Sheffield Wednesday's Glenn Loovens was a man-mountain in Derby draw

Derby County drew 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday.

Sheffield Wednesday defender Glenn Loovens had a superb afternoon as his side boosted their Championship playoff hopes with a 1-1 draw with Derby County at the iPro Stadium.

The Rams had already qualified for the playoffs following their 3-2 win at Bristol City on Tuesday, yet they names a strong line-up as they look to build momentum between now and the end of the season.

Wednesday started the day in sixth spot and six points clear of Cardiff City, and they knew victory at the iPro would all but seal their place alongside the hosts in the Championship playoffs.

In a game which ebbed and flowed, Barry Bannan’s wonderful opener was cancelled out by substitute Darren Bent to give both sides a share of the spoils in an entertaining encounter.

While Bannan will no doubt pick up the plaudits for his long-range effort, Wednesday’s outstanding player was without doubt defender Glenn Loovens as he marked Chris Martin out of the game.

  TacklesEffective ClearancesInterceptionsDuels WonAerial Duels WonBall RecoveriesAccurate PassesMins Played
Glenn Loovens 1 6 5 5 4 6 26 90

As shown by the table provided by Opta, the Dutch centre-back contributed in a number of key areas in the face of a Derby attack which has scored 14 goals in its last four matches.

Loovens posted one tackle, four aerial duels won, five defensive duels won, five interceptions, six effective clearances and six ball recoveries over the course of the 90 minutes.

Derby duo Chris Martin and Tom Ince were well marshalled by the Owls’ superb back-line, yet they were finally breached when Bent headed home an inviting cross from the tireless Johnny Russell.

A draw move Carlos Carvalhal’s men closer to a guaranteed playoff place, and they will seal the deal if they avoid defeat to Cardiff in next weekend’s highly-anticipated clash at Hillsborough.

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