Championship
Sheff WedSheffield Wednesday5CardiffCardiff City0

Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 Cardiff City: Owls hammer Bluebirds

By Michael PearlmanBBC Sport Wales
Adam Reach goal
Adam Reach had not scored since February and had only scored four goals all season before his double against Cardiff

Sheffield Wednesday moved to within six points of Championship safety as they hammered Cardiff City 5-0.

The Owls made a dream start when Julian Borner headed in after three minutes.

Callum Paterson fired home a wonderful second against his old club on 20 minutes and Adam Reach curled home a lovely free-kick three minutes later.

Any hopes of an unlikely comeback were ended when Jordan Rhodes swept home a fourth on 65 minutes before Reach got his second from close range.

The victory, which completed Wednesday's first league double over Cardiff since the 1983-84 season, lifts the Owls off the foot of the table, while Cardiff remain eighth but eight points adrift of the play-offs with only 18 points left to play for.

With Wednesday winless in their last four at Hillsborough at a ground Mick McCarthy had never lost at, the Bluebirds were nonetheless outclassed from start to finish as the side who had not scored more than twice in any game this season put them to the sword.

Both bosses made a change apiece after 1-0 Good Friday defeats, with Cardiff beaten by Nottingham Forest and Wednesday defeated by Watford, with Liam Palmer recalled by the hosts and Jonny Williams earning a first Bluebirds start.

Owls assistant boss Jamie Smith again stood in for manager Darren Moore, who has tested positive for Covid-19, and he saw his side make a dream start with a goal straight out of the Cardiff playbook.

Earlier wins for play-off rivals Bournemouth, Barnsley and Reading added the pressure on Cardiff who would have been furious to concede from a corner as Borner was given too much space to nod home Barry Bannan's outswinger.

Wednesday doubled their lead on 20 minutes when Paterson rifled home a volley after a wonderful cross from Palmer to score against his old club, with his celebrations muted.

Three minutes later and it was 3-0 when Bannan and Josh Windass worked a freekick routine that culminated in Reach finding the top corner from 20-yards out.

Cardiff were stunned and almost conceded a fourth when Jordan Rhodes went clear, but Ciaron Brown denied him with a fine tackle, while at the other end Williams saw a couple of penalty claims waved away.

The Bluebirds - who had not lost away from home in 2021 - improved markedly after the interval in their defeat to Forest and they started the second half with Aden Flint flashing a header wide from Joe Ralls' free-kick, but they never in truth looked likely to mount a comeback.

They were attacking when Wednesday broke to score a lovely fourth as Rhodes swept home on 65 minutes, before Reach added a fifth after another lovely move on an evening when the hosts, inspired by Bannan, were superb all over the field.

Cardiff rued an inexplicable close-range miss from Curtis Nelson as they sought a consolation goal with substitute Harry Wilson curling against the post and Will Vaulks' shot deflected just over.

However, Wednesday were not to be denied a clean sheet in a win they will take real belief from, while Cardiff's unlikely hopes of a play-off spot appear dashed.

Sheffield Wednesday assistant manager Jamie Smith:

I wasn't expecting 5-0, I wasn't expecting that against Cardiff, but we know we have quality in the group. It's about bringing out more often.

They have set the standards now. It's about being consistent with it and they've got the quality to do it.

There is still time, still seven games and we'll continue fighting.

The players know themselves, it's about believing in themselves. There is real quality there, it's just getting it out."

Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy told BBC Sport Wales:

"It was a humbling experience, that's for sure.

"They were considerably better than us... It was the worst performance since I have been here and I would imagine it was the best Sheffield Wednesday performance all season.

"We've had to be full tilt at all time, the players have given me everything since I've been here.

"It wasn't so much a disappointing performance against (Nottingham) Forest, just a poor result. It was both tonight. Sheffield Wednesday were just very, very good, I thought."

Line-ups

Sheff Wed

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 28Wildsmith
  • 19Urhoghide
  • 15Lees
  • 13Börner
  • 2Palmer
  • 6HutchinsonSubstituted forPelupessyat 82'minutes
  • 10BannanSubstituted forShawat 90+3'minutes
  • 11Reach
  • 18WindassSubstituted forKachungaat 81'minutes
  • 5Paterson
  • 20RhodesSubstituted forGreenat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Westwood
  • 7K Harris
  • 8Pelupessy
  • 16Green
  • 24Brown
  • 26Shaw
  • 29Hunt
  • 34Brennan
  • 45Kachunga

Cardiff

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Phillips
  • 16Nelson
  • 5Flint
  • 30Brown
  • 28Sang
  • 21Pack
  • 6Vaulks
  • 8Ralls
  • 7BacunaSubstituted forOjoat 72'minutes
  • 15WilliamsSubstituted forWilsonat 71'minutes
  • 10MooreSubstituted forWattersat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Smithies
  • 19Watters
  • 23Wilson
  • 27Ojo
  • 29M Harris
  • 33Hoilett
  • 38Ng
  • 40Colwill
Referee:
David Webb

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff WedAway TeamCardiff
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home12
Away17
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home15
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield Wednesday 5, Cardiff City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield Wednesday 5, Cardiff City 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Liam Shaw replaces Barry Bannan.

  4. Post update

    Adam Reach (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Tom Sang (Cardiff City).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Joey Pelupessy (Sheffield Wednesday).

  7. Post update

    Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Harry Wilson (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Will Vaulks following a set piece situation.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Callum Paterson (Sheffield Wednesday).

  10. Post update

    Harry Wilson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Curtis Nelson (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Max Watters.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Barry Bannan.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Will Vaulks (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Ralls.

  14. Post update

    Harry Wilson (Cardiff City) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Tom Sang.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tom Sang with a cross.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Joey Pelupessy replaces Sam Hutchinson.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Andre Green replaces Jordan Rhodes.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Elias Kachunga replaces Josh Windass.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Max Watters replaces Kieffer Moore.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Sheyi Ojo replaces Leandro Bacuna.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich39259557282984
2Watford402310757273079
3Brentford381912766402669
4Swansea392091045311469
5Barnsley40208125244868
6Reading401991256431366
7Bournemouth3918111060382265
8Cardiff4016101455431258
9Millwall401416104137458
10Middlesbrough40169154843557
11Stoke401413134544155
12QPR391411144346-353
13Luton39148173245-1350
14Bristol City40154214055-1549
15Nottm Forest401212163439-548
16Preston40146204150-948
17Blackburn401210185045546
18Huddersfield381110174253-1143
19Derby401110193045-1543
20Coventry391012173552-1742
21Birmingham391011182950-2141
22Rotherham36105213851-1335
23Sheff Wed39118203348-1535
24Wycombe4089232961-3233
View full Championship table

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC