Championship
Sheff Wed3Birmingham0

Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Birmingham City

Jordan Rhodes (top)
Birmingham could not prevent Jordan Rhodes (top) nodding in on nine minutes

Jordan Rhodes and Sam Winnall's first goals for Sheffield Wednesday saw them boost their play-off hopes with a 3-0 victory over mid-table Birmingham City.

Rhodes met Ross Wallace's early free-kick to give the hosts the lead.

Birmingham then hit the woodwork three times as they searched for a leveller.

Winnall's close-range, diving header from an inch-perfect Jack Hunt cross put the game beyond the Blues' reach, before Adam Reach showed good pace and composure to add a late third goal.

The defeat was Gianfranco Zola's seventh in 12 games in all competitions in charge of Birmingham, who have now lost five of their past seven away games, while the in-form Owls have won five of their past six at home.

Relive Sheffield Wednesday's win over Birmingham City

The hosts could have gone ahead as early as the second minute when Tomasz Kuszczak denied Sam Winnall from close range, before Rhodes rose to nod home Wallace's expert right-wing set-piece delivery soon afterwards.

But after a disjointed start, the visitors then settled into the game and struck the woodwork twice in quick succession, firstly when Wednesday's Sam Hutchinson inadvertently diverted Craig Gardner's cross onto his own post, before Blues right-back Emilio Nsue struck the other upright with a crisp half-volley.

After the break, Birmingham midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld was fortunate to only receive a yellow card for a rash challenge on Morgan Fox, but Zola's side began to control possession and cause problems with Gardner's set-pieces.

The game's decisive twist then came when Gardner's fierce strike hit the crossbar moments before Winnall - against the run of play - got in between two Birmingham defenders to head in Hunt's outstanding cross for his fourth goal of this season against the Blues, having netted three times in two games against them for Barnsley before his January move to Hillsborough.

Birmingham, who were in seventh place and level on points with Wednesday when former manager Gary Rowett was surprisingly sacked on 14 December, are now 12 points below the Owls, who remain sixth.

Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"We know that was not perfect, but there are a lot of things that I like.

"Even in the first minute, we could have achieved a goal, and after that we had three or more clear chances.

"I think the score was very heavy to Birmingham, but I think with the opportunities that we created and the goals that we scored, I think we deserved to win this game."

Birmingham manager Gianfranco Zola told BBC WM 95.6:

"The second goal was a fantastic cross and a good piece of football. The disappointing bit for me was the beginning, the first 10 minutes.

"After that I saw only one team on the pitch. We played good football and created chances. But that is not enough. We have to be stronger and more hungry.

"We controlled the midfield and controlled the game so, other than the result, I thought it was one of the best performances, after the first few minutes.

"The bottom line is that we play good football but we don't score enough."

Line-ups

Sheff Wed

  • 1Westwood
  • 32Hunt
  • 39Sasso
  • 12Loovens
  • 43Fox
  • 33WallaceSubstituted forMcManamanat 85'minutes
  • 23Hutchinson
  • 41BannanSubstituted forAbdiat 82'minutes
  • 45ForestieriSubstituted forReachat 67'minutes
  • 11Winnall
  • 17Rhodes

Substitutes

  • 2Wildsmith
  • 7Abdi
  • 9Reach
  • 10McManaman
  • 16Palmer
  • 24Semedo
  • 44Nuhiu

Birmingham

  • 29Kuszczak
  • 2Nsue
  • 4RobinsonBooked at 86mins
  • 3Grounds
  • 33Keita
  • 6KieftenbeldBooked at 59minsSubstituted forFrei Koyunluat 63'minutes
  • 8Gleeson
  • 26DavisBooked at 61minsSubstituted forStewartat 82'minutes
  • 12Gardner
  • 15Jutkiewicz
  • 48SinclairSubstituted forAdamsat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Legzdins
  • 14Adams
  • 20Stewart
  • 21Frei Koyunlu
  • 25Cogley
  • 30O'Keefe
  • 31Bielik
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh
Attendance:
24,805

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff WedAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home17
Away13
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home16
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Sheffield Wednesday 3, Birmingham City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Sheffield Wednesday 3, Birmingham City 0.

Cheick Keita (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Rhodes (Sheffield Wednesday).

Attempt blocked. Greg Stewart (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Foul by Greg Stewart (Birmingham City).

Callum McManaman (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Kerim Frei (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Callum McManaman (Sheffield Wednesday).

Booking

Paul Robinson (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Goal!

Goal! Sheffield Wednesday 3, Birmingham City 0. Adam Reach (Sheffield Wednesday) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Sam Winnall.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Callum McManaman replaces Ross Wallace.

Attempt blocked. Nsue (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Craig Gardner.

Attempt blocked. Che Adams (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Adam Reach (Sheffield Wednesday) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Almen Abdi.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Greg Stewart replaces David Davis.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Almen Abdi replaces Barry Bannan.

Goal!

Goal! Sheffield Wednesday 2, Birmingham City 0. Sam Winnall (Sheffield Wednesday) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jack Hunt with a cross.

Craig Gardner (Birmingham City) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Kerim Frei.

Foul by Paul Robinson (Birmingham City).

Jordan Rhodes (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Barry Bannan.

Attempt missed. David Davis (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Sam Winnall (Sheffield Wednesday) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Keiren Westwood.

Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sam Winnall (Sheffield Wednesday).

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Che Adams replaces Jerome Sinclair.

Attempt blocked. Craig Gardner (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Vincent Sasso.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Adam Reach replaces Fernando Forestieri.

Foul by Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City).

Jordan Rhodes (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Nsue (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday).

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Kerim Frei replaces Maikel Kieftenbeld.

Paul Robinson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sam Winnall (Sheffield Wednesday).

Attempt saved. Craig Gardner (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz with a headed pass.

Attempt saved. Jordan Rhodes (Sheffield Wednesday) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sam Winnall.

Attempt missed. Sam Winnall (Sheffield Wednesday) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ross Wallace with a cross following a corner.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Newcastle29202757233462
2Brighton29187447242361
3Reading3017584439556
4Huddersfield2917483732555
5Leeds301731042301254
6Sheff Wed3015783728952
7Norwich30145115042847
8Derby2913793022846
9Barnsley30136114844445
10Fulham291110846331343
11Preston30119103837142
12Birmingham311010113242-1040
13Brentford29107124038237
14Aston Villa2981292932-336
15Nottm Forest30106144248-636
16Ipswich3099123139-836
17Cardiff30106143444-1036
18Wolves2998123840-235
19QPR3097142942-1334
20Bristol City2994163841-331
21Burton3087153041-1131
22Blackburn2977153446-1228
23Wigan2968152635-926
24Rotherham3044222764-3716
View full Championship table

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