Manchester City entered the clash against Wolves at the Molineux in the hopes of maintaining their perfect Premier League run.
Pep Guardiola was pulling the strings from the stands after receiving three yellow cards before today.
Following a disappointing display midweek, the Blues line up was much stronger.
Today’s squad against Wolves! 👊
XI | Ederson, Walker (C), Akanji, Dias, Ake, Kovacic, Nunes, Foden, Doku, Alvarez, Haaland
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 30, 2023
Although this is not the strongest City side due to injuries and suspensions.
The Blues did not take long before aiming to assert their dominance through possession.
Nunes received an unfriendly welcome from the fans of his former side, following his forced move in the summer.
While Nunes pushed up earlier in the game, Kovacic took on the deeper lying role within midfield.
Manchester City were dominating completely, however Wolves took the lead against the run of play.
Neto went on a typical run and got the better of Ake, and it ended up in the back of the net of Ruben Dias.
Wolves 1 – 0 Manchester City
A poor goal to concede for the Blues, too slow in transition and sluggish defending. Though it was still early doors.
Manchester City not one to change their approach continued to push for an equaliser, though sloppy in possession at times.
While there were some half chances for the current Premier League champions, there were no shots on target until almost 30 minutes in. The chance came through Foden getting the ball to Ake, but doesn’t convert.
Craig Pawson loved his yellow cards and many of the cautions seemed harsh for both City and Wolves players.
He was shy with his red cards however. Following a poor challenge from Hwang who was already on a yellow, Pawson bottled out of a second booking.
The Blues trailed 1-0 at half-time.
As the Boys in Blue returned to the pitch, there was an uncharacteristic half-time change made by Guardiola. Matheus Nunes made way for Oscar Bobb, who could be crucial in breaking down the Wolves defence.
Wolves were solid defensively as a unit, however they displayed poor sportsmanship as they made a meal of every challenge and acting up.
Just before the hour mark Manchester City won a free-kick and Julian Alvarez lined up to take it. He curls it into the top left of the net and levels for the Blues.
Wolves 1 – 1 Manchester City
Following the goal the Blues continued to apply pressure to take the lead. However, the threat to counter from Wolves was there and it worked for them. They took the lead again just minutes after City’s equaliser.
Wolves 2 – 1 Manchester City
Wolves returned to their cheating antics after they took the lead. Scored by the player that should have been sent off during the first half, of course.
Kovacic was replaced by Phillips following the Wolves second. Not long after, Guardiola opted for attacking reinforcements and replaced Ake with Grealish.
It was too late however. The changes did not impact the final result and City were off their game. Poor and sloppy while Wolves played their dark arts which we have seen before – perhaps the Blues could have been wiser to that.
Despite the various stoppages forced by Wolves players pulling up for all sorts of reasons, there was just six minutes of additional time. It really was quite the bizarre refereeing display.
Back to back defeats for the Blues.