Wolverhampton Wanderers smashed through Liverpool on Saturday, beating the once-mighty Reds 3-0 at Molineux in a dramatic night that saw Korean midfielder Hwang Hee-chan set up the first goal and then leave the pitch with a hamstring injury before the end of the first half.

The fans had barely found their seats before Wolves took the lead. Recent signee Pablo Sarabia fed the ball down the line to Hwang, who was looking for a cross into the box but ended up deflecting the ball off Joel Matip, into the post and over the line.

All that happened just five minutes into the game, putting Liverpool on the back foot from practically the starting whistle. Though not awarded for an own goal, it also marked one of Hwang’s few goal involvements this season.

Wolves didn’t wait long to capitalize on that lead. Craig Dawson, making his debut for the midlands club, doubled the lead before the 15-minute mark punting in a loose ball after the Liverpool defense proved unable to properly clear their line.

Up 2-0 with most of the game still to play, Wolves continued to pester Liverpool, but it was not until the 71st minute that Ruben Neves made it 3-0, when Adama Traore set up Ruben Neves in front of goal. The Portuguese international made short work of Alisson, finishing cooly to round off a decisive defeat for the reigning FA Cup and Carabao Cup champions.

Despite the victory, it did not end a happy evening for Hwang, who was brought down by a hamstring injury before the end of the first half.

A recurring issue for Hwang, the hamstring injury is likely to see him sidelined for a while, manager Julen Lopetegui predicted, a devastatingly-timed injury for the Korean international who is just starting to see things turn around after a difficult year in the Premier League .

“It’s a pity for us because his injury was a hamstring,” Lopetegui said after the game. “We don’t know how long he’s going to be out. It was a pity because he’s a very good player, a very different player, he understands us tactically, but that’s why we have a good squad and now we have to choose another player.”

Like the rest of the Wolves squad, Hwang has gone through a remarkable turnaround since the Spanish manager took the helm. He immediately returned to a starting spot in the squad and scored his first goal in nearly a year in an FA Cup game — also against Liverpool.

Wolves have won three of their six Premier League games since Lopetegui took charge, more than they did in the previous 15 games of the season under Bruno Lage.

Beating Liverpool by such a large margin and so quickly was also remarkable — it was the first time Wolves have one by more than one goal this season, the second time ever the club has gone up by two in less than 12 minutes and the earliest Liverpool have fallen 2-0 down since 2014.

Lopetegui, who Hwang has repeatedly described as just a nice guy, characteristically downplayed the achievement, focusing more on next steps for Wolves. 스포츠토토

“We are very happy, of course,” Lopetegui said after the game. “We are proud of the players and, above all, about the win. We need wins to achieve our aim. Today we played against a very good team, Liverpool, and I think in the first half we overcame them, we scored two goals, sometimes you overcome the opponent but don’t score, it’s very different.

“We have a good feeling, of course. It’s easier to go to work the next day, but you have to be ready to go to work the next day with energy when you win and when you’ve lost. This is football. It’s going to be a very long and hard race until the end, today we are happy, tomorrow we continue.”

Emphasizing that three points is not a big enough reason to celebrate for 15th-place Wolves, Lopetegui focused on preparing for the next game.

“In the end, they’re three points,” he said, “we haven’t done anything, in front of us we have very hard work. Today we are happy, of course. It was a pity the hamstring injury for Hee Chan, after we’ll try to prepare and be ready for the next match.”

Wolves next face what ought to be an easier target in the form of last-place side Southampton next Saturday. Hwang is expected to have to sit out that game, although how long he is likely to be absent for has not yet been announced.

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