Barry Bannan helped keep Sheffield Wednesday’s faint play-off hopes alive with a stunning strike against promotion hopefuls Bristol City.
The Scottish midfielder smashed home a 30-yarder before setting Lucas Joao free with the perfect pass, and the striker chipped goalkeeper Max O’Leary as the Owls wrapped up a comfortable win.
Victory leaves Wednesday four points off the top six with two games remaining.
Owls manager Steve Bruce said: “Barry is a very good footballer and, going forward, you always want your good players.
“He’s been here a few years and made himself a crowd favourite and to be a favourite at a big club like this you must have ability, and he’s got it in abundance.
“I don’t think you’re going to get a couple of goals as good as that in any league so I’m obviously very pleased.”
Wednesday started well with Gary Hooper heading over from six yards out before Joao forced O’Leary into a decent save.
After half-time the Owls took the sting out of the game, but Cameron Dawson – one of six changes Bruce made after Friday’s 2-2 draw at Norwich City – was called into action to deny Famara Diedhiou and Josh Brownhill at close range.
“I couldn’t wish for anything more from them,” said Bruce. “There were a lot of tired bodies. We had a few mistakes towards the end, but overall I was able to make the changes and freshen the side up and it paid off.
“In the first half we looked a very decent team. The second half became a bit pedestrian and Bristol were throwing themselves at us.”
Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson praised his players’ efforts, but was disappointed his team could not capitalise on their opportunities.
Johnson said: “We weren’t bright enough, we weren’t sharp enough and we couldn’t stop Bannan dictating things.”
Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Iorfa, Lees, Hector, Lazaar, Reach, Pelupessy, Bannan, Boyd (Forestieri 74), Hooper (Onomah 59), Joao (Matias 88). Unused substitutes: Fox, Winnall, Nuhiu, Wildsmith.
Bristol City: O’Leary, Kalas, Wright (Palmer 55), Webster, Hunt, Brownhill, Pack (Walsh 83), Dasilva, Weimann, Eliasson (Semenyo 65), Diedhiou. Unused substitutes: Baker, Taylor, Kelly, Marinovic.
Referee: R Jones (Merseyside).