Sunderland vs Sheffield Wednesday: Demolition job - Owls embarrassed by Ross Stewart and Black Cats at Stadium of Light
Sheffield Wednesday’s 12-game unbeaten run came to an abrupt end at the Stadium of Light as they were embarrassed by table-topping Sunderland.
Darren Moore’s side weren’t at the races as a Ross Stewart hattrick put them to the sword in what was a terrible night for the Owls in the North East, with over 34,000 watching what turned out to be a demolition job.
The away end at the Stadium of Light was notably quieter than it should have been as the game kicked off, with trouble on the motorway leading to several Wednesdayites being delayed and others not making it at all as they were forced to turn around and go home.
So a lot of fans were still making their way in when the hosts opened the scoring… Ross Stewart looked offside as he snuck in behind Chey Dunkley to get onto the end of a slipped ball from Leon Dajaku, but the linesman waved play on and the experienced Black Cats striker slid past Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
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It didn’t get much better – with Chey Dunkley, in his first game back after injury, going off with a knock as Ciaran Brennan was thrown into the fray.
And Wednesday were the masters of their own downfall. Hunt’s pass was intercepted by Alex Pritchard midway into the Owls’ half, and he fed it through to Stewart who expertly fired it into BPF’s far post to double his and Sunderland’s lead.
Not long afterwards it was three. And a number of Wednesday fans will have been tempted to turn right back around as they made their way to their seats only to hear the sound of the hosts celebrating another goal.
A corner was driven into the box, eventually found its way onto Tom Flanagan’s head, with Callum Doyle getting the final touch as Peacock-Farrell was left to pick the ball out of the back of his net once more.
By the time the whistle went for the break, Wednesday were bloodied and bruised. Something had to change, and it felt like it was about damage limitation for Moore’s men.
Having already been forced into one change, the Owls boss left things as they were after the break, and Wednesday did look better for a period – though that could have been more about Sunderland taking their foot off the gas than anything else.
And when they did start to turn up through the gears again, they made it four.
Stewart wasn’t even challenged by a stationary defence, and he won’t score an easier header all season. It was schoolboy stuff from the Owls, and the scoreline didn’t flatter Lee Johnson’s outfit.
The non-existent defending continued further, with Benjamin Mbunga-Kimpioka making it five with 15 minutes to go after he was left with all the time in the world to slot past an increasingly infuriated Peacock-Farrell. Nobody even tried to close the Swede down.
And that was how it ended. Wednesday hadn’t played for three weeks, hadn’t trained properly for a lengthy period and had been hit hard by Covid-19. To be honest, you could tell. Back to the drawing board again, then.