Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 Norwich: Jordan Rhodes scores twice as hosts romp to win
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 04/03/17 6:30pm
Jordan Rhodes scored twice as Sheffield Wednesday bounced back from back-to-back defeats with a thumping 5-1 Sky Bet Championship triumph over Norwich.
Ross Wallace, Morgan Fox and Fernando Forestieri also scored for the Owls, with Cameron Jerome on target to briefly give the visitors hope at 2-1. The result kept Wednesday two points behind fifth-placed Reading, and meant the Canaries have not won in four games.
Wednesday's Jack Hunt tried to pick out Rhodes with a cross from the right in the first noteworthy attack of the game, and, although the ball was headed away from the striker, the hosts did not have to wait long for the opener.
Carlos Carvalhal's men enjoyed plenty of possession early on and made the breakthrough in the 15th minute, aided by an error of judgement from Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy.
Ruddy raced out of his area as Sam Hutchinson threatened, but, instead of clearing the ball out of play for a throw-in, he played it straight to Wallace, who found the unguarded net from around 35 yards out.
Rhodes increased Wednesday's lead on 22 minutes by meeting Forestieri's left-wing cross with a well-placed header.
Carvalhal was forced to make a change just after the hour mark when Hutchinson was helped off the pitch, replaced by David Jones.
Norwich reduced the arrears in the 38th minute when, after Steven Naismith's shot was blocked by goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, the ball looped up and was headed home by Jerome at the far post.
The home team restored their two-goal lead just a few minutes later, however, when Forestieri's corner was met by a stooping far-post header from Fox four minutes before the interval.
Wednesday's Sam Winnall sent a shot from inside the area narrowly wide as Wednesday looked to pull further clear soon after the restart.
Norwich's Wes Hoolahan then had a shot charged down before the Owls moved further ahead. Barry Bannan swung the ball over from the left and Rhodes headed home his second goal of the afternoon on 54 minutes.
Jerome had a chance for Norwich when he found himself free inside the area, but his weak shot was straight at Westwood.
Forestieri made it 5-1 midway through the second half with a superb 25-yard free-kick into the top-left corner of Ruddy's net.
Jerome went close with a header which hit the side-netting, but the visitors never looked likely to mount a comeback as Wednesday cruised through the final few minutes of the game.
Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal:
"When we are like this, playing good football, we can achieve more goals and a better performance. I had a very good expectation about the game. We had one week to prepare the team and they were more fresh.
"We played some very good football and put our opponents under pressure for long periods during the game. It was a very positive environment and the fans were amazing today - probably the best they have been all season."
Norwich boss Alex Neil:
"I'm obviously disappointed and frustrated. I think we understood the gravity of the game but ultimately we didn't handle it. We gifted two goals to Sheffield Wednesday and then started to play a little bit. If you're going to gift two goals to a team like Sheffield Wednesday, you're going to struggle.
"We could and should have done a lot more. There was not the intensity that we should have had. The first one was a mistake and for the second we lost the ball on the wide right position and then didn't defend our box.
"We didn't handle the magnitude of the game and a few honest words were spoken after the game. The lads were disappointed with their performance and they know they should have done better. They know it was unacceptable."