Man City 0 Wolves 2 (Traore 80, 94)
Wolves produced a perfect display of counter-attacking football to claim their second win of the Premier League season while extending their unbeaten run to five after taking down Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Adama Traore’s pair of second-half strikes were the difference between a defensively outstanding Wolves side and their opponents, helping to send the 3,000 travelling supporters back to the Black Country elated after stunning the Premier League champions on their own turf.
Nuno Espirito Santo made four changes to the side which ran out 1-0 winners over Besiktas in Thursday night’s Europa League group stage clash in Istanbul, with Traore, Ruben Vinagre, Leander Dendoncker and Patrick Cutrone coming into the starting line-up.
Despite having to soak up a bit of early City pressure, the first real chance of the afternoon fell to the visitors and at the feet of Cutrone. The Italian striker got in behind the host’s defence, but after powering forward, he couldn’t trouble Ederson with his effort from the edge of the area.
Wolves, who were forced into an early change after Romain Saiss was replaced by Ryan Bennett when the former went down injured inside the Wolves box, had another great chance to open the scoring with 20 minutes on the clock.
Jimenez burst forward and after turning the City defence inside and out, his shot was able to be blocked by Fernandinho. The City defender then cleared Cutrone’s follow-up with a strong header.
Wolves and Jimenez continued to catch the hosts on the counter, but the City defence were quick to retreat and halt the visitors’ advances. Ilkay Gundogan had the Blues’ first true effort of the first-half, but he could only fire a free-kick well wide of Rui Patricio’s upright from 25 yards out.
The Wolves goalkeeper was then called into action for the first time during the afternoon with just over half-an-hour gone, having to dive full stretch to his left to palm a Raheem Sterling curling effort clear of the danger.
Half-time: Man City 0 Wolves 0
The second-half started slowly for both sides, with referee Craig Pawson becoming the villain of the piece with the City fans for contributing to a stop-start opening 15 minutes.
Wolves’ best chance to open the scoring in the second period came just past the hour mark. Jimenez got up highest from a Moutinho corner, but he struggled to keep his header from flying over Ederson’s crossbar.
The hosts began to peg Wolves back inside their own half, and that pressure almost told when David Silva crashed a free-kick off the bar after beating the visitors’ wall. City kept the pressure on the Wolves defence, who were stationed deep inside their own penalty box and managed to hold strong against a barrage of attacks from Sergio Aguero, Sterling and Silva.
The second period continued to be City’s attack versus the Wolves defence, but the visitors were holding their own as they tried to catch their opponents on the break and that tactic worked with 10 minutes of the game remaining.
Jimenez does brilliantly to control the ball on the turn before charging towards the City defence. He drags two defenders into space which allowed Traore to run forward in acres of space. The Mexican found Traore with a pass who, unmarked, slid the ball beyond Ederson to give his side the lead.
Despite surviving another City onslaught, Wolves put the result beyond any doubt in the five minutes of added on time when Traore was once again played in behind the home defence by Jimenez to replicate his first effort and send the Wolves fans into raptures.
Full-time: Man City 0 Wolves 2
Man City: Ederson, Walker (Zinchenko 46), Otamendi, Fernandinho, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan, D. Silva (Jesus 75), Sterling, Mahrez (B. Silva 60), Aguