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20:46 22nd April 2012

Defeat Confirms The Drop

Wolves 0

Manchester City 2 (Aguero 27, Nasri 74)

'We're going to Barnsley' sang the South Bank as the trapdoor to the Championship opened for Wolves following a spirited but fruitless display against title changing Manchester City.

The Molineux side waved farewell to their Premier League status as their big spending opponents netted a goal in each half to set up a mammoth meeting with arch rivals Manchester United next weekend.

Terry Connor made four changes to his starting line-up. There was the enforced switch of keepers with Dorus De Vries making his Premier League debut in place of the injured Wayne Hennessey, whilst Sebastien Bassong returned from suspension in place of Christophe Berra, and Matt Jarvis and Dave Edwards replaced Anthony Forde and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

City kicked-off attacking the South Bank end and after just 17 seconds as Carlos Tevez sprinted forwards and let go a shot from 20-yards that wasn't too far over.

Wolves responded with a Michael Kightly corner that was half cleared to Bassong who hit a terrific drive that was deflected inches over the angle.

De Vries punched clear a Samir Nasri corner but the keeper was relieved to see Sergio Aguero's angled shot drift wide of the far post after the Argentinian had run through from what looked like an offside position.

In the 13th minute it took a flying save from England keeper Joe Hart to deny David Davis who hit a fierce drive from the edge of the 'D' after Steven Fletcher had teed the ball up for the youngster.

An inch perfect through ball from Pablo Zabaleta put Nasri through on goal but he fired inches wide of the far post before Aguero worked a shooting position for himself before driving wide of the mark.

City's one touch football in and around the home area was a constant nightmare for the Wanderers defence and after an intricate build up Tevez hit an angled shot that De Vries dived to save.

But the keeper stood no chance as Aguero put City ahead in the 27th minute. He ran onto Gael Clichy's defence splitting through ball and slotted the ball past the unprotected De Vries.

It could have been two after Nasri set up Tevez but the Argentinian lifted his shot into the arms of De Vries.

No-one could fault Wolves for lack of effort and there was a chance when Kightly broke down the right and fired over a cross that Fletcher couldn't quite reach at the back stick.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 City 1

Jarvis used his speed on the left to get by Zabaleta who got back to block the winger's low cross after he had cut into the box.

After Kightly took a return pass from Davis his centre was cleared to Jarvis who was far too high with a long range effort.

Yaya Toure went into the book for a late challenge on Kightly and from Karl Henry's free-kick Bassong nodded the ball across to Fletcher whose header drew anther fine save from Hart.

On the hour mark Kevin Doyle replaced Edwards and seconds later Richard Stearman had to turn behind a low cross from Tevez. Stearman then blocked from Tevez who had dispossessed Henry.

A dubious decision, not the first that Wolves have suffered this season by a long stretch, led to City going two up on 74 minutes. Davis was deemed to have fouled Tevez who took the free-kick finding Clichy who quickly returned the ball to him and his low cross ran through for Nasri to drive into the far corner.

A minute later, both Bassong, who was injured in the build-up to the goal, and Tevez, were substituted by Berra and Adam Johnson respectively. Within seconds of Johnson's introduction he drew a fine save from De Vries with a low drive that had the keeper at full stretch.

Aguero wasted the chance of a third when he hesitated when clean through allowing Stearman to get back and De Vries to save.

The Dutch keeper then made a superb stop from Stearman whose headed attempt to clear Zabaleta's centre was bound for the back of the net.

In stoppage time Yaya Toure fired narrowly wide as the heavens opened. But neither the rain, nor relegation, could dampen the spirits of the home supporters who sang loud and proud to the final whistle and beyond.

Wolves: De Vries, Foley, Ward, Davis, Bassong (Berra 75), Stearman, Kightly, Henry (capt), Fletcher (Ebanks-Blake 77), Edwards (Doyle 61), Jarvis.

Unused subs: Ikeme, R. Johnson, Milijaš, Zubar.

City: Hart, Kompany (capt), Lescott, Clichy, Zabaleta, Y. Toure, Barry, Silva (De Jong 59), Nasri (K. Toure 86), Tevez (A. Johnson 75), Aguero.

Unused subs: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Milner, Dzeko.

Booking: Y. Toure (57 - foul).

Referee: L. Probert.

Attendance: 24,576.

Sunderland Academy Under 18s 4 Wolves 1 (Kempton)

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.