Professional Stoke ease past Sheff Wed into League Cup Semi
1st December 2015 7.45pm
Stoke eased into the Capital One Cup Semi-Final`s for the first time since they won the competition in 1972.
The Potters confidently and professionally disposed of Championship side Sheffield Wednesday at the Britannia Stadium.
First club goals for Ibrahim Afellay and Phil Bardsley ensured that Stoke did not become Wednesday`s third Premier League scalp of this year`s League Cup campaign after previously knocking out Newcastle United and Arsenal.
Mark Hughes men dominated throughout the game as they enjoyed 66% of possession during the game and endured few scares from their lower league opposition.
Stoke have somewhat of a reputation of making a meal of it against lower league opposition, struggling to dispose of the likes of Wrexham, Birmingham and Luton in the last few seasons, but tonight was different as Hughes made a handful of changes and the Potters were in command from the off.
Man-of-the-match Ibrahim Afellay got his first goal in a Stoke shirt when he expertly volleyed home from substitute Joselu`s cross.
Joselu had earlier made an introduction for the injured Peter Crouch.
The Spaniard nearly doubled Stoke`s lead on a number of occasions, but his free header found the keepers grateful arms, and his low shot after a superb run and even better pass from Geoff Cameron to find him was well saved by the leg of Wildsmith.
Sheffield Wednesday only had one real chance of note, when defender Pudil controlled brilliantly in the area and fired a volley across the face of Jack Butland`s goal that got the travelling 5,000 Owls fans get excited.
The travelling fans brief excitement was extinguished by Phil Bardsley well struck free kick from 25 yards which smashed in off the post.
Mark Hughes and his squad now must wait for tomorrow`s draw to see who they get in the two legged Semi Final, but they do have history on their side as they have a 100% Semi Final League Cup conversion rate.