Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Gary O’Neill (40) vents his frustration.
Wolverhampton Wanderers lost 1-2 against Sheffield United in the 11th round of the 2023-2024 Premier League on Friday (May 5) at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England.레모나토토
It was Wolverhampton’s first defeat in six league games and left them in 13th place with 12 points (W3 D3 L5). Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday, who picked up their first win of the season, moved to four points (W1 D1 L9). However, they remain in last place, losing on goal difference to 19th-place Burnley (4 points).
Wolverhampton dominated possession early on and pounded away at the Sheffield goal, but were unable to capitalize. To make matters worse, they conceded in the 27th minute to Cameron Archer’s stunning mid-range strike. The absence of Hwang’s strike partner Pedro Neto due to injury was greatly felt.
A dramatic equalizer came in the final minutes of the match. In the 44th minute, Hwang Hee-chan found himself in the box and was able to get his foot on a cross from the right side of the box to head home. It was Hwang’s second assist of the season and her sixth consecutive offensive point in official matches.
However, it was Sheffield who would have the last laugh. In second-half stoppage time, substitute Fabio Silva gave away a penalty as he tried to clear the ball in the box. He was adjudged to have brought down George Baldock. Wolverhampton protested vigorously, but after a video assistant referee (VAR) review, the decision remained unchanged.
Oliver Norwood stepped up to take the kick and rattled the Wolverhampton net with a powerful shot, and the game ended in a dramatic 2-1 victory for Sheffield Wednesday. After the game, Silva broke down in tears as his team lost.
It was similar to Hwang’s last penalty against Newcastle United, when he kicked Fabian Schurrle’s leg as he tried to clear the ball out of the box. However, the slowed-down footage showed that Hwang had folded his leg, and Cher was falling before Hwang’s foot even touched it, but referee Anthony Taylor stood by his penalty decision without even looking at the on-field review.
Luckily, Hwang stepped up to the plate and scored the equalizer to draw the game 2-2. Still, it was an unfair draw for Wolverhampton in a game they could have won. “It’s very difficult to talk about penalty decisions after the game is over,” Hwang said after the game, “I was trying to clear the ball, but then I saw someone block it, and it stopped, and I thought the other player had touched me.” He wasn’t the only one.
Hwang was not alone. Paul Robinson, a former Tottenham goalkeeper, said: “There was no contact between Hwang and the other player in the first place. There was no malice or intent,” while Newcastle striker Alan Shearer shook his head, saying, “I don’t think it’s a penalty at all.”
In the end, referee Taylor was relegated to the second tier. “Referee Taylor, who wrongly awarded a penalty to Hwang Hee-chan, will not be officiating in the Premier League this weekend. He has been relegated to officiate in the Championship match between Preston and Coventry. It will be the first time he has officiated in the second tier since 2019.” The Professional Game Management Organization of England (PGMOL) has also effectively admitted to the error.
The penalty in this game was similar. Silva stretched out his foot and stopped, and it looked like Baldock was about to go down first. Legendary England striker Gary Lineker also tweeted, “Another stinker of a decision against Wolverhampton. Exactly the same as last week against Newcastle. Another error by the VAR.”
O’Neill was furious. According to ‘Birmingham Live’, he said after the game: “It’s not a penalty, there was hardly any contact. It was a difficult one to talk about, another terrible decision.”
“I don’t understand why the referee gave a penalty,” O’Neill said, adding, “I was with the referee and he still thinks it’s a penalty. He still says there was contact. The only contact I saw was very slight. Baldock was already falling. It was never, ever a penalty,” he emphasized.
O’Neill continued his rhetoric. “If we gave a penalty on that play, there would be a million fouls called in 90 minutes. Because of the wording we use, the VAR couldn’t intervene because he didn’t consider it clear and convincing. It’s crazy. I don’t expect anything. I didn’t get an apology last week, and apologies don’t help me. We lost six points because of a refereeing decision,” he said angrily.
O’Neill concluded, “I sat down and had a chat with the referee and he still thinks it was a penalty. It’s completely crazy. They’re in a bad position, and it seems to be against us. That’s my concern right now.” Wolverhampton continue to feel like victims of bad calls.