Weekend 4/22 Roundup: Hwang Scores/ Ki Sharp / Poch experiments with Son at wingback + ACL midweek listing

Ok good news/bad news – the yin and yang of weekend football in a nutshell. The talk of London town be the FA Cup semifinal showdown between Chelsea and Tottenham. It was sizzling but in the end, Pochettino’s wild experiments (out of necessity it turns out) faltered and they exit with a 4:2 scoreline. It doesn’t tell the whole story, the context was that Spurs were still in it but Chelsea simply had 2 unbeatable shots that even super keeper Lloris couldn’t save.

Some of the many moving storylines revolves around Son, who analysts prior to kickoff had debated whether Poch would keep him in the lineup. The last time they faced each other, Spurs had the better of the EPL leaders with a 3-4-2-1 lineup – no where then for Son to join in. But now the dilemma: how could Poch leave Son out, how…when Son had been in a red hot scoring form as of late?  The skipper opted for Son play in a deeper left wing back role – help out towards the back with no Ben Davies at LB and perhaps give width and pace to attack when possible. Poch had an undisclosed problem – Ben Davies was their only LB option as Danny Rose hadn’t recovered yet from injuries — but while Davies was on the bench – Poch didn’t reveal that the Welshman had  picked up recent injuries of his own. Son, for perhaps the first time in his career, was thus inserted experimentally as a wingback.  It didn’t exactly go as planned, and Son, while indeed providing some danger up front, conceded a penalty attempting to slide tackle a pass from Victor Moses.  Son went to ground too early, mis-timed and wasn’t able to get the ball. While Son avoided Moses initially, Victor sensed an opportunity to take advantage, slowed his pace just a tad in order to get clipped by Son. Chelsea converted, score 2:1. Spurs would come back to even that score before eventually capitulating.  Son was clearly disappointed, adding to his frustration to his more reserved deeper role (in which he wasn’t exactly sure his positioning at times). While he did get in on more of the action in the 2nd half, causing troubling with good runs behind the lines, he ran out of gas and subbed out with Kyle Walker coming in – Trippier shifting to left back.

Son might be forgiven by Spurs supporters and Poch himself since he was asked to fill in a role he had not previously trained for.  IMHO, Son could have done better despite his unfamiliarity at wingback, but what can you say about a role he never really trains for.  In respect to conceding a penalty to Chelsea, Son is way better on the opposite end earning penalties -he’s been timely and productive for Spurs in that stat this season (3 or 4 by my count). To be fair, what might have motivated Poch to try Son has a quasi defender  was the fact that Son has, from time to time in a Spurs uniform, displayed a bit of a knack for defensive qualities when tracking back. Other than the glaring penalty, Son did have a well challenged tackle earlier and a timely interception against Chelsea on a counter attack.  Even ESPN writers like Dan Fitzpatrick said this: “I don’t think the Son experiment was a total failure. Poch gambled he’d be OK defensively – he wasn’t – but offered more than Davies.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving on…Swansea’s Ki Sung-Yeung didn’t start but only 19 minutes into the match against Stoke, Ki came on for the injured Leroy Fer.  He looked sharp and incisive, and his passing was stellar, threading roughly 3 passes that could have led to goals. He did hurry a shot when gifted with a 1 on 1 opportunity with the keeper, but overall a good shift for the Korean captain. Swansea would go on for the crucial win 2:0. Heon once again with the highlight reel:

 

 

Ji Dong-Won and Augsburg go down to Eintract Frankfurt 3:1, a bitter defeat. I didn’t get to see the match but Ji had looked lively according to the twittersphere.

Koo is out injured for the season for Augsburg.

Kwon Chang-Hoon returned to the 18 man roster for Dijon, subbing in the last 10 minutes. Dijon wins at home 3:2 against Angers.

Lee Chung-Yong wasn’t in the 18 for Crystal Palace’s win over LFC (how do they keep getting these results over top 10 teams?)

Red Bull Salzburg still on top of the Austrian Bundesliga, Hwang Hee-Chan scoring this nice one on Saturday. They went on to win 2:1 over St Polten. Hwang scored his 8th league goal, his 12th goal across all competitions.

