Tottenham Hotspur lost 1-2 to Wolverhampton in the 12th round of the 2023-24 Premier League (PL) at Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, England, on Nov. 11 at 9:30 p.m. ET. Without a point, Tottenham drops to third in the league, while Wolverhampton moves up to 11th.
The match between Tottenham and Wolverhampton was highly anticipated before the game. The match between Tottenham’s Son Heung-min and Wolverhampton’s Hwang Hee-chan had the potential to be a “Korean Derby”. Son and Hwang have met before, but this matchup was highly anticipated due to the strong performances of both players this season. Son has eight goals and one assist in the league so far, while Hwang has six goals and two assists.
Prior to the match, the PL Secretariat also highlighted the matchup between Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan. On its official channel ahead of the match, the organization used a flag emoji with the words “National teammates and PL rivals” to draw attention to the match. The organization also revealed the records of the two players this season. According to the data released by the PL Secretariat, Son has played 893 minutes, scoring eight goals and one assist, creating 18 chances. He completed 10 dribbles. Hwang Hee-chan played 684 minutes, scoring six goals and two assists, creating 11 chances and completing 18 dribbles.
Both players’ performances were significant for different reasons. First of all, Son Heung-min was not at his best last season due to a sports hernia, depleted stamina, and injuries. He struggled in the PL, the UEFA Champions League (UCL), and even the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where he had to wear a mask due to an orbital fracture.
This season, he has put last season’s disappointment behind him. After scoring 10 goals in the league last season, Son has already surpassed his tally from the previous campaign by two goals. His pace is even faster than in 2021-22, when he was the PL’s top scorer. With Tottenham on the rise, the expectations for Son are high.
Hwang Hee-chan reached a career high. Since joining Wolverhampton, Hwang has been plagued by injuries and inconsistent performances, but that has changed this season. He has become Wolverhampton’s top scorer, thanks to his good positioning and finishing ability. Wolverhampton’s success has led to the club managing Hwang in-house. Hwang hasn’t played full-time in most of his games this season.
On October 2, the PL secretariat announced the nominees for the October Goal of the Month on its official website. In addition to Hwang, the nominees were Jakob Brun Larsen (Burnley), Jack Harrison (Everton), Brian Mbomo, Saman Godos (Brentford), Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), and Philip Billing (Bournemouth).
Hwang was nominated for his equalizer against Newcastle United on March 29. Hwang, who started that game, collected a ball from Totti Gomes in the box in the 26th minute of the second half with his team trailing 1-2, deceived his opponent with a move that took him off his line of defense before calmly finishing at the near post. Wolverhampton held on for a draw thanks to Hwang Hee-chan’s equalizer.
Hwang’s composure and ‘folding’ ability shone through once again. Despite the large number of defenders in front of the goal, Hwang calmly pretended to shoot and used a fake to easily break down the defense. He then scored the equalizer with a calm shot despite the tight angle.
Hwang’s performance was particularly noteworthy as this was a game in which Wolverhampton were victimized by some unfair calls. Hwang made up for it by conceding a penalty of his own. Here’s what happened. Fabian Schaer was tripped by Hwang as he tried to clear the ball in the box. Referee Anthony Taylor immediately awarded Newcastle a penalty without a video assistant referee (VAR).
After the game, Hwang Hee-chan commented on the decision, “I don’t think it was a penalty. I tried to kick the ball, but (Shearer) blocked me. But the referee called a penalty kick, so I had no choice. After the first half, my teammates comforted me. They told me I could do it, that it was okay. They believed in me and that gave me strength. I felt like I wanted to do something, and I’m glad I was able to help the team with the equalizer.”
The goal against Newcastle was Hwang’s sixth of the season. With this goal, Hwang reached a new PL career high. After struggling with a nagging hamstring injury since joining Wolverhampton, Hwang has made up for it this season. Gaining confidence, Hwang continued this momentum by scoring a goal in the national team’s colors during the A-Match in October.
However, both Son and Hwang were silent in this match. Son Heung-min had no chance to score. He had to get down low and link up with his teammates to fill the void left by James Maddison’s injury against Chelsea, and he had to focus on moving up the flanks and creating chances. He also had fewer chances to score, as Dejan Kulusebski and Brennan Johnson, who played alongside him, didn’t create much of a chance.
