Sheffield Wednesday match report: Middlesbrough 3 Owls 0

Middlesbrough v Sheffield Wednesday
Middlesbrough v Sheffield Wednesday
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Sheffield Wednesday today bowed out of the FA Cup at the third round stage after a 3-0 defeat to 10-man Middlesbrough.

Second half strikes by Grant Leadbitter, Alvaro Negredo and Marten de Roon condemned the Owls to their first loss in six outings. Defender Daniel Ayala was controversially red carded after a clash with Fernando Forestieri.

Defeat means the Owls have failed to win any of their last 13 FA Cup ties against Premier League opposition since beating arch rivals Sheffield United in the semi-final of the tournament back in 1993.

Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal named a strong line-up for the trip to the Riverside Stadium. It was far from an under-strength side, with Liam Palmer, Glenn Loovens, Daniel Pudil, Ross Wallace and David Jones handed recalls.

With one eye on next Saturday's Yorkshire derby encounter with Championship promotion rivals Huddersfield Town, Carvalhal opted to rest Keiren Westwood and Sam Hutchinson. Academy graduate Joe Wildsmith was given the nod in between the sticks but winger Callum McManaman dropped to the bench.

There was a round of applause before kick-off for Adam Reach, who left Middlesbrough for Wednesday last August. It was Reach's first return to Teeside since his big-money move.

Boro, currently four points clear of the Premier League relegation zone, also started some of their big guns, including Adama Traoré and Negredo.

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There was little to report in the opening quarter of the contest, with both sides coughing up possession at regular intervals in the final third.

Spanish centre forward Negredo became the first player to be yellow carded following a late tackle on Tom Lees.

It was the hosts who created the first meaningful chance as Daniel Ayala, making his appearance since October 22, fired over the top after the Owls struggled to clear a free-kick.

Although Wednesday were solid and well-organised defensively, Carvalhal's men offered little as an attacking force.

Negredo fed Traore in the 34th minute and the speedy winger cut inside but was denied a sight at goal by Bannan.

Moments before the interval, Fernando Forestieri turned sharply in the area after Boro switched off from a Ross Wallace corner only to see his low drive superbly hacked away by Ayala.

It was hardly a shock that Carvalhal made a change at the interval. He threw on McManaman and the winger added an extra spark.

Boro continued to carry the greater attacking threat and Negredo should have squared to de Roon following a rapid counter attack but his pass was cut out by Joe Wildsmith.

Moments later, Wildsmith was powerless to prevent Leadbitter bending in a free-kick after a foul by Bannan on de Roon.

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The hosts then went down to 10 men after Ayala was penalised for bringing down Forestieri as he bore down on goal. The decision looked harsh and prompted Boro to make a double sub to rejig their side.

Steven Fletcher volleyed wide but Negredo doubled the hosts lead midway through the second half following a goalkeeping error by Wildsmith. The young shot-stopper's attempted clearance cannoned straight into Negredo and flew into the net.

In an end-to-end finish, Stuani turned in Negredo's second but was flagged for off-side before Reach scuffed off target when well-placed.

In open play, the Owls lacked creativity and imagination to trouble Boro. It took them until the 82nd minute to register a shot on target, with David Jones' header going straight at Brad Guzan following a teasing delivery by McManaman.

Wednesday kept pressing for a consolation and Bannan glided forward at pace only to see his cross turned shot go harmlessly wide.

It just wouldn't go in for Carvalhal's charges and Forestieri's right foot curler forced Guzon into action but his attempt lacked power and accuracy.

And de Roon componded the Owls' frustration in added on time, lashing an unstoppable effort home after Wildsmith spread himself well to foil Cristhian Stuani.

Middlesbrough: Guzan; Chambers, Espinosa, Ayala, Friend; Clayton (Downing 62), Leadbitter; de Roon, Traore (Fabio 62), Stuani; Negredo. Substitutes: Konstantopoulos, Gibson, Forshaw, Rhodes, Gestede.

Owls: Wildsmith; Palmer (Joao 71), Lees, Loovens, Pudil; Wallace (McManaman HT), Jones, Bannan, Reach; Forestieri, Fletcher (Nuhiu 71). Substitutes: Dawson, Semedo, Hunt, Sasso.

Attendance: 23,661 (3,283)

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

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