K League Classic results Round 7

Saturday, April 22

Dragons
5
FT

Ulsan
0

Gangwon
1
FT

Suwon
2

Jeju United
4
FT

Daegu
2

FC Seoul
3
FT

Incheon
0
Sunday, April 23

Sangju Sangmu
1
FT

Gwangju
0

Jeonbuk
2
FT

Steelers
0
  •  1st league win for Suwon at the expense of Gangwon, who have had nothing but a string of draws (other than some solid results in the ACL).  The ski jumping stadium was the subject of Steve Price’s piece picked up by the Guardian last week.
  • Ulsan destroyed by Jeonnam 5-0, it was according to Korean Football News, Ulsan’s worst defeat in the K-League Classic.
  • Jeju and Seoul both got positive results but Jeonbuk is just beginning to pull away. Well, 3 points separating themselves and 2nd place Jeju isn’t exactly pulling away, but the Tavern Owner’s gut is indicating that this is the beginning of Jeonbuk’s annual moonlaunch out of orbit -and out of reach of other clubs.

 

Asian Champions League group stage is nearing an end. We’re about to begin matchday 5 this midweek (groups close matchday 6).

Tuesday, April 25

Suwon
6:00 AM

Kawasaki
Jiangsu Sainty
7:35 AM

Jeju United
Wednesday, April 26

Ulsan
6:30 AM

Kashima Antlers
Shanghai East Asia
7:30 AM

FC Seoul
All times are in Eastern Time
Here’s the group standings so far:
Group E
#
Team
GP
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PTS
1
Muangthong United
4
2
2
0
3
1
2
8
2
Kashima Antlers
4
2
0
2
7
4
3
6
3
Ulsan
4
1
1
2
6
3
3
4
4
Brisbane Roar
4
1
1
2
2
10
-8
4

Group F

#
Team
GP
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PTS
1
Shanghai East Asia
4
3
0
1
9
4
5
9
2
Urawa Reds
4
3
0
1
12
5
7
9
3
FC Seoul
4
1
0
3
7
11
-4
3
4
Wanderers
4
1
0
3
6
14
-8
3

Group G

#
Team
GP
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PTS
1
Suwon
4
2
2
0
9
3
6
8
2
Guangzhou Evergrande FC
4
1
3
0
10
3
7
6
3
Kawasaki
4
0
4
0
3
3
0
4
4
Eastern
4
0
1
3
1
14
-13
1

Group H

#
Team
GP
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
PTS
1
Jiangsu Sainty
4
4
0
0
7
1
6
12
2
Adelaide United
4
1
1
2
7
9
-2
4
3
Jeju United
4
1
1
2
8
8
0
4
4
Gamba Osaka
4
1
0
3
4
8
-4
3

 

Finally K League Challenge results from last weekend (from soccerway.com)

 

Sat 22/04/17 Anyang 3 – 1 Bucheon 1995 View events More info
Asan Mugunghwa 1 – 1 Seongnam View events More info
Daejeon Citizen 2 – 3 Busan I’Park View events More info
Sun 23/04/17 Gyeongnam 3 – 0 Ansan Greeners View events More info
Seoul E-Land 0 – 0 Suwon More info

Lee Jung-Hyeop is somehow still scoring, this I believe is his 7th consecutive game scoring.  Uli, I know what you’re thinking…don’t even bother.

About Roy Ghim 381 Articles
The old Tavern Owner

2 Comments

  1. It was great to see Ki being back to his old form with his laser sharp passes again.

    After the previous loss a couple of weeks ago, some of the Swansea fans expressed disappointment in Ki (along with several of other players), so this recent match was exactly what we needed 🙂

    Less than 2 years ago, Ki won Swansea’s player of the year, so Swansea City knows Ki has elite talent within him.

    And great job Hwang Hee-Chan 😀

    • Yeah, echo those comments there about Ki. Who knows if the injuries have taken a toll on his form this season, but he’s got quality in spades. Swans need that to help pull out of relegation in what’s been a calamitous season for them

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