Manchester City picked up a 0-3 away win against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday afternoon, in what was their final Premier League match before the international break.
Pep Guardiola selected a strong line-up for a tricky battle against Bruno Lage’s men, as the attacking trio on the day of Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland, and Phil Foden all registered one goal each to bag three points.
Additionally, Kevin De Bruyne equaled Steven Gerrard’s record of 92 Premier League assists after registering a further two on Saturday afternoon.
Manchester City took control of the game right from the first whistle.
Foden started the game on the right-wing, pairing up with Kevin De Bruyne to create the first big chance for the Blues.
The Belgian international found space behind Wolves’ defence and crossed the ball, setting up Jack Grealish for an early goal - 55 seconds into the encounter to be precise.
He’s got the TL in utter silence… 👀💙 @btsportfootball pic.twitter.com/P3UGTZALyA— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) September 17, 2022
The hosts fought to control possession for a small period after, but couldn’t salvage anything more than two free-kicks.
A counter-attack saw the ball reach Erling Haaland’s feet, who took it upon himself to tear into the pack.
Wolves defender Max Kilman attempted to stop the Norwegian, but turned his back against the Manchester City striker.
Haaland beat Kilman to the post and sneaked the ball past goalkeeper Jose Sa to double City’s lead - his 14th goal of the season, and 10th in the Premier League.
Never compare him to your striker. Erling Haaland is on another level. 🤖😂 @btsportfootball pic.twitter.com/07ICZo6NFj— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) September 17, 2022
Pedro Neto led multiple Wolves attacks, but none came to fruition.
Just after the half-hour mark, Manchester City were in the middle of the press when Nathan Collins attempted to beat Jack Grealish to a pass from Joao Cancelo. Instead, he kicked the City midfielder in the mid-region and was instantly shown a red card by referee Anthony Taylor.
Wolves players tried to protest the call, but the relatively high and harsh challenge was far from debatable. The home crowd applauded Collins as he left the pitch and resorted to boo-ing Jack Grealish for the rest of the game.
Wolves fans are now boo’ing @JackGrealish and collectively calling him a ‘w***er’ after being on the receiving end of this. Laughable bunch. 🤦♂️😂 @btsportfootball pic.twitter.com/BDdDLB616i— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) September 17, 2022
Despite being down to ten men, Wolves came out in the second-half with an impressive composure.
They continued to dominate the possession and restricted Manchester City to their half for a good while.
However, City defenders held off all conventional attacks. Joao Cancelo made bold decisions to intercept all passes towards Neto - who was spearheading Wolves’ chances upfront.
Guardiola’s men were forced out of their comfort zone after losing the possession battle uncharacteristically. However, they responded to the unfavourable spell with an incredible play between Foden, Haaland, and De Bruyne.
A complex move saw Haaland hold off the defence, allowing De Bruyne to move further up the left side. The latter then directed a low cross towards Foden, who scored the third goal from close range with a lovely flick.
Phil Foden with such a cool finish 🥶— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 17, 2022
Kevin De Bruyne with yet another assist 🅰️
A comfortable afternoon for Man City. pic.twitter.com/VSkwczOxqI
The game became progressively entertaining as Wolves refused to sit back. Their resilient methods contrasted with the visitors’ casual approach, leaving Guardiola fuming at the sidelines on more than one occasion.
Manchester City evidently took their foot off the gas in the second half but did enough to fend off Wolves, who had started to look threatening.
Grealish was hailed for a responsive display after being scathed in the media for his performance against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League fixture earlier this week. The clean sheet again sparked conversations about Manuel Akanji and his seamless adaption into the defence.
The win allowed the defending champions to edge past Arsenal to claim the top spot on the Premier League table with a two-point lead, having played one more game.
Upon their return, Manchester City will face Manchester United in a highly-anticipated derby clash early next month.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy
Topics: Erling Haaland, Football, Jack Grealish, Manchester City, Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Phil Foden