Hwang Hee-chan hit the ground with a deflected shot. In the ninth minute of the second half, a second ball came to Hwang Hee-chan after a corner kick, but the ball was deflected after hitting the ground, so Hwang’s shot didn’t have much impact. Hwang’s failure to score was made all the more disappointing by the fact that she was right in front of the goal.
The game went in a different direction than expected. Tottenham, who were expected to struggle due to a number of first-team departures, took the lead early in the first half. In the second minute, Kuluczewski overlapped on the right side of the box and sensibly slipped a pass to the onrushing Pedro Foro, who sent a low cross into the box. It was met by the penetrating Johnson, who rattled the post with a deflected shot.
Spurs slowly tried to take control after the goal. However, they didn’t create any particularly threatening chances outside of the opening goal. Wolverhampton focused on defense and tried to use Nelson Semedo and Layan Aitkenuri on the flanks to create quick counterattacks. Transition passes from the center backs and attacks from the flanks were prominent. Wolverhampton were unfortunate to see both Joao Gomes’ shot in the 8th minute and Ait Nouri’s shot in the 9th minute blocked by the defense.토토사이트
Wolverhampton harassed Tottenham by trying to press from high up the pitch. Tottenham’s center back line, which featured Eric Dier and Ben Davies without Christian Romero, who was sent off in the last game, and an injured Mickey van der Vaart, struggled in the buildup. Already criticized for their poor passing and lack of buildup, they struggled even more under Wolverhampton’s intense forward pressure.
As time wore on, Wolverhampton took control. Despite losing possession to Spurs, Wolverhampton focused on creating clear-cut chances. In the first half alone, Wolverhampton recorded nine shots on goal. Spurs only had two shots on goal.
It was Guglielmo Vicario’s saves that kept Spurs out of trouble. In the 32nd minute, Mario Lemina’s low shot from Mateusz Cunha’s pass was tipped over by Vicario. Aitnouli had a shot just wide in the final minute of the first half, and the first half ended with Tottenham leading 1-0.
Wolverhampton kept the momentum going in the second half. In the first minute of the second half, Jean-Luc Bellegarde opened up the defense with a dribble and threatened Tottenham with an audacious shot. In the fifth minute, Cunha used a long run to beat the Tottenham defense before firing a shot from inside the box that was blocked. Spurs immediately tried to counterattack, but Johnson’s shot was poorly placed and couldn’t get past Josua.
Wolverhampton kept pounding away. In the seventh minute of the second half, Cunha’s attempt from a pass from Aitor Nuri was well wide. In the ninth minute of the second half, Hwang Hee-chan had a crucial chance, but his shot was not quite on target.
Tottenham tried to turn the tide with a substitution. In the 17th minute of the second half, Pape was taken off for Rodrigo Bentancur, with the idea of utilizing Bentancur’s ability to drive the ball forward and get into the opponent’s half to create chances on the counterattack. Bentancur’s high activity level also helped Wolverhampton battle in the midfield. In response, Wolverhampton replaced the tiring Semedou with Matt Doherty in the 20th minute. Doherty was now facing his former club, Tottenham.
Wolverhampton were still in control. Unlike the first half, Wolverhampton dominated possession and continued to harass Spurs with quick attacks and intense pressure. Spurs were forced to focus on defense. Spurs were fortunate that Dyer was playing above and beyond the call of duty.
Midway through the second half, both teams threw caution to the wind. Wolverhampton brought on Sasha Kalajic for Bellegarde. Wolverhampton had a lot of set-piece opportunities on the day, including corners and free kicks, but they were unable to capitalize on them. The plan seemed to be to utilize Kalajic’s aerial prowess at 6-foot-2, but with the quality of their flanking options, they could also look for crosses. Spurs responded by replacing Johnson and Yves Bissouma with Brian Hill and Giovani Lo Celso.
But Spurs were unable to change the momentum. In the 38th minute, Aite Nuri found space on the flank and crossed. Emerson Royale was on hand to punch it away. In the 39th minute, Gomes’ cross was met by Kalejic, who headed wide of the target. Tottenham breathed a sigh of relief. Spurs then tried to drive a wedge in the 42nd minute with a left-footed shot from Lo Celso that was saved by Sa.
Wolverhampton’s dramatic equalizer came in stoppage time. In the 45th minute, substitute Pablo Sarabia controlled Cunha’s pass with a deft touch before unleashing a powerful shot to equalize. Gary O’Neill’s mercenary move paid off. After Sarabia’s equalizer, the game became chaotic.