Arsenal’s defense was as strong as ever, but Hwang Hee-Chan (27-Wolverhampton) couldn’t find the back of the net.
Wolverhampton fell 1-2 against Arsenal in the 14th round of the 2023-2024 English Premier League (EPL) at the Emirates Stadium in London, England, on Wednesday (March 3). The result leaves Wolverhampton with four wins, three draws, and seven losses (15 points) and drops them from 12th to 13th in the league. Wolverhampton have one win, one draw, and three losses in their last five games. A turnaround is needed.
South Korean striker Hwang Hee-chan started up front and played the entirety of the match alongside Mateusz Cunha. He had two shots on goal, but was unable to rack up any offensive points in terms of goals or assists. He did, however, show off his dribbling ability by attempting two dribble breaks, both of which were successful. His passing success rate was 76%.
European soccer statistics site Fúscore.com gave Hwang a rating of 6.34. Another statistical outlet, FootsieMob, gave him a rating of 6.6. Sofascore gave him a rating of 6.9. 90MIN, an English soccer publication, gave Hwang a low rating of 5. “Wolverhampton wanted him to be more influential in the attacking third, but sadly he was not,” they wrote.
This is hardly the first time he’s been criticized, as he’s had a great season. This season, Hwang has seven goals and two assists in 14 league games. He’s currently tied for fourth in the league in goals, putting him right up there with the best. In the last month, he has also scored one goal and one assist in three games.
On the day, Hwang had a great chance in first-half stoppage time. Two Arsenal defenders made a mistake in clearing and the ball fell behind them. Hwang ran at full speed to get the ball. However, the Arsenal goalkeeper jumped out first and cleared the ball away. In the fifth minute of the second half, Hwang saw a high ball and tried to volley it, but it didn’t go in.
In the 38th minute of the second half, Hwang almost pulled off one of his trademark folds. After receiving the ball on the left side of the penalty box, Hwang made a bold breakthrough and pretended to hit his shot. It was a painting motion. As the Arsenal defense tried to make a desperate move to stop the ball, the ball was folded and turned, but the Arsenal defense was layered and there was not much space. Hwang Hee-chan’s shot wasn’t quite on target. In the end, it was too little too late.
Arsenal is a strong defensive team. Prior to this game, they had conceded the fewest goals in the league (10) and had kept six clean sheets. That’s more than any other team in the league.
On top of that, Wolverhampton had some bad news heading into the clash. Key midfielders Joao Gomes and Mario Lemina missed the game against Arsenal due to accumulated cautions. This is a significant blow, as the two players have anchored the team’s midfield for most of the season. The backups have seen a significant drop in playing time, leading to breathing problems.
Eventually, Wolverhampton were forced to deploy Plan B. The formation was 3-5-2. Hwang Hee-chan and Cunha formed the front two, with Boubacar Traore, Thomas Doyle, and Jean-Luc Bellegarde in the middle. Nelson Semedo and Hugo Bueno were on the flanks. The three backs were Max Kilman, Craig Dawson, and Totti Gomes. Jose Sa was in goal.
Arsenal countered with a 4-3-3 formation. Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus, and Xherdan Shaqa lined up in a back three. The midfielders were Leandro Trosad, Declan Rice, and Martin Ødegaard. The back four was Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel, William Saliba, and Takehiro Tomiyasu, with David Raya in goal.
League leaders Arsenal came out strong and pushed Wolverhampton hard from the start. They took the lead in the sixth minute. Arsenal broke down the Wolverhampton defense with a fantastic passing play. Xhaka picked up the ball inside the penalty box, went one-on-one with the keeper, and calmly slotted it into the back of the net.
It wasn’t over. Arsenal’s second goal came in the 13th minute. Once again, Arsenal’s passing play stood out. The Gunners created a chance and Jinchenko played a pass into the box from the flank. Ödegaard connected with a direct shot for the second goal. Arsenal took a 2-0 lead. Wolverhampton were caught flat-footed and lost goalkeeper Jose Sa in the 23rd minute when he was injured and replaced by ‘backup’ Dan Bentley.
Wolverhampton pulled a goal back in the 41st minute when Cunha finished off a pass from Semedo. However, there was too little time to find an equalizer, and they were forced to settle for a disappointing defeat. Wolverhampton were completely out-shot on the day, 6-19. They also had just 43.4% possession, according to Hoopscore.com.
The win was Arsenal’s third straight. They remain at the top of the league with 10 wins, 3 draws, and 1 loss (33 points). They are followed by second-place Manchester City (29 points) and third-place Liverpool (28 points), who have played one less game. 캡틴토토 주소