Match ends, Stoke City 1, Sheffield Wednesday 0.
Steven Fletcher scored a late winner against former club Sheffield Wednesday to end Stoke City's nine-match Championship run without a victory.
The game looked to be heading for stalemate until Tommy Smith's cross was nodded down to Fletcher, who slotted past Keiren Westwood from close range.
Owls midfielder Liam Shaw headed Barry Bannan's corner against the bar, while home keeper Angus Gunn comfortably saved Jordan Rhodes' header in a poor first half.
Tom Lees made a crucial block to deny Fletcher, and Jacob Brown teed up Joe Allen to send a low drive inches wide as the hosts improved after the break.
Potters boss Michael O'Neill made five changes from the side that were thumped 4-1 at Norwich, but the Owls edged a forgettable first half, light on chances and quality.
The hosts showed greater intent after the break as the visitors faded, but Westwood was not seriously troubled and City looked to be heading for a ninth draw in 13 games before a typical poacher's goal from Fletcher.
Jack Clarke had a great chance to seal it when found unmarked 10 yards out, but his weak header was palmed away by Westwood.
Stoke's first win of 2021 moved them up to eighth and within four points of the play-off places, while the Owls missed a chance to climb out of the relegation zone and stayed 22nd after only a third league defeat in eight games under caretaker boss Neil Thompson.
Reaction - O'Neill 'relieved' by Stoke win
Stoke boss Michael O'Neill:
"I'm relieved and pleased for the lads because they have given a lot. In recent weeks there have been games where we have deserved more.
"I thought we were always in control without being as effective as we could have been.
"In the second half we create chances but didn't look like we'd take one, but then Fletch did take one and we thoroughly deserved it. Hopefully now we can string some results together."
"He (Fletcher) looks back to the player he was before he got injured."
Sheffield Wednesday interim manager Neil Thompson told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"We had a couple of great set-plays and should have maybe capitalised, but the second half we never got started, never got out of the traps.
"If you give any team encouragement like we did for Stoke tonight then that pressure is going to tell.
"We sank back further and further, I thought we'd rode the storm, got up the pitch a little bit further and then we got a sucker-punch at the end."
- 3FoxSubstituted forTymonat 37'minutes
- 4AllenSubstituted forCousinsat 89'minutes
- 34ThompsonSubstituted forClucasat 77'minutes
- 11McCleanSubstituted forClarkeat 77'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 21FletcherSubstituted forObiat 89'minutes
- 23DunkleySubstituted forPelupessyat 65'minutes
- 19UrhoghideSubstituted forWindassat 88'minutes
- 7K Harris
- 6HutchinsonBooked at 41mins
- 20RhodesSubstituted forKachungaat 65'minutes
- James Linington
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Stoke City 1, Sheffield Wednesday 0.
Attempt saved. Tom Lees (Sheffield Wednesday) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Barry Bannan with a cross.
Foul by Jacob Brown (Stoke City).
Kadeem Harris (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Jacob Brown.
Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Josh Tymon.
Jack Clarke (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card.
Hand ball by John Obi Mikel (Stoke City).
Substitution, Stoke City. John Obi Mikel replaces Steven Fletcher.
Substitution, Stoke City. Jordan Cousins replaces Joe Allen.
Foul by Danny Batth (Stoke City).
Elias Kachunga (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Josh Windass replaces Osaze Urhoghide.
Attempt saved. Jack Clarke (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Attempt blocked. Steven Fletcher (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sam Clucas.
Goal! Stoke City 1, Sheffield Wednesday 0. Steven Fletcher (Stoke City) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Harry Souttar following a corner.
Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Barry Bannan.
Foul by Sam Clucas (Stoke City).
Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.