Wednesday’s hopes of pulling a Capital One Cup upset against holders Manchester City catastophically collapsed over the first 15 minutes of the second half before they slumped to a seven-goal defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
After an impressive first half show, the Owls were blitzed out of sight with goals from Frank Lampard, Edin Dzeko and Jesus Navas before Kamil Zayatte was sent off after conceding a penalty which Yaya Toure smashed home.
And Dzeko made it five for City on 77 minutes to ensure any last remnants of the Owls’ challenge were swept out of sight. Young forward Jose Pozo tapped into an empty net two minutes from time before Lampard grabbed his second in injury time.
After more than holding their own during the first half, the Owls will have been left bitterly disappointed by the manner in which they crumbled against the might of the Premier League champions.
It took just two minutes of the second half for City to take the lead.
On loan Lampard arrived at the near post to turn home James Milner’s low centre in a soft goal for the Owls to concede.
Six minutes later the lead was doubled. Milner again turned provider, picking out Edin Dzeko ten yards out with the striker side-footing past Chris Kirkland.
City’s third - less than a minute later - was the pick of the bunch, Jesus Navas turning Joe Mattock before smashing a shot in off the underside of the bar from the corner of the box.
And just when it seemed as though it could not get any worse for the Owls, they found themselves down to ten men.
Zayatte upended Lampard as he darted into the box and referee Paul Tierney immediately pointed to the spot and flashed the red card to the Guinea international.
Toure stepped up and confidently drove his spot kick into the bottom left, sending Kirkland the wrong way.
It was a far cry from the first half where Wednesday looked strong and impressive, more than holding their own against the might of Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Chances were scarce for Stuart Gray’s men but they produced some excellent build-up play against an imposing City midfield containing plenty of star names.
Composure both on the ball and without was excellent with no signs of intimidation from Wednesday, backed throughout with great noise from their sell out away following.
They could even have taken the lead early in the first half had Gary Madine not fluffed his lines.
Madine mistimed his jump to meet a high cross from Jacques Maghoma when placed in space at the back post and the ball drifted harmlessly out of play.
The first real shot on goal came from the hosts after 16 minutes. Bacary Sagna’s low cross found Milner 12 yards out and the England regular’s shot was saved well down low by Kirkland.
And there was a real let-off for the Owls on 18 minutes. Eliaquim Mangala met a corner from the left with a volley that smashed back off the post.
The hosts began to control possession after the midpoint of the opening half.
Sagna found Dzeko’s head with a cross on 26 minutes but the Bosnian international could not get enough power on his effort to trouble Kirkland.
Mattock cleared a dangerous cross from Lampard with Navas poised to strike at the back post.
Stevie May somewhat rushed a shot after galloping into play 20 yards out and pulled his strike wide of goal.
And in the last act of the half, Toure sent a free kick from 35 yards narrowly wide.
After the blitz of the first 15 minutes of the second half, play settled down somewhat.
May drew a fine save from Caballero with a drive from distance while substitute Adthe Nuhiu scuffed his attempt at making the rebound.
Dzeko then powered home a header from ten yards with 13 minutes to go as the hosts put the icing on the swiftly-made cake.
Pozo clipped the ball into an empty net on 88 minutes after meeting Navas’ squared ball.
And as the game moved into injury time, Lampard slid in to get on the end of Aleksander Kolarov’s low cross and turn it past Kirkland.
Manchester City: Caballero, Demichelis, Sagna, Mangala, Kolorov, Lampard, Milner (Sinclair 73), Fernandinho (Boyata 70), Navas, Toure (Pozo 64), Dzeko. Not used: Hart, Kompany, Bytyqi, Clichy.
Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, Lees, Zayatte, Mattock, Maguire, Palmer (Helan 70), Coke (Dielna 61), Maghoma, Madine (Nuhiu 61), May. Not used: Westwood, Semedo, Drenthe, Hope.
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)