Wednesday Beat Bluebirds To Seal Playoff Place
3pm Saturday April 30th, 2016
#CarlosHadADream rang out as Wednesday players, staff and fans finally secured a spot in the end of season playoffs with an impressive 3-0 win over Cardiff City. Try as Dave Jones, the Welsh media and Russell Slade to build the Bluebirds chances of winning at S6, the match proved to be something of a one sided contest.
After a thunderous Hi Ho Sheffield Wednesday and amazing backing of the Owls players the stage was set and Wednesday started well. They were unlucky not to go ahead in the fifth minute as Glenn Loovens` near-post header from a Fernando Forestieri corner went just over the bar.
After what seemed like ages Pudil was next to have a sight of goal as he blasted over after neat play from Gary Hooper. That man, Hooper then rattled the post after a long Westwood clearance was collected by the former Celtic scorer who ran and hit his shot from well outside the area. Cardiff stirred after that and Noone hit a strike at Westwood from within the Owls` area but the Irishman was equal to it.
Cardiff, encouraged started to show more promise and dangerman Peter Whittingham hit a speculative shot from the edge of the box wide. As Wednesday promptly threatened again with Tom Lees heading over from another Forestieri corner.
Bannan who struck a screamer at Derby last week, tried his luck but his curling left-footed effort from the right side of the penalty area went wide of David Marshall`s goal. So, it was 0 - 0 at half-time but it was clear to all present Wednesday were the stronger of the two sides and not happy to accept a draw.
The second half, started as the first ended with the Owls forcing the issue. Forestieri was looking for goals and was stopped in clumsy fashion by a Connolly tackle. On the hour, Westwood parried a Noone effort from outside the area, eventually gathering at the second attempt as the Bluebirds reminded the sold-out home section the job wasn't done yet.
Half way through the second half, Wednesday finally opened the scoring in the 64th minute. Hooper the scorer on the rebound after Lee played in Pudil, whos shot rebounded to the Owls number 14. Cardiff, had to come at Wednesday now and they desperately looked for a way back into the game and Westwood had to be alert to gather in another strike from the edge of the area by Noone.
With Forestieri booked, Carlos Carvalhal swapped him for Atdhe Nuhiu. Nuhiu almost scored woth his forst touch as his far-post header forced Marshall into action. Wednesday then sealed the points and the final playoff spot, as they doubled their lead in the 75th minute. A long ball was chased down by Hooper as Marshall messed about and was outmuscled by the Owls hitman. Composing himself Hooper delivering a cross which was deflected into the net by a despairing Peltier with Joao lurking, but was it over the line already?
Lucas Joćo then went close, forcing a smart save from Marshall down to his right. Before Whittingham whistled a freekick wide which lead to a Westwood clearance, Nuhiu flicked on and then the celebrations could start as Hooper added a third deep in stoppage time, chipping the keeper from inside the area.
Scored two and had a hand in the other that Joao will try to claim, but it looked like a Peltier own goal. If Hooper remains in that type of mood in the playoffs it might, might just happen and see Wednesday welcomed back to the Premier League.