Son and Hwang stay quiet as Spurs, Wolves take wins at home
LONDON — It was a slow return from the international break for Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min and Wolverhamton Wanderers’ Hwang Hee-chan, with neither of the Korean stars proving productive in their respective Premier League fixtures.
Despite the silence from the pair, both teams did walk away with wins — Wolves beat West Ham 1-0 on Saturday and Spurs took a 2-1 win against Leeds on Sunday.
Son played the full 90 minutes for Spurs on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, with new manager Antonio Conte looking to snap the two-game slump that has seen the club fail to get a single shot on target. If Spurs had gone for three, it would have been a Premier League first since statistics were first recorded.
In the end, Spurs had little problem producing in their 100th game against Leeds, with four shots on target recorded throughout the game. Son’s most dangerous attempt came in the 56th minute, a one-touch volley that deflected off the ledge of Leeds defender Diego Llorente into the crossbar and out of contention.
Spurs’ performance on Sunday will come as an encouraging one for fans, with the return of some of the flair missing from the Nuno Esperito Santo era. Conte’s input was immediately visible in how the team played, and the reenergized second half, which started with the London club down 1-0, shows that this isn’t a side willing to roll over and take a defeat.
Hwang played 87 minutes for Wolves at Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, with a brief moment of excitement in the 31st minute, when a well-placed cross hit defender Ben Johnson for what fans thought should have been a penalty. The cross still found midfielder Nélson Semedo, who was unable to convert.
The sole goal came from Hwang’s playmaking partner Raúl Jiménez in the 58th minute.
With the 1-0 win, Wolves have now won three consecutive home games, 2-1 against Newcastle on Oct. 2, 2-1 against Everton on Nov. 1 and 1-0 against West Ham.
The three wins mark the first time since 1980 that the Wolverhampton club have won three straight games in the top tier. Hwang contributed two goals to that success.
The quiet outing on Saturday hasn’t stopped the rumors that Hwang will soon be making a more permanent move to the Premier League, with Liverpool also now linked to the Korean striker and Wolves reportedly still working to lock in a full transfer.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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