Sheffield Wednesday match report: Owls 3 Charlton 0
Sheffield Wednesday took a giant step towards securing a top-six finish after a comfortable 3-0 victory over relegation-threatened Charlton Athletic.
Second half strikes by Tom Lees, Fernando Forestieri an own goal by El-Hadji Ba ensured the Owls secured back-to-back Championship wins.It was their 11th Hillsborough success of the campaign and the result keeps them in the final play-off position with eight matches remaining.It was also the first time Wednesday had beaten the Addicks in seven attempts. Boss Carlos Carvalhal freshened up his starting line-up, making two alterations to his starting line-up. With Barry Bannan starting his three-match suspension in the wake of his dismissal at Nottingham Forest, Sam Hutchinson returned to midfield. Hutchinson missed the trip to the City Ground due to illness.Although Wednesday have kept three clean sheets in their last four outings, Carvalhal opted to change his back four, handing a first-team recall to Jack Hunt. Liam Palmer dropped to the substitutes bench.Owls almost made a dream start when Ross Wallace whipped in an inviting cross which Fernando Forestieri met with a fine looping header but Charlton goalkeeper Nick Pope brilliantly clawed it out.There was a worrying moment for the hosts when Hutchinson went down after a late sliding challenge on El-Hadji Ba. The former Chelsea youngster required treatment for several minutes but he shrugged off the knock.Carvalhal's men lost some of their rhythm following the injury to Hutchinson.Wallace, a lively figure in the early stages, curled a free-kick narrowly over after Forestieri had been upended following a lovely counter attack.Wednesday monopolised possession but it was easy to see why second-from-bottom Charlton have picked up their form of late. They were well organised and difficult to break down.After more patient build-up, Forestieri fired into the side-netting as the Owls continued to dominate.As an attacking force, Charlton struggled to find a way through and Rod Fanni summed up their frustration when he was cautioned after unceremoniously bringing down Forestieri.Hutchinson joined Fanni in the book after a crude tackle on Marco Motta. It was his 13th caution of the campaign.
Carvalhal made a tactical double substitution at the interval, taking off Hutchinson and Aiden McGeady for Alex Lopez and Atdhe Nuhiu respectively.In front of the biggest league crowd of the season at Hillsborough, Charlton continued to make life extremely difficult for the promotion-chasing Owls, restricting them to long range strikes. Wallace's fierce drive from distance was comfortably kept out by Pope.Lopez and Nuhiu's introductions certainly added extra impetuous to their forward forays and Forestieri forced Pope into a smart save just before the hour mark.Moments later, Charlton almost caught Wednesday napping when Harriott slid in Suk-Young Yun only for the South Korean to scuff off target.Lees' bullet header ended Charlton's stubborn resistance and Forestieri's strike put the contest out of their reach. Forestieri nodded in his 13th goal of the campaign after Nuhiu's header struck the right hand post following a peach of a delivery by Hunt.Oozing class and confidence, the Owls added a third in the 77th minute, with Ba turning in Lopez's low drive.The only thing which took some of the shine off their win was Hunt being taken off on a stretcher in the closing stages following a foul Owls: Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Loovens, Pudil; Wallace (Matias 83), Lee, Hutchinson (Lopez HT), McGeady (Nuhiu HT); Forestieri, Hooper. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Palmer, Sasso, Joao.Charlton: Pope; Motta, Fanni, Teixeira, Fox; Gudmundsson, Ba (Jackson 78), Diarra (Lookman 83), Suk-Young; Harriott, Ghoochannejhad (Vetokele 68). Substitutes: Mitov, Lennon, Poyet, Makienok.Attendance: 29,668Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)