Stoke City have reached the League Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1972 after beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium this evening.
The first chance fell the way of Stoke after 15 minutes as Jon Walters fired a fierce drive at Joe Wildsmith from a tight angle. Marko Arnautovic then sent a free kick over the bar before Wildsmith batted away Marco van Ginkel’s strike as the Owls failed to contain their Premier League opponents.
However, there was nothing the young goalkeeper could do to prevent Ibrahim Afellay from giving Stoke the lead after half an hour, as the winger rifled an unerring volley into the corner of the net to score his first goal for the club.
Walters threatened once more before the interval, as the forward came within inches of connecting with Erik Pieters’ teasing cross. Wildsmith twice kept out Joselu in the opening few minutes in the second half, but Sheffield Wednesday almost grabbed a goal back against the run of play when Daniel Pudil volleyed over the bar on the stretch.
However, Phil Bardsley extinguished Wednesday’s hopes with 15 minutes remaining as he thumped a long-range shot beyond Wildsmith via the inside of the post.