Blackburn Rovers 3 Sheffield Wednesday 1 - MATCH REPORT AND SLIDESHOW

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PREMIER League class and soft defending combined to send Wednesday sliding abruptly out of the Carling Cup at Ewood Park last night.

It was virtually all over inside the first seven minutes as Blackburn romped to a 3-0 lead.

Dejected: Gary Megson

Dejected: Gary Megson

Spanish forward Ruben Rochina hit two in a spell of less than 60 seconds, spanning the third and fourth minutes, and £2m-plus summer signing David Goodwillie made it three with his first goal for Rovers.

Owls half-time sub Clinton Morrison hit his first goal of the season with a fine strike in the 50th minute and Wednesday improved in the second half.

But Blackburn’s place in the third-round draw on Saturday was never really in doubt after that devastating opening burst.

Gary Megson made eight changes and reverted broadly to the side that played in the previous round against Blackpool.

Danny Batth, Gary Madine and Reda Johnson were the only survivors from last Saturday’s starting line-up against Notts County.

But the Owls manager sprang a tactical surprise, with a five-man back line: Chris Sedgwick at right back, Jon Otsemobor at centre half in between Johnson and Batth, and Mark Reynolds as expected at right back.

Liam Palmer, James O’Connor and Liam Palmer made up a midfield three, and Danny Uchechi was up front with Madine.

Blackburn made six alterations to the team that began their 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa.

But the Premier League outfit established their superiority from the off.

Left-side forward Rochina got in front of edgwick to volley home a right-wing cross by right back Brett Emerton in the third minute.

Rochina made it 2-0 a minute later, bustling past Batth on the left side of the box, with the centre half losing his footing, before lashing a shot into the far bottom corner.

Megson immediately changed to four at the back, switching Otsemobor to right back and Sedgwick to right-side midfield, while Uchechi was pushed out to the left flank. But Blackburn seemed to be scoring at will and made it 3-0 in the seventh minute with another effort rifled into the bottom corner after the ex-Dundee United striker evaded Batth on the right side of the box.

Wednesday fans saw nothing for it but to get behind their team, which they did impressively, outsinging the home fans.

An offside flag prevented a 4-0 scoreline after a brilliant turn and shot by Goodwillie.

There was another blow for Wednesday, however, when Otsemobor hurt himself in delivering a cross and signalled to the bench before limping off.

Palmer went to right back and Chris Lines came on in the 26th minute in central midfield, but always looked to get forward to support Madine..

Blackburn stayed comfortably in control and there was not a sniff of a threat on Mark Bunn’s goal until just before half time when Sedgwick played a forward pass to Uchechi, who crossed to the far post for Reynolds to head back across goal. But the ball was cleared.

In the second minute of first-half stoppage time Wednesday did create a chance: Uchechi was well placed to meet O’Connor’s right-side cross but headed wide.

As in the Blackpool tie, Megson gave each of his strikers a 45-minute outing and replaced Madine with Clinton Morrison at half time.

It took the sub less than five minutes to make his mark.

Lines slide a free kick up to him and he spun expertly to fire a left-foot shot beyond the diving Bunn’s left hand.

That gave the away fans even more cause to roar their team on.

Whether it was because of the goal or half-time words from Megson, the Owls showed fresh drive and a detmination to get forward.

But they had a 65th minute let-off after centre half Gael Givet went forward for a free kick. His header was well saved by O’Donnell, and when the ball bounced out to midfielder Radosav Petrovic, he slammed it over the bar.

Soon after that an even better stop by O’Donnell kept the home team at bay. Goodwillie cleverly beat Batth and looked sure to score but saw his close range shot beaten away by the keeper.

Givet again was allowed a header from a set piece, this time a corner, and dived low to knock it wide - another opportunity.

Blackburn were not in the mood to allow Wednesday any more chances.

ROVERS: Bunn 7, Emerton 7, Givet 7, Hanley 6 (Lowe 6 ht), Olsson 7, Nzonzi 7 (Dunn 71), Rochina 8 (Hoilett 81), Petrovic 6, Pedersen 6, Goodwillie 7, Formica 7. Unused subs: Robinson, Salgado, Roberts, Bruno.

OWLS: O’Donnell 8, Otsemobor 6 (Lines 26, 7), Batth 6, R Johnson 6, Reynolds 6, Sedgwick 6, Coke 6, O’Connor 7, Palmer 7, Uchechi 6, Madine 7 (Morrison ht, 7). Unused subs: Weaver, Bennett, Semedo, Prutton, Beevers.

Referee: David Webb (Co Durham).

Goals: Rochina (3,4), Goodwillie (7), Morrison (50).

Attendance: 8,607.

Bookings: Madine (45) foul, Johnson (57) foul, Lines (78) foul.