Sheffield Wednesday's Gary Hooper was unplayable in Cardiff win

Sheffield Wednesday defeated Cardiff City 3-0 at Hillsborough.

Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Hooper had one of his best games for the club as his side sealed a playoff spot with a resounding 3-0 win over fellow top six rivals Cardiff City at Hillsborough.

The Owls headed into the match in sixth place and four points ahead of Cardiff in seventh, knowing that a draw with the Bluebirds would be enough to seal their place in the playoffs.

Carlos Carvalhal’s men have rarely set up to draw games at Hillsborough this season, and their intentions were clear from the first whistle as they looked to dominate possession and control proceedings.

Wednesday were superb throughout, and they thoroughly deserved to beat Russell Slade’s men.

Picking a standout player when so many were at the top of their game is tough, yet two-goal hero Gary Hooper deserves plenty of recognition following his struggle for form of late.

  GoalsShotsKey PassesTouchesAccurate PassesBall RecoveriesMins Played
Gary Hooper 2 3 4 56 38 5 90

As shown by the table provided by Opta, the former Celtic man was at the very top of his game and Cardiff simply did not know how to handle him as he terrorised the visitors’ defence.

Aside from his two well-taken goals, Hooper posted three shots, four chances created via key passes, five ball recoveries, 56 touches and 38 accurate passes over the course of the 90 minutes.

Fernando Forestieri has often been Wednesday’s go-to man this season with his form more than justifying the cost of his arrival from Watford, yet Hooper was the main man against Cardiff.

The talented striker has plenty of ability and when on this kind of form, there are few Championship defenders that can live with him. The Owls will certainly hope he brings his A-game to the playoffs.

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