Liam Hoden on Owls 3 Arsenal 0: A night that will live long in the memory

The teams shake hands before Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal
The teams shake hands before Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal
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It was always going to be a special night - but who ever expected it to be that special?

Hillsborough roared, Wednesday bounced and Arsenal slunk away with their tails between their legs.

Carlos Carvalhal masterminded a much deserved victory, sending Wednesday into the last eight of the Capital One Cup and stretching their unbeaten run to nine games.

The quality Wednesday showed was magnificent. For the first time in a very long time, there is a number of real footballers in the side.

But the most impressive aspect of the performance was the energy, commitment and composure. Arsenal were never given a minute to breathe and they just didn't cope.

I wrote on Tuesday about last night's game not being special due to the status of the opposition, instead being a window to the past.

As it turned out, that was more true than I could ever have imagined.

The dream of a Premier League return is intensifying with every passing week. After Tuesday night, those not dreaming even a little will be few and far between.

Twenty long years ago Wednesday were an equal of Arsenal. Last night they were more than a match once again.


Packed stands at Hillsborough, a quality Wednesday outfit competing against one of the best this country has to offer - the clocks were turned back. And it was one hell of a ride.

Though the national and world media will inevitably make Arsene Wenger and his side the starring players in the story, it was Wednesday who took centre stage for those 90 incredible minutes on Tuesday.

Much has been made of the number of youngsters in the Arsenal side but that has been dramatically overplayed. The back five and starting front two were certainly not inexperienced while Mathieu Flamini is not far off veteran status.

Putting it simply, the 14 players Arsenal used either did not turn up or completely wilted.

They had walked into the lion's den as soon as Hi Ho Sheffield Wednesday was boomed out with a ferocity not heard for some time.

And the wall of noise rarely stood as anything other than massive.

The atmosphere was incredible. The roar when the names of the scorers were announced after each of the three goals brought goosebumps.

It was a night that will live long in the memory - and how many of those have their been in the last 15 years?

The main issue in the aftermath is managing expectations, which now seem to be reaching heights not seen for the last two decades.

There is still plenty of work to be done to make the dream a reality.

But we wouldn't be getting carried away now, would we?