Bluebirds fail to capitalise on early dominance
Cardiff City were denied the chance to move level on points with second-placed Derby County as they were held to a goalless draw at Sheffield Wednesday.
The Bluebirds edged a poor first half, yet the Owls should have led at half-time, but Jordan Rhodes headed over and Adam Reach sliced over an open goal.
Lucas Joao then missed further chances for the hosts in the second half.
The result left Cardiff with one win in six Championship games, while the Owls have won just once in 12 league games.
The draw was Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay’s second in two league games since his appointment on 5 January, keeping him unbeaten as the Owls manager.
But his side look increasingly unlikely to repeat the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons’ play-off bids as they are 14 points and 11 places below the top six with 18 matches remaining.
A point did keep the hosts seven points above the relegation places, while third-placed Cardiff’s subdued form continued, as they failed to score for the fourth time in all competitions since 23 December.
Neil Warnock gave debuts to on-loan duo Marko Grujic and Yanic Wildschut, with the latter impressing in a game that, overall, lacked the inspiration that had delivered 31 goals across the 10 Championship games that took place earlier on Saturday.
Both went close for City, Grujic saw his long range effort tipped around the post and Wildschut saw his effort swerve inches wide before he was withdrawn and replaced by Kadeem Harris returning from injury for his first appearance since pre-season.
Bamba experienced a difficult against Wednesday livewire Joao, and Manga was sloppy on occasions also. However, Etheridge ensured a clean sheet with a few sharp saves.
A draw was probably a fair result.
Mendez Laing 5 (for Wildschut 71 mins)
Paterson 6.5 (for Grujic 78 mins)
Harris 6 (for Hoilett 83 mins)