Hwang Hee-chan continued his upward trajectory with his second assist of the season, but his club Wolverhampton hung their heads. Wolverhampton Wanderers will be disappointed with an unexpected defeat at promoted Sheffield United.
Wolverhampton fell 1-2 to Sheffield United in the 11th round of the 2023/24 Premier League at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England, on Friday.
Hwang Hee-chan, who started the match on the road, recorded his second assist of the season, but it was not enough to prevent the Blues from falling to defeat, and they will now look to win their next game.
The loss leaves Wolverhampton with three wins, three draws, and five defeats (12 points), moving them up from 13th place in the league standings. Sheffield Wednesday (P4), meanwhile, picked up their first win since being promoted to the Premier League this season to move to 1-1-1 and 9 points (P4). Fellow promoted side Burnley (P4) were unable to move off the bottom of the table on goal difference.
Wolverhampton opted to play a 3-4-3 on the day. Yohan Gueye got the goalkeeping gloves, while Totti Gomes, Craig Dawson, and Maximilian Kilman formed the back three. Layan Aitnouri and Nelson Semedou were the left and right wing-backs, with Tommy Doyle and Mario Lemina in the middle. Hwang Hee-chan, Sasha Kalajic, and Mateusz Cunha completed the front three.
Wolverhampton took to the field without the services of Pedro Neto, who had been in top form on the day, assisting on three of Hwang’s six Premier League goals, due to a hamstring injury. Wolverhampton opted to play 2-meter striker Kalajic up front in place of the injured Neto, asking him to work alongside Hwang and Cunha.
The home side Sheffield countered with a 3-5-2. Wes Fordringham is in goal, while Jack Robinson, Auston Trusty, and George Baldock make up the back three. Luke Thomas and Jaden Vogl are the wing-backs, while Gustavo Hamer, Oliver Norwood, and Vinicius de Souza Costa make up the midfield. Up front, Cameron Archer and Rhian Brewster started.
Early in the first half, Wolverhampton went on the attack. Hwang Hee-Chan filled Neto’s shoes by starting on the right wing in this match, as opposed to the left winger he was used to when Neto was on the bench. In the center, Kalajic and Cunha tried to shake up the defense with switching plays. Hwang Hee-chan led the attack on the right side, taking advantage of Semedo’s overlapping runs.
Hwang Hee-chan attacked the opposition from the start with her breakaway and good movement. In the 11th minute, during a 2-on-1 with Semedo, Hwang delivered a pass that created space for Semedo to shoot, but Semedo’s shot flew into the crowd instead of the goal. In the 16th minute, Hwang made a daring move to steal the ball from the opposing defense inside the penalty box and sent a cross that was blocked by the defense.
Hwang Hee-chan’s breakthrough was followed up by a great finish from the offense. In the 25th minute, Hwang played a 2-on-1 pass with Kalajic on the right side of the field to break the pressure, then moved to the front of the penalty box arc and laid the ball off to Cunha, who was breaking in from the right. Cunha immediately took a shot, but unfortunately it sailed over the bar.
Hwang Hee-chan’s defense also led to an attack. In the 38th minute, Hwang Hee-chan stole the ball from a defensive situation and Semedou drove forward to the right side of the penalty box and found Aitnouri near the penalty box arc. However, Aitnouri’s pass was caught by the defense at the last second and he was unable to convert.
Wolverhampton also missed a great chance to take the lead in the final minute of the first half. In the 42nd minute, Cunha played a sensational roving pass between two opposing defenders before finding Semedo inside the penalty box, who opted to cross instead of shoot. The cross was blocked by the defense in front of him and Kalajic had no chance, leaving the first half at 0-0.
Sheffield started to put the pressure on Wolverhampton at the start of the second half. In the first minute of the second half, Archer drove the ball forward from the left side of the penalty box arc and attempted a right-footed mid-range shot that sailed over the top of the net and into the crowd.
With the attack stuttering, Wolverhampton made a change 15 minutes into the second half, taking off Kalajic and bringing on Jean-Luc Bellegarde, but the struggling attack, with only Hwang Hee-chan on the pitch, could not find a clue.
The first goal belonged to Sheffield. On a counter-attack in the 27th minute, Archer was caught off balance by the pressure of the opposition defense and unleashed a mid-range shot from the front of the penalty box arc that struck the top of the Wolverhampton goal and trickled into the net for his first goal of the match. Zouma stretched out his arm, but could barely get a hand to the shot, which was directed squarely into the back of the net.
Wolverhampton equalized in the dying minutes of the match through a combination of substitutes Bellegarde and Hwang Hee-chan. In the 44th minute, a cross from the edge of the box was delivered to the front of the box by Hwang Hee-chan, who latched onto the ball and curled a right-footed shot through the defense to rattle the Sheffield goal.
Having equalized, Wolverhampton pushed harder to turn the game around. In second-half stoppage time, Fabio Silva found himself in the center of the penalty box, but his header from a cross didn’t quite hit the target, and instead rolled over the line.
Wolverhampton conceded a penalty just before the end after a defensive error. Substitute Silva was fouled by opposing defender Baldock in a scramble in the Wolverhampton box. The referee immediately pointed to the spot, which was later reviewed by the video assistant referee (VAR).
Norwood stepped up to take the spot-kick and slotted it into the top right-hand corner to give Sheffield the lead again, and the game ended 2-1 in favor of Sheffield.
Despite Wolverhampton’s loss on the night, Hwang’s performance was outstanding and he has now scored an attacking point in six consecutive matches.
