Sheffield Wednesday claimed a seventh straight Championship victory over Nottingham Forest as they responded to the departure of Carlos Carvalhal with a 3-0 success at the City Ground.
Mark Warburton’s side had been in good form at home – winning five of their previous six games here – but their awful run against the Owls was maintained as they failed to find their killer touch, and Wednesday ruthlessly found their own.
Adam Reach gave the visitors the lead with a long-range screamer early on, before a Jordan Rhodes penalty in first-half stoppage time doubled their lead. Lucas Joao made certain of the win in the 65th minute with a well-taken solo strike, as caretaker boss Lee Bullen made a winning start.
The first half was a tale of missed chances for Forest – and some deadly finishing from the Owls.
The visitors took the lead after only five minutes, thanks to an outstanding strike from Reach following Joe Worrall’s powerful clearing header from a Wednesday corner.
Andreas Bouchalakis sent a long-range effort of his own bending just wide of the post for Forest, while a cross-shot from Ben Brereton flashed wide after narrowly eluding Tyler Walker in the centre.
Liam Bridcutt then sent Barrie McKay racing clear with a clever pass, only for Owls goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith to make the first of three big saves.
His next came after McKay had turned creator to send Ben Osborn clean through on goal, with Wildsmith racing off his line smartly to block again. Kieran Dowell then saw a fierce drive palmed around the foot of the post.
Wednesday went close again through a deflected shot from Reach and a clever free-kick from Rhodes, but it was largely Forest who were creating the chances.
The visitors made them pay the price for their lack of finishing power, however, when referee Andy Madley pointed to the spot in the first minute of first-half stoppage time, after Walker was adjudged to have pulled down Morgan Fox.
Rhodes was in no mood for mercy, showing Forest how it was done by sending Jordan Smith the wrong way from the spot with a calm finish low to the home keeper’s left.
Wildsmith had to dive low to his left to deny the hosts a lifeline in the second half when a Fox almost diverted a McKay cross into his own net.
And it proved to be another key stop, as Wednesday killed the game off in the 65th minute. Reach fed Joao on the edge of the box, and the big forward surged towards goal before beating Smith with an emphatic finish.
Substitute Jamie Ward forced another smart save from Wildsmith, but there was to be no consolation for Forest.