Cardiff 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday: Owls come back to nick a point
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 12/12/15 6:25pm
Cardiff let a two-goal lead slip through their fingers for the second home game in a row as Sky Bet Championship promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw in south Wales.
The Bluebirds had looked set to consolidate their place in the top six when Craig Noone's penalty and Anthony Pilkington's strike had put them in control at the break.
But, as against Burnley, they only picked up a point as Wednesday, now beaten just once in 14 league games, fought back superbly. Man of the match Fernando Forestieri and Barry Bannan got their goals to secure a point.
Cardiff had climbed into the play-off places with their win at Bolton last time out, but it was the visitors who made the more assured start.
Forestieri and Wallace showed some nice touches, although the Owls rarely threatened to carve the hosts open.
While less convincing in possession, Cardiff had a good sight of goal when Tony Watt broke free of his marker to find Aron Gunnarsson, who shot straight at Keiren Westwood.
On-loan striker Watt's next intervention created the opener. The former Celtic man picked up the ball and drove past three defenders into the box. He was going away from goal, but Westwood raced out and brought him down.
Referee Charles Breakspear pointed to the spot and Noone slotted home the penalty for his first league goal since the opening day of the season.
Wednesday almost had an instant response. Liam Palmer's cross was directed goalwards by Lucas Joao and hit the post before rebounding into the grateful arms of David Marshall.
The miss proved costly as Joe Ralls' pass beat the offside trap and Pilkington rounded Westwood to double the Bluebirds' lead.
Pilkington should have extended the leader further just before the break. Noone left Bannan for dead with a lovely piece of skill near the byline but his fellow wideman headed wastefully over when unmarked.
Cardiff started the second half in similar vein, with Westwood seeing a ricochet fortunately fall into his hands after the lively Watt had teed up Kenwyne Jones.
But the Welsh club were guilty of sitting back as the hour mark approached and Wednesday began to take control of proceedings.
The Owls' efforts were rewarded when Forestieri finished superbly from distance, curling his sixth goal of the season beyond a helpless Marshall.
The game was back in the melting pot and tempers frayed by a strong Ralls challenge on Alex Lopez, which led to a bout of pushing and shoving that saw the Cardiff midfielder and team-mate Sean Morrison booked.
Tensions also rose on the touchline with Slade furious that counterpart Carlos Carvalhal left his technical area to remonstrate with one of the referee's assistants.
Moments later Wednesday were level. Wallace was afforded too much space in the Cardiff area and Bannan drove the ball home off the inside of the far post to earn them a share of the spoils.