Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Sunderland AFC
Sunderland again suffered South Yorkshire defeat on Tuesday night, going down 3-0 to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Theo Corbeanu netted the opener for the Owls 11 minutes in, before setting up Florian Kamberi for number two before half-time.
Lee Gregory added a third in the second half, on a night where yet another sold-out away end was the stand-out from the Wearsiders.
Lee Johnson made three changes to his starting line-up for the contest in South Yorkshire – one enforced – as Aiden McGeady served his one-match suspension, with Elliot Embleton and Leon Dajaku also making way for Lynden Gooch, Aiden O’Brien and captain Corry Evans.
Nathan Broadhead was named on the bench as he returned from a hamstring injury, eventually coming on for the final nine minutes.
The first effort of the game arrived seven minutes in, when Gooch’s positive play allowed him to pick out Luke O’Nien, who fired a side-footed shot just over from the edge of the area.
But Wednesday responded with a real impact as they opened the scoring, Corbeanu receiving Gregory’s pass and curling a low first-time hit into the far bottom corner from the left-hand side of Thorben Hoffmann’s box.
The Lads then looked to respond and had the ball in the net just after the half-hour mark, Dan Neil smashing it in from close range, but Ross Stewart was deemed by the assistant referee to have strayed offside in the build-up as his shot deflected back to the young midfielder.
And Wednesday punished it twofold – Corbeanu turning provider this time, crossing from the left to find Kamberi, who finished from a yard out despite the attempted intervention of the Sunderland defence on the line.
The best chances of the first half for the Lads came at two down, Neil striking at Bailey Peacock-Farrell from 25 yards, before Flanagan’s volley was blocked in stoppage time and Stewart was unable to convert the rebound from an acute angle.
The second half began tenaciously as the Lads sought a route back into the game, O’Nien seeing an effort off-balance blocked from Stewart’s knockdown.
But the home side capitalised at the other end soon after, Gregory finishing Paterson’s cross-shot for three.
Home captain Barry Bannan then came off injured as Johnson made changes himself, with Elliot Embleton and Alex Pritchard entering the fray – Broadhead then making his welcome return late on.
Hoffmann was forced into a smart stop at his near post from Kamberi as he looked for a fourth, before a goalmouth scramble somehow saw the Lads denied once more – O’Brien and Dennis Cirkin both denied in a crowded six-yard box.
It remained at 3-0 on a night to forget at Hillsborough – attention now turns to the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, back at the Stadium of Light against Mansfield Town.
SUNDERLAND AFC: Hoffmann; Winchester, Flanagan, Doyle, Cirkin; Evans ©, Neil (Pritchard 64’), O’Nien; Gooch (Embleton 72’), O’Brien (Broadhead 81’), Stewart.
Subs not used: Burge, Alves, Dajaku, Wright.
Sheffield Wednesday: Peacock-Farrell, Palmer, Adeniran, Gregory (Berahino 85’), Bannan © (Dele-Bashiru 67’), Paterson, Johnson, Kamberi, Dunkley, Corbeanu (Brown 82’), Wing.
Subs not used: Wildsmith, Shodipo, Hunt, Sow.