Stoke City 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday – Potters Progress

Stoke City reached their first League Cup semi-final since 1971-72 – the season they went on to win the trophy.

Mark Hughes made five changes from his side that lost at Sunderland on Saturday. Marc Wilson came in for a suspended Ryan Shawcross while Marco Van Ginkel, Ibrahim Afellay, Geoff Cameron and Peter Crouch all deputised.

The Potters were forced into an early change with Peter Crouch seemingly pull a hamstring when closing down. On came summer signing Joselu to stake a claim.

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Wednesday had the first opening but Gary Hooper misjudged the flight of the ball and squandered the opportunity.

It was Joselu’s hard work that forced an error, which Stoke duly punished. Afellay opened the scoring with a perfectly executed volley from a Joselu cross, which left Sheffield Wednesday chasing the game.

The Owls were buoyed on by their vocal 4,500 plus fans – yet their performance was tepid and lacking any sort of rhythm.

Glenn Johnson was replaced at half-time by Phil Bardsley, who was sent-off against Chelsea in the previous round.

The visitors had a speculative effort from Hooper, who hooked the ball over his shoulder and narrowly wide of Jack Butland’s goal.

Marko Arnautovic cut inside and was upended 25-yards from goal leaving Stoke in a promising position.

The ball was rolled to Bardsley, who thumped the ball off the inside of the post and into the back of Joe Wildsmith’s net.

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Wildsmith stopped further damage. Cameron’s defence splitting through ball was taken into Joselu’s stride but he was denied by the Owls keepers’ legs.

Carlos Carvalhal threw on Atdhe Nuhiu to chase the game but he had little impact and the Potters saw out the match in comfortable style.

After the game Mark Hughes spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live: “You have to give yourself an opportunity and that’s all we’ve done.”

“Over two legs I’d back us against anyone. It’s exciting times here. I’m really pleased with what we’ve achieved tonight.”

 

Teams

Stoke City: Butland, Johnson (Bardsley 45’), Wollscheid, Wilson, Pieters, Cameron, Van Ginkel, Arnautovic (Whelan 88’), Afellay, Walters, Crouch (Joselu 13’).

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Hunt (McGugan 45), Lees (Pudil 38’), Loovens (77’), Wiggins, Hutchinson, Lee, Joao, Hooper, Wallace, Sougou.

Referee: Jon Moss

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