Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Swansea: Adam Reach scores twice in Owls win
Adam Reach (two) and Steven Fletcher see Sheffield Wednesday cruise past Swansea
Last Updated: 23/02/19 6:36pm
Sheffield Wednesday beat Swansea 3-1 to give Steve Bruce his first home win since taking charge at Hillsborough.
All the Wednesday goals came in the first half with Adam Reach scoring twice and Steven Fletcher adding a third.
Wayne Routledge scored a consolation goal for the visitors midway through the second half.
It did not take long for Wednesday to voice their intentions. Sam Hutchinson got to a long ball and passed to Reach on the right. He sent a looping cross towards Fletcher, who won the header but could not make sufficient contact and it looped over the bar.
Hutchinson then found Reach on the right and he sent a cross in, which was headed away and the ball was put back into the box, Fletcher headed on towards Reach, but the ball was played behind for a corner.
In the 11th minute Wednesday took the lead when, after some good hold-up play from Lucas Joao, he played the ball off to Rolando Aarons and he set up Reach for the wide man to slot the ball home with a lovely first-time finish.
However, the hosts nearly threw their lead away within five minutes. The returning Tom Lees slipped as he looked to play out from the back and Bersant Celina pounced on the loose ball and laid off Oli McBurnie but Michael Hector recovered quickly to make a good block.
In the 26th minute, Keiren Westwood in the Wednesday goal was exposed when Celina laid the ball off to Daniel James. With a defender bearing down on him and the angle tight, he forced a good save from Westwood, who stayed on his feet to palm the ball away with a strong hand.
In the 32nd minute Wednesday doubled their advantage. Newcastle loanee Aarons sent a dangerous cross into the box, defender Connor Roberts failed to deal with it and Reach slotted the ball into the bottom corner beating Kristoffer Nordfeldt at his near post for his second of the day.
Three minutes before half time, the hosts made it three to put themselves firmly in the driving seat. Following a corner, Hector's header was cleared only as far as Lees who looped the ball back into the danger area and Fletcher, with a spectacular overhead kick, found the bottom corner.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Joao found Reach who sent a cross that was a bit too long for Fletcher but he managed to guide the ball back to Joao, who tried an overhead kick of his own. However, he could not make sufficient contact and the ball trickled wide.
Before the hour mark, Reach switched the play to Joao, who wriggled his way into the box and from a tight angle forced a good save from Nordfeldt at close range.
Swansea finally got their consolation in the 69th minute. The ball was pulled back from the right hand side to Routledge, who took the shot first time and it took a wicked deflection past Westwood, who was left stranded.
A mix-up almost let in Swansea for a second late on when James carried the ball forward and played it across goal but Lazaar was on hand to make an important clearance.
Steve Bruce: "We made hard work of the second half but considering two or three are sick and not great, two or three are carrying knocks, two in particular haven't played for months, I knew the second half was going to be a struggle for us. I didn't know it was going to be that big a struggle after the first half but I was delighted with the way we went about it in the first half.
"We were clinical, we went after them with a game plan and certainly worked against them to get after the ball. When you're getting after the ball and press high like we did, it takes some doing to sustain it. Second half left a little bit to be desired, but we were worthy, worthy winners."
Graham Potter: "From our perspective, we're disappointed with our first half, of course. We weren't at the level we need to be, for sure. Having said that, we had a few good chances, but we probably contributed to our own downfall and that's a learning point for us.
"We have to be better at that. Half time we were looking for a response, for something better and I think we had that."