Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Birmingham: Owls cruise to victory
Last Updated: 27/12/15 11:58am
Sheffield Wednesday cruised to an impressive 3-0 win over Birmingham City at Hillsborough.
A goal in either half for Fernando Forestieri and one from Kieran Lee gave the Owls a deserved win over their promotion chasing rivals.
The home side started the brighter with Atdhe Nuhiu setting up promising moves by winning headers before laying the ball off to the onrushing Forestieri and Gary Hooper.
Birmingham struggled to get into the game early on, but a mistake at the back from Wednesday allowed James Vaughan to get a shot away.
The Owls thought they had taken the lead when Hooper tapped in from close range but the referee assistant's flag immediately went up.
In a well-worked move, Hooper burst free to the right side of the box before squaring the ball to Nuhiu, who returned the ball to Hooper for a simple tap-in but the striker was ruled offside.
The home side did eventually take the lead after a goalmouth scramble with Forestieri (37) lashing the ball off the post and over the line.
Almost immediately after the restart the Owls had their second. Capitalising on more poor Birmingham defending, Lee (39) made it two in as many minutes.
Jonathan Spector's clearance rebounded off his own team-mate, the ball fell to Lee who calmly finished past the helpless Tomasz Kuszczak in the Blues goal.
Forestieri (49) netted Wednesday's third after carrying the ball half the length of the field before cutting inside onto his right foot and curling a shot beyond Kuszczak and into the top corner.
The away side were also denied a goal by an offside flag. Jacques Maghoma's deflected shot fell to Jon Toral who put the ball away, but he was ruled to be offside.
Jonathan Grounds and substitute Andrew Shinnie were both denied consolation goals by Joe Wildsmith, who was playing in place of the injured Keiren Westwood.
The Owls move three points clear of Birmingham and just behind Ipswich, who currently hold the last play-off spot.
Sheff Wed boss Carlos Carvalhal:
We waited for our moment to start opening spaces and when we did we scored one then a second.
"At half-time we corrected a few things and more importantly, I said that we need to show Birmingham that we want the third goal.
"Fernando got the third goal and after that everything was in our players' control."
Birmingham boss Gary Rowett:
"They've got some really good individual players who can hurt you on any given day, but until the first goal I thought there wasn't a great deal in the game.
"They got the opening goal and it was a very poor goal from our point of view. But I've seen the replay and you can quite clearly see there's a foul from [Atdhe] Nuhiu and then the ball comes of Forestieri's hand."