Nick Lough reports for swfc.co.uk from Hillsborough.
Sheffield Wednesday are through to the Capital One Cup quarter finals after a magnificent 3-0 victory over Premier League giants Arsenal at Hillsborough.
Ross Wallace opened the scoring for Wednesday after rounding off a fabulous attacking move by shooting low past Arsenal ‘keeper Petr Cech midway through the first half.
Lucas Joao doubled the home side’s lead shortly after as Wallace turned provider with the striker meeting the in-swinging cross with a fine header just inside the six-yard box.
Midfielder Sam Hutchinson rounded off the scoring after finishing off a clever set-piece play from close range, ensuring the Owls a place in the final eight of the competition.
Carlos Carvalhal made two changes to the starting XI that emerged victorious at Rotherham United last Friday.
Goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith replaced Keiren Westwood between the posts, while winger Jeremy Helan came in for the ineligible Fernando Forestieri.
It was a slow burner from the outset as Wednesday matched their Premier League opponents stride for stride, with Gunners manager Arsene Wenger losing first team regulars Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott to injuries inside 20 minutes.
With chances very much in short supply, step forward Owls midfielder Wallace, who fired the hosts in front with a superb low strike from just inside the area.
Barry Bannan played a beautifully weighted pass over the head of Mathieu Debuchy and into the path of the marauding Daniel Pudil. The Czech full back took his time before squaring the ball to Wallace, with the Scot tucking his shot past the flat-footed Cech to hand Carvalhal’s men a sensational lead.
It was nearly two for the home side moments later; once again through that man Wallace. Joao was clattered on the edge of the box by Mathieu Flamini as he was about to pull the trigger, with Wallace curling the resulting free kick narrowly past Cech’s left-hand post.
Wednesday were all over their opponents and their domination soon turned into a second goal five minutes before half time.
After Joao had earned his side a corner moments earlier, the Portuguese youngster rose highest to head home Wallace’s inch-perfect cross from the left, extending their lead to two.
There was no stopping the rampant Owls in the second half as they clinched their third goal of the evening after just nine minutes.
Winning a free kick around 30-yards out, Bannan once again produced a pinpoint delivery to Lees in acres of space at the back post. The centre half confidently pulled the ball back across goal on the volley for the on-rushing Hutchinson, who bundled over the line from close range to make it three to the good.
The Londoners tried to force a way back into the game in the final 30 minutes but any attack they could muster was swiftly blunted by the exceptional duo of Lees and Glenn Loovens.
All in all, a thoroughly professional display from the Owls with another Premier League side conquered by Carvalhal and his troops on the way to securing their name in the hat for Wednesday night’s draw.
Wednesday: Wildsmith, Hutchinson (McGugan, 80), Loovens, Lees, Helan, Joao (Nuhiu, 85), Lee, Hunt, Wallace, Pudil, Bannan (Semedo, 75).