The Portuguese Carvalhal, who left Wednesday just before Christmas and has led a revitalised Swansea City since replacing Paul Clement, had hoped for a happy return to South Yorkshire but saw his side frustrated by a resilient home side who did enough to hold on for a 0-0 draw at Hillsborough, thus forcing a FA Cup replay.
Since being appointed Owls boss, Jos Luhukay has made Wednesday a tough team to break down, despite being forced to use a threadbare squad with several first choice players unavailable through injury.
Wednesday, however, began brightly with a passing move that switched several times across the pitch eventually sending captain Adam Reach through. On his weaker right foot, though, Reach’s effort was well saved by Swansea goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
The visitors were content to allow Wednesday the majority of the possession and a second chance was carved out in the opening six minutes with Jacob Butterfield glancing a header well wide from a left wing cross.
Reach, impressive throughout, was finding ways to run in behind the Swansea defence with Butterfield, Ross Wallace and David Jones breaking up play in midfield and feeding wide men George Boyd and Jack Hunt.
The Swans offered little during the opening stages with the loss of defender Alfie Mawson from the line-up due to an injury in the warm-up maybe affecting their rhythm.
It took until midway through the first half for Swansea to have any control on the game. Tammy Abraham, who was tightly marked by Daniel Pudil and fellow centre halves Morgan Fox and Frederico Venancio, showed good movement but wasn’t allowed to break clear.
With Carvalhal urging his team to pressure Wednesday the Swans worked the ball to Wayne Routledge whose excellent right wing cross needed an equally good clearance by Hunt to prevent Luciano Narsingh tapping home at the far post.
And it took until just before the half hour for Swansea to have an attempt at goal with Kyle Naughton – who had replaced Mawson – seeing his shot deflected wide.
The visitors also had claims for a penalty as Pudil seemed to push Abraham in the back as Dawson punched clear from a corner.
Ten minutes before half time Swansea thought they had taken the lead but Owls goalkeeper Cameron Dawson somehow pushed Mike van der Hoorn’s header over the crossbar despite the ball appearing to have gone past him.
Wednesday finished the half as they started with a half chance for Reach which he glanced over the crossbar from Wallace’s right wing corner.
Reach and Boyd were usually at the heart of Wednesday’s best attacking work with the pair combining to send Boyd away down the left. The former Burnley man’s cross was cleared easily before Reach headed over from Boyd’s second attempt.
Swansea were increasingly comfortable in possession but the chances kept falling for Wednesday. Boyd and Atdhe Nuhiu both saw efforts saved by Nordfeldt.
The introduction of Nathan Dyer and Jordan Ayew for Narsingh and Abraham gave Swansea fresh impetus with the pair combining to send Dawson scrambling to his left to save Ayew’s low effort 18 minutes from time.
Owls substitute Joey Pelupessy also almost made an immediate impact with his neat pass to Nuhiu, allowing the Kosovo forward to force Nordfeldt into a save at his near post.
Sam Clucas was brought on with 11 minutes to play for Swansea and Lucas Joao, who scored both goals in Wednesday’s midweek win over Derby, also made an appearance as both managers looked to settle the tie at the first attempt.
Neither team could create a chance to progress to the last eight with the replay taking place at the Liberty Stadium on either the 27th or 28th of February.
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