the hour-mark. A Harris cross posed problems for the defence and Adam Reach pulled the ball back to Luongo, who found the net with a shot from inside the area.

Bannan floated the ball just wide as Wednesday went in search of a second goal.

Wigan substitute Kieffer Moore went close to equalising a few minutes after joining the action when his header was tipped onto the bar by Westwood following a Mulgrew free-kick. It was a fine save from the Wednesday keeper, who was largely untested throughout the whole match.

The hosts had the ball in the net for a second time when Fletcher hit the target, but an off-side flag cut their celebrations short.

Wigan boss Paul Cook also sent on Anthony Pilkington and Joe Gelhardt to try and spark a revival but, apart from Moore’s effort, the visitors never threatened to get back on level terms.

The result means that Wigan’s wretched away form continues, winning just once in their last 28 games on the road.

Wednesday’s improved form under Garry Monk goes on, putting them among the chasing pack in the Championship.