Wednesday well beaten at Hillsborough
Sheffield Wednesday suffered their first defeat under Jos Luhukay as a resurgent Birmingham City won 3-1 at Hillsborough.
The game was all but over by half-time as the Owls gifted the visitors a 2-goal lead. Inside the first 10 minutes Owls keeper Wildsmith came out to make what would have been a routine catch of an aimless cross into the box but Venancio beat his own keeper to the ball, succeeding only in diverting the ball towards his own goal and allowing Davis to nip in to open the scoring.
A little over 10 minutes later a poor cross field pass by Butterfield allowed Jota a shot on goal from the edge of the penalty area and Wildsmith inexplicably allowed the low shot to go right through his grasp.
In order to chase the game Luhukay made an early change bringing on Joao for Loovens and abandoning the 5-3-2 formation. The game then began to settle down and the Owls knew that if they could score next they would be back in contention but the mountain they had given themselves to climb became a whole lot steeper before half-time. An off the ball incident involving Matias and Bramall after the ball had gone out for a goal kick resulted in the Wednesday forward being shown a straight red-card.
In first-half injury time Birmingham all but sealed the points when Wildsmith parried Boga’s low strike and Jota was on hand to tap into the empty net.
The somewhat shell-shocked home crowd that remained for the 2nd half got behind their team at the start of the second half as the 10 men rolled their sleeves up and they were rewarded on 54 minutes when Joao tricked his way into the box and beat Stockdale with a fine low drive.
Birmingham looked to take the sting out of the game at that point and were happy just to keep possession until with 20 minutes left Pudil was deemed to have fouled Jota on the edge of the penalty area and having already been booked he received his 2nd yellow and Wednesday were down to 9 men.
The Owls might have had a penalty late on when Joao jinked his way inside from the right and was upended but the referee adjudged the foul to have occurred outside the box and Reach fired the resulting free-kick way wide of the goal.
Next up for Wednesday is a South Yorkshire derby at fellow strugglers Barnsley on Saturday 10th February, kick-off 12.15.