Starting with a Carabao Cup (EFL Cup) match against Ipswich Town on September 27, Hwang earned an attacking point in each of the next six games, including wins over Man City, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Newcastle, and Sheffield Wednesday. With four goals and two assists in six games, Hwang continues to break his own Premier League record with nine attacking points on the season.
He also played the full 90 minutes against Sheffield Wednesday, completing 27 passes, creating four chances, one shot, one assist, two dribbles, three ball wins, and two ball possessions, while also showing his playmaking ability by working hard on both sides of the ball, creating the most chances of any player on either side in Netou’s absence.
Hwang, who became the first Wolverhampton player to score in six consecutive home games when he opened the scoring in the last match against Newcastle, can make it seven consecutive home goals and seven consecutive attacking points if he finds the net against Tottenham at home on November 11.
Earlier in the day, Hwang was nominated for the Premier League’s October Goal of the Month award ahead of the Newcastle game.
Hwang Hee-chan scored the equalizer in the 26th minute of the 10th round of the 2023/24 Premier League match against Newcastle at Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, England, on March 29 to earn a 2-2 draw after trailing 1-2. Considering Newcastle finished fourth last season and qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 21 years this season, a point was a golden opportunity for Wolverhampton. Hwang made it happen.
Hwang picked up the ball inside the penalty box during the scoring situation and, as the opposing defense rushed forward, folded his left foot to beat them perfectly. He then used his left foot, not his usual right foot, to hit a powerful shot into the back of the net. It was a goal that made you wonder if Hwang Hee-chan, whose trademark is his right-footed breakthroughs, ever had such fine technique and finishing ability.
It was Hwang’s sixth goal in the Premier League this season and his seventh in the League Cup. Hwang performed his trademark knee gesture and had a big smile on his face as the grass was soaked from the rain.
What made the goal even more valuable was the fact that Hwang conceded a penalty kick with the score at 1-2, which was disallowed by the referee.
Wolverhampton cleared a Newcastle corner kick in first-half stoppage time, but as Hwang was about to clear the ball out of the box, Newcastle defender Fabian Scherzer rushed forward and touched the ball, tripping over Hwang’s foot, resulting in a penalty kick.
The Wolverhampton players immediately protested and the video assistant referee (VAR) was activated, but there was no change of decision and the penalty was awarded to Newcastle. However, after the game, Wolverhampton manager Gary O’Neill said: “(Hwang’s penalty) was a scandalous decision. It was a terrible replay. It was terrible that the VAR didn’t ask for a review,” he said, adding: “Hwang made no contact with Cher as he tried to kick the ball away. I don’t think he even touched the tip of his soccer shoe,” he said.
Even Karen Carney, a soccer pundit for the neutral British channel Sky Sports, said, “I didn’t think it was a penalty at all,” adding, “Hwang Hee-chan tried to kick the ball but took his foot out in time. Despite the VAR review, the referee didn’t overturn the original decision,” and expressed his disappointment with the referee’s decision.
The fact that he scored in such a frustrating and difficult situation made the goal even more valuable, as it saved both himself and Wolverhampton from defeat.
The Mirror said, “We are blessed to have him. He stepped up to the plate at the Molineux Stadium to keep the scoring going,” the Mirror applauded.
Hwang continues to make club history. He became the first player to score in six consecutive home games since Wolverhampton were founded in 1877. He had previously scored in five consecutive home games, the first in the club’s 146-year history.
The goal against Newcastle was one of eight shortlisted for Goal of the Month by the Premier League office. Notably, Hwang’s goal was the only one from inside the penalty area, reflecting the quality of his technique and finishing.
Hwang has recently been linked with a move to Tottenham. “Hwang has already vowed that this will be his best Premier League season yet, scoring six goals in his opening 10 games for Gary O’Neill’s side, including a stunning strike against Newcastle last time out. Some said it was a ‘Messi-like goal’. He is capable of outstanding performances throughout the season. Therefore, Postecoglou will have to think ahead to the January transfer window,” he said, emphasizing that Tottenham could be interested in Hwang.
The media outlet predicted that the title race will be a factor. “If Tottenham are still in contention for the title by the turn of the year, they will strengthen in the winter. The forward line could be an area of focus for Spurs, who have yet to sign a striker since the departure of Harry Kane. Perhaps Son Heung-min will try to put in a good word for his teammate over the next few weeks and use his influence to get Hwang Hee-chan on board.”
If Hwang and Son were to play together at Tottenham, the Spurs offense would be even more devastating. The duo has been one of the Premier League’s most destructive forces this season, with an excellent goal conversion rate and a high goal-to-chance ratio.
In the end, the Wolverhampton vs. Tottenham matchup will also feature a matchup with Tottenham striker and South Korean national team senior Son Heung-min, who has been on fire this season with eight goals in the league alone, so fans will be interested to see what the scoring battle between the two attacking spearheads will look like.
Meanwhile, Hwang Hee-chan’s performance was also reflected in the match ratings. Hwang has a rating of 7.8 on Futmob, the highest rating on the team. Bellegarde, who scored the equalizer, had a rating of 7,3, while Aitnouri and Kilman were the only other players with a rating of 7 or higher.
Soccer stats site Sofascore also rated Hwang as the best player on the team with a 7.1 rating. The only other Wolverhampton players with a rating above 7.0 were Karić and Kilman.
The BBC praised Hwang’s performance, saying, “Hwang provided Wolverhampton with their only moments of quality and a few moments of inspiration, including an assist for Bellerin’s equalizer,” and that he was the only player on the team to make an offensive contribution.
Despite the team’s disappointing loss, Hwang was praised for his assist, and while much attention will be focused on how long he can continue this trend, a win for Wolverhampton will be crucial for him to shine. 아톰카지노 도메인