Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 Birmingham: Resurgent Blues win again
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 03/02/18 7:27pm
Jota scored twice as Birmingham comfortably saw off nine-man Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 at Hillsborough in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Blues all but secured the three points by half-time after capitalising on a number on Wednesday mistakes. David Davis was the first beneficiary, scoring from close range after a defensive mix-up.
Jota then got lucky as his shot went straight through goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith, before the same player finished the half by scoring from the rebound following Davis' shot.
In between Jota's goals, Marco Matias saw red for an off-the-ball incident seven minutes before the break. If Wednesday were looking for positives, they could take one from Lucas Joao's 54th minute strike, which ended a 529 minute goal-less run. The Owls' woeful afternoon continued when Daniel Pudil picked up a second yellow card in the 68th minute
Steve Cotterill's side march on with their impressive run, securing their fourth win from six to lift them out of the relegation zone, whilst Wednesday remain without a league victory in 2018.
Birmingham took the lead out of nothing when there was miscommunication between Wildsmith and Frederico Venancio. As Wildsmith rushed out to gather the ball, Venancio chested it past him and Davis nipped in to finish after just eight minutes.
Wildsmith was at fault again as he gifted the visitors a second. Jota's shot from distance looked as though it would be comfortable for the goalkeeper but he let it slip through his fingers to give Jota his first league goal for Blues.
A calamitous half then got worse for the home team when Matias clashed with Cohen Bramall off the ball and, after consulting with his assistant, referee Scott Duncan showed Matias a straight red card.
A fantastic start for the visiting side got even better in added time of the first half, when Davis had space on the left and fizzed a low shot across goal. Wildsmith could only push the ball into Jota's path for an easy finish.
Wednesday came out in the second half fighting though, and Joao smashed the ball past David Stockdale, who could not get enough on the ball to keep it out.
But any slim hopes of a comeback were dashed in the 68th minute, when Pudil received a second yellow card for bringing down Maxime Colin on the edge of the area, reducing Wednesday to nine men.
Jos Luhukay: "It was a disappointing day for us. It goes wrong, whatever can go wrong today in the first half. We went two goals behind where we made very big mistakes for the first and second goal.
"After that we also had the red card. I don't know what the referee has seen from that situation. From my position it was just a hot moment between two players but the referee decided for the red card so for us, it was very hard. Then, before half-time, they get the third goal."
Steve Cotterill: "Our first-half performance we were really pleased with. Second half, probably just that little 15 minutes that we were a little bit disappointed with. When they came out, they had nothing to lose then, so we don't need to bet the ranch and go on and get a load of goals.
"To be fair, you don't need to go on and do any more from that point. We've got a big week ahead of us, another game on Tuesday where other teams are going to have a break so we didn't need to break our necks. All in all, we've had some things go against us this season. Maybe in the second half of the season those things are going to come back and be on our side."