Aston Villa 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday: Adam Reach stunner fires Owls to victory
By Press Association
Last Updated: 04/11/17 7:23pm
Sheffield Wednesday tore up the form book to claim a shock 2-1 Championship win over Aston Villa and record only their second away victory of the season.
Adam Reach set the visitors on their way with the opening goal after only 19 seconds and fellow former Middlesbrough man Jordan Rhodes made it two before the break. Chris Samba's last-minute reply was too little, too late for Villa, who also lost John Terry to injury.
Steve Bruce's side went into the game with six wins from their previous eight games, but never recovered from their nightmare start. Straight from the kick-off, Ross Wallace gained possession to set up Reach, who produced a stunning left-footed swerving shot from fully 30 yards which flew into the top corner of the net.
With seven clean sheets in their previous 10 games, it was a shock to the system for Villa as they struggled to assert their authority. Wednesday had their tails up thanks to the early goal and produced several promising attacks, often engineered by Barry Bannan.
Villa suffered another blow in the 21st minute when skipper Terry was forced to limp out of the game with a leg injury, to be replaced by Samba. It proved a crucial moment as Wednesday steamed further ahead within a minute of Terry's premature departure.
Bannan cleverly played a one-two with Rhodes to cut through a defence clearly weakened by the departure of the former England international and the striker took full advantage by slipping the ball home unchallenged.
It was the first time since April 2016 that the striker, who ended a 25-game goal drought against Millwall last time out, had scored in successive matches. Villa frustration grew as they struggled to find some attacking rhythm against a Wednesday side which continued to gain in confidence.
Five minutes before the break a disgruntled Robert Snodgrass, an injury doubt before the game, was replaced by teenager Callum O'Hare. Villa were far more positive in the second half following the introduction of Jack Grealish, but were lucky not to concede a third when substitute Liam Palmer missed an open goal.
Samba's last-gasp strike finally gave Villa something to cheer, but there was never any chance of a comeback.
Steve Bruce: "John is in hospital now as we speak. It looks as if he's got a broken metatarsal which is bad news for all of us. A bad afternoon for all of us and it's just got worse with the news we fear that he could have broken a metatarsal.
"When you analyse it tomorrow that's when it will dawn on us that it's not just been a poor afternoon where we've got beat - which you accept - but the loss of key players is key for us all going forward, especially your captain."
Carlos Carvalhal: "We blocked their dynamic. We prepared very well for the game and didn't give them chances. My players did absolutely fantastic. We created chances, scored two goals. We could have scored more goals.
"We played with quality. I think we performed very well. I don't think that we played better today than in the last three games. I think we have played at the same level in the last three games. The difference is sometimes when we win, it makes a big difference."