Match ends, Sheffield Wednesday 4, Preston North End 1.
Sheffield Wednesday eased to a comfortable win over Preston.
The hosts took the lead when Atdhe Nuhiu headed in from Jack Hunt's cross before Lucas Joao quickly doubled their advantage with a looping header over visiting keeper Declan Rudd.
Preston got back in it when Louis Moult prodded in Daniel Johnson's low cross.
The Owls wrapped up the win in injury time, with Nuhiu scoring a fine curling effort and Fernando Forestieri adding a fine free-kick.
A second successive victory moved Jos Luhukay's side 11 points clear of the bottom three.
There was little sign of what was to come in the second half after an opening 45 that saw Preston defender Ben Davies come closest to breaking the deadlock when he headed straight at Wednesday keeper Joe Wildsmith from six yards.
Forestieri's goal on his return after six months out with a knee injury capped a fine day for the home side.
They visit lowly Sunderland on Monday, while Preston, who are two points outside the play-offs, host Derby.
Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay:
"Fantastic, I'm very happy for the team, players and fans. What a game for everybody.
"We made two goals early in the half, it was a happy situation, it was fantastic to win like that today.
"The players work so hard, did extensive work for this game and they deserve the rewards."
Preston North End boss Alex Neil:
"We know that goals change games and we had three golden opportunities before our goal and we didn't take them.
"I thought individually that was some of the poorer performances I've seen since I've been here defensively which is disappointing.
"In the two promotions that I've managed to achieve previously, we've lost games at crucial periods but we got a reaction and we are going to have to do the same now."
- 2HuntSubstituted forPalmerat 74'minutes
- 10BannanSubstituted forForestieriat 78'minutes
- 23HutchinsonBooked at 1minsSubstituted forLucas Joãoat 45'minutes
- 17NuhiuBooked at 16mins
- 18Lucas João
- 14FisherSubstituted forHarropat 78'minutes
- 20DaviesBooked at 90mins
- 12GallagherSubstituted forJohnsonat 70'minutes
- 24MaguireSubstituted forMoultat 70'minutes
- Tim Robinson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sheffield Wednesday 4, Preston North End 1.
Goal! Sheffield Wednesday 4, Preston North End 1. Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Ben Davies (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Ben Davies (Preston North End).
Lucas João (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Sheffield Wednesday 3, Preston North End 1. Atdhe Nuhiu (Sheffield Wednesday) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Liam Palmer following a corner.
Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. Conceded by Alan Browne.
Attempt blocked. Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Lucas João (Sheffield Wednesday) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Liam Palmer with a cross.
Attempt saved. Lucas João (Sheffield Wednesday) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fernando Forestieri with a through ball.
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Daniel Pudil.
Ben Pearson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday).
Offside, Preston North End. Josh Harrop tries a through ball, but Tom Barkhuizen is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Alan Browne (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.
Louis Moult (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Adam Reach (Sheffield Wednesday).
Foul by Daniel Johnson (Preston North End).
Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.