Sheffield Wednesday hold out for a replay against Swansea
In Carlos Carvahal’s return to Hillsborough, chances were few and far between
Sheffield Wednesday’s Atdhe Nuhiu in action with Swansea City’s Samuel Clucas during their FA Cup clash. Photo: Peter Powell/Reuters
Sheffield Wednesday 0 Swansea City 0
Carlos Carvalhal’s return to Hillsborough ended in stalemate as Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea played out a goalless draw in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
It was a game of few clear-cut chances and the teams will have to try again at the Liberty Stadium in a week and a half.
Carvalhal’s two-and-a-half-year stint as Wednesday manager, which saw them reach the Championship play-offs in successive seasons, ended by mutual consent on Christmas Eve.
He said ahead of his swift return that he would be “an Owl forever” and he emerged from the tunnel ahead of his players and sat in the dugout alone, seemingly soaking up the occasion.
Carvalhal’s start to life at Swansea could scarcely have gone better, with 14 points from a possible 21 lifting the Welsh side off the bottom of the Premier League table and out of the relegation zone.
Both Carvalhal and his Wednesday replacement Jos Luhukay made six changes to their starting line-ups, while there was a major blow for the visitors ahead of the game as influential defender Alfie Mawson picked up an injury during the warm-up and had to be replaced by Kyle Naughton.
There were plenty of empty seats at Hillsborough but the home fans who had turned up were in good voice and they almost had a goal to cheer inside three minutes as captain Adam Reach broke through on the right and his shot across goal was pushed behind by Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
Wednesday, who remain where Carvalhal left them in 15th in the Championship, won nearly all of the early battles but Swansea gradually managed to get a foothold in the game and stifled the home enthusiasm.
Seven minutes later they produced their first effort on goal, and Mike van der Hoorn surely expected the net to bulge when he got his head to Naughton’s cross six yards out but Wednesday keeper Cameron Dawson flung out his left hand to brilliantly push the ball over the top.
The game finally began to open up with 20 minutes left, and it was Swansea looking the more threatening. First Wayne Routledge’s shot was blocked behind before substitute Jordan Ayew fired straight at Dawson.
Neither manager seemed to fancy a replay and Atdhe Nuhiu pushed Wednesday’s cause with a turn and shot that was held comfortably enough by Nordfeldt.
Both teams pushed for a final chance and it came for Wednesday but neither Nuhiu nor Lucas Joao could turn in Reach’s cross with the goal seemingly at their mercy.