Match Report: Sheffield Wednesday 5 Norwich City 1
Rampant Sheffield Wednesday sent out a message to the rest of the play-off chasing pack with a simply brilliant 5-1 win over Norwich City at Hillsborough.
Ross Wallace set the Owls on their way with a superb opener before Jordan Rhodes made it 2-0.
Cameron Jerome pulled one back for the Canaries but their wings were clipped again by Morgan Fox who headed in his first for Wednesday.
Rhodes scored his second of the day shortly after the break and Fernando Forestieri made it 5-1 with a free-kick of sheer class.
Carlos Carvalhal made two changes to the team that lost to Leeds last week with Adam Reach and Almen Abdi dropping out in favour of Barry Bannan and Sam Winnall.
It was a high-pressure start from the Owls who were clearly fired-up after coming off two defeats on the spin to Brentford and Leeds.
Critics this season have pointed to slow starts hampering Wednesday but there was no sign of that today and the high-tempo shown from kick off was rewarded on 15 minutes when they took the lead in spectacular fashion.
Sam Hutchinson charged the ball down in the middle of the park then set off on a terrific sprint into the corner, pressuring the onrushing John Ruddy.
The Norwich keeper cleared but only to Wallace, who took a touch inside and blasted into the empty net superbly from around 40 yards.
This was Wednesday at their best and the lead was doubled on 22 minutes when Rhodes got on the end of a cross from the left, peeled off his marker and headedin, in typical predatory fashion from a 10 yards out.
The mood dimmed slightly on 33 minutes when Hutchinson was forced to come off with what looked like a knee injury and he was replaced by David Jones.
Three minutes later Norwich looked to have found an unlikely way back into the game when Steven Naismith's shot cannoned off Keiren Westwood who had come out to narrow the angle and Jerome headed in from about a yard out.
There was a fear that Wednesday would attempt to see the half out and hold on with Norwich now putting on a bit of pressure but to their credit, the home side kept going and restored the two-goal advantage when Fox lost his marker from a Fernando Forestieri corner and stooped low to head in.
After the break, the question would Wednesday take what they had or push on for more.
It was the latter.
Rhodes headed in number four, connecting with a delightful Barry Bannan cross on 54 minutes and by now Hillsborough was absolutely rocking.
Then, the icing on the cake on 66 minutes.
Forestieri lined up a free kick, around 22 yards from goal and curled it beautifully into the top corner.
Wednesday strolled through the remainder of the game and the final whistle was greeted by a huge roar of appreciation for this, the Owls' best performance of the season, by a stretch.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Sasso, Loovens, Fox, Wallace, Bannan, Hutchinson, Forestieri, Winnall, Rhodes. Subs: Wildsmith, Jones, Fletcher, Reach, McManaman, Palmer, Semedo.
Norwich: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin (c), Klose, Dijks; Tettey, Howson; Jacob. Murphy, Hoolahan, Naismith; Jerome. Subs: McGovern, Whittaker, Wildschut, Lafferty, Pritchard, Bennett, Joe Murphy.