Owls match report: Sheffield Wednesday 4 Brentford 0
Sheffield Wednesday cruised to a comprehensive 4-0 victory over 10-man Brentford to further boost their promotion aspirations.
Goals from Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper, Kieran Lee and substitute Lucas Joao stretched the Owls' unbeaten run at Hillsborough to 15 matches in all competitions. They have only lost on home soil once all season and that came back in August.Mid-table Brentford had Yoann Barbet sent off in the fifth minute after he was adjudged to have upended Hooper. The result moves Wednesday above Derby County into fifth position.Head coach Carlos Carvalhal shuffled his pack, making two alterations to the side who came from behind to beat Birmingham City last weekend.Atdhe Nuhiu, the catalyst for their second half comeback, was recalled up front while Kieran Lee also returned after shrugging off a back problem. It is understood Sam Hutchinson failed a fitness test on a knee injury. He dropped out of their match-day squad while Aiden McGeady had to settle for a place on the benchBrentford made a promising start, with Nico Yennaris racing on to Alan Judge's clever through ball only to volley straight at Keiren Westwood, who had recovered from the head/neck injuries.Judge, a transfer target for the Owls last month, looked lively early on and his left foot drive was expertly pushed to safety by Westwood.But the Bees suffered a major blow in the fifth minute when Barbet was dismissed after upending Gary Hooper just outside the penalty area. It was a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Referee Graham Scott had no other option but to issue Barbet with his marching orders. From the resulting free-kick, David Button produced a fine stop to keep out Ross Wallace's fierce attempt.Losing Barbet forced Brentford into a tactical rejig and Konstantin Kerschbaumer was sacrificed for centre-back Jack O'Connell.It didn't take Wednesday long to make their numerical advantage count as Forestieri nodded in Daniel Pudil's deflected centre in the 12th minute.The Owls were well on top and Nuhiu blazed over after more patient build-up play.To their credit, Brentford responded well to going down to 10 men and falling behind and Westwood had to be alert to foil Sergi Canos, who tried his luck from distance.Shortly after a minute's applause for Wednesday fan Darren Haigh, who passed away at the age of 28 after losing his third battle with cancer, the hosts doubled their lead. Hooper beat the off-side trap to latch on to Westwood's punt ufield and rifle an unstoppable right foot drive out of the reach of Button. It is the striker's 10th goal in his last 11 matches.Wednesday were threatening to run out. Lee fired over following another free-flowing move on the right wing involving Jack Hunt and Ross Wallace.On the stroke of half-time, Lee made it 3-0, swivelling smartly inside the six-yard area before prodding home following a lovely cushioned header by Hooper. It was damage limitation for Brentford, who brought on Sam Saunders at the interval.Carvalhal's men almost grabbed a fourth in the 49th minute, Forestieri's attempt from close range was hacked away from near the goal line.Moments later, the Bees spurned a glorious opportunity to reduce their arrears when Yennaris side-footed over Maxime Colin's inviting delivery. That was arguably their best chance of a one-sided contest.Dean Smith's side kept battling and Judge forced Westwood into a smart stop after a good spell of pressure.McGeady, on loan from Everton until the end of the season, was given a much-need run-out in the final half an hour and he showed flashes of his quality. He dragged wide when well-placed as the Owls pushed for a fourth.In the closing stages, Forestieri came within a whisker of netting his second. The little forward's strike was deflected over after a speedy counter attack by the hosts.But Wednesday were not to be denied a fourth as Joao lashed in a fourth after a fine through ball by Hunt. It is the second time the Portugal international has found the back of the net versus the Bees this term.
Wednesday: Westwood; Hunt, Sasso, Lees, Pudil; Wallace (McGugan 74), Bannan, Lee, Forestieri; Nuhiu (McGeady 62), Hooper (Joao 80). Substitutes: Price, Turner, Semedo, Bennett.Brentford: Button; Colin, Dean, Barbet, Bidwell; Canos (Saunders HT), Woods, Kerschbaumer (O'Connell 8), Yennaris (McEachran 82); Judge, Hofmann. Substitutes: Bonham, Macleod, Swift, Vibe.Attendance: 20,921Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)