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Wolves 1-0 Burnley: Hwang Hee-chan scores his eighth Premier League goal of the season as the hosts return to winning ways at the expense of Vincent Kompany’s side

 

  • Hwang Hee-chan scored the only goal of the game minutes before half-time 
  • The result leaves Vincent Kompany’s side in 19th with just two wins this season
  • Anthony Gordon has gone from immature kid to Newcastle’s lightening rod – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off

Hwang Hee-chan may not draw the spotlight like the Premier League’s biggest stars yet the Wolves forward is outperforming some serious names this season.

The South Korean struck the only goal shortly before half-time to earn Wolves victory in a forgettable match against Burnley, who were unable to build on their thrashing of Sheffield United last Saturday.

It was Hwang’s eighth in the league this season – double the tally of Darwin Nunez and three more than Raheem Sterling. That is only six fewer than his old Red Bull Salzburg team-mate Erling Haaland has scored, and both men have six in home fixture in the league.

After back-to-back defeats at Fulham and Arsenal, Wolves needed these three points to right the ship again yet few who stuck this one out at Molineux will have enjoyed it. Perhaps games like these were behind Amazon’s decision not to bid again for Premier League rights as this one lacked drama, particularly in the first half.

The most exciting moment before the interval was an outstanding double save from Wolves keeper Dan Bentley, who denied Jay Rodriguez and Josh Brownhill. It proved decisive, too, as soon afterwards Wolves punished some sloppy Burnley passing and Hwang did the rest from close range.

Wolves returned to winning ways as Hwang Hee-chan scored the only goal to sink Burnley

Wolves returned to winning ways as Hwang Hee-chan scored the only goal to sink Burnley

Hwang capitalised after Burnley lost control of the ball when playing out from the back

Hwang capitalised after Burnley lost control of the ball when playing out from the back

Vincent Kompany's side missed out on the chance to climb out of the relegation zone

Vincent Kompany’s side missed out on the chance to climb out of the relegation zone

After two straight defeats Wolves should have been raring to go but they were strangely flat early on. Though Burnley were a little sharper, they did not show the zest you would expect of a team who had won 5-0 three days earlier.

Pablo Sarabia, one of four changes for Wolves, wasted a break by hanging on to the ball when a quick crossfield pass would have sent Hwang clear. At the other end, Luca Koleosho nipped outside Nelson Semedo and Mario Lemina did well to block the shot at source.

By now the home crowd were restless with the South Bank starting to grumble as Wolves found themselves in a muddle trying to play out from the back. When Dan Bentley – replacing the injured Jose Sa – eventually decided to kick long, it was greeted with a huge cheer from the South Bank.

Sarabia should have done better than steer high and wide after Semedo had escaped on the right and not long before half-time Koleosho was forced off with injury.

It was blow for Vincent Kompany’s team as the young Italian was their most dangerous attacker but they nearly responded by taking the lead.

Joao Gomes was robbed near the corner flag by Zeki Amdouni and substitute Johann Gudmundsson and Jay Rodriguez should have scored but was denied by a fine save by Bentley. The Wolves keeper then did even better to push wide Josh Brownhill’s deflected strike.

Three minutes before the interval, Wolves repaid their goalkeeper. Sander Berge took a heavy touch trying to control Dara O’Shea’s pass, allowing Sarabia to pinch possession and find Matheus Cunha. Cunha slipped the ball right to Hwang, who dummied before stroking his shot beyond James Trafford.

Wolves looked much slicker at the start of the second half and might have doubled their lead near the hour when Craig Dawson steered Sarabia’s floated pass across goal but beyond waiting team-mates.

There was little James Trafford could do but watch the ball be rolled past him into the net

There was little James Trafford could do but watch the ball be rolled past him into the net

Wolves keeper Dan Bentley made a stunning double save from Jay Rodriguez and Josh Brownhill

Wolves keeper Dan Bentley made a stunning double save from Jay Rodriguez and Josh Brownhill

Burnley had a number of chances to get back into the game including this free-kick from Jacon Bruun Larsen

Burnley had a number of chances to get back into the game including this free-kick from Jacon Bruun Larsen

After a shaky start, Sarabia was growing in confidence. A burst from inside his own half earned the Spaniard a free-kick when he tumbled under Berge’s challenge and his effort was heading for the top corner until Trafford flicked it over the top. 

Even though playing out from the back had led to Wolves’ goal, Burnley carried on with the plan and Trafford was nearly caught out by Cunha when he misjudged a return pass.

After surviving Wolves’ period of pressure, Burnley started to venture forward once more and right-back Vitinho sent a volley just too high.

The victory for Wolves comes after narrow defeats to Fulham and Arsenal in recent weeks

The victory for Wolves comes after narrow defeats to Fulham and Arsenal in recent weeks

Burnley's Jay Rodriguez and Wolves' Joao Gomes battle for possession of the ball

Burnley’s Jay Rodriguez and Wolves’ Joao Gomes battle for possession of the ball

MATCH FACTS

Wolves (3-4-3): Bentley 7.5; *KILMAN 8*, Dawson 7, Toti 6.5; Semedo 6.5, Lemina 7.5, Gomes 6, H Bueno 7 (Doherty 90+1); Hwang 7, Cunha 7 (Traore 87), Sarabia 6.5 (Bellegarde 79, 6). Subs not used: King, S Bueno, Silva, Kalajdzic, Doyle, Chirewa.

Scorers: Hwang 42

Booked: Lemina, Kilman

Manager: Gary O’Neil 6.5

Burnley (4-4-2): Trafford 5.5; Vitinho 6 (Odobert 90+2), O’Shea 5.5, Ekdal 6 (Redmond 90+2), Taylor 5.5; Bruun Larsen 6 (Tresor 70, 6), Berge 6, Brownhill 7, Koleosho 7 (Gudmundsson 36, 6); Rodriguez 5.5, Amdouni 6. Subs not used: Muric, Zaroury, Al Dakhil, Delcroix.

Booked: Brownhill, Berge, Taylor, Ekdal

Manager: Vincent Kompany 6

Referee: Jarred Gillett 6

Attendance: 30,439

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