A brilliantly robust defensive performance by Wolves was matched only by their counterattacking play, as the home team became the only side to take points off the champions in the league this season.
In the first half Man City had almost all of the possession, and out-registered Wolves on the shots front by a ratio of 13 to one.
Though their goal came against the run of play, it was well worked. Pedro Neto receiving a pass on the right after City fumbled the ball and found themselves struggling to get back. Neto sprinted into the box, and sent the ball goalwards where it was directed into his own net by Ruben Dias.
The home side was then happy to allow City to come at them, as the Wolves back three held firm.
City started the second half as they finished the first, and were finally able to equalise thanks to a free kick from Julian Alvarez ten minutes into the half. Joao Gomez fouled Oscar Bobb in a good position, just on the left corner of the box and the Argentine curled the set piece into the top left corner, past the outstretched hands of the Wolves keeper.
They were back behind just eight minutes later, thanks to another sublime attack from Wolves. The home side absorbed a barrage of shots before sending the ball up the end, route-one style. Wolves whipped a cross it into the middle where Hwang Hee-chan was able to fire home a second shot from close range at the second after his first was blocked.
After that it was a case of seeing the game out. Although Pep Guardiola brought Jack Grealish on late, he added little to the City attack, and Wolves were able to see the game out for a brilliant third win of the season.
Talking Point – Man City are perfectly beatable
It’s as simple as that. Wolves came out of their dressing room prepared with a plan for beating Man City and executed it with aplomb. Their strategy could be summed up as players behind the ball, and commit to the counter-attack. City, in contrast, seemed to assume the victory was a given, and travelled south unprepared, and with no answers to the questions Wolves asked of them. They had lots of shots, and plenty of possession, but no way of changing things up when they found themselves frustrated.
Player of the match – Pedro Neto (Wolves)
The number 7 knew he wouldn’t get much of the ball, but was ever vigilant and ready to seize upon any chances that fell his way. He caused City so many problems down the right when he had the ball, and it was his attacking threat that brought about the opening goal, at least as much as City’s defensive frailties. He only caused them more problems in the second half and City had no real response.
WOLVES: Sa 6, Samedo 7, Dawson 8, Kilman 8, Toti 7, Ait-Nouri 8, Gomez 7, Lemina 7, Hwang 9, Cunha 8, Neto 9. Subs: Doherty 6, Traore 7, Silva 6
MAN CITY: Ederson 5, Walker 6, Akanji 4, Dias 5, Ake 4, Kovacic 5, Nunes 5, Foden 5, Doku 5, Alvarez 6, Haaland 4. Subs: Phillips 5, Grealish 7, Gomez 5, Bobb 6
13′ – Goal! Wolves 1 – 0 Man City – City gave the ball away in the Wolves half and had barely anyone back as Pedro Neto ran at them down the right. His cross ended up deflected into the back of the net by Ruben Dias.
58′ – Goal! Wolves 1 – 1 Man City – Alvarez equalises for City from a peach of a free kick. It was in the perfect position, on the left side, just on the corner of the box. He curls it to perfect to the top left corner where there’s nothing Sa can do about it.
66′ – Goal! Wolves 2 – 1 Man City – Wolves absorb a barrage of shots from Man City and take the ball up the other end to go in front. A nice long ball on the right finds is helped into the middle, before coming back out to Hwang, whose first shot is blocked. He gets a second bite of the cherry from closer range when Cunha sets him up to hammer it home.
Wolves completed less than half of Man City’s total passes, at 275 to 589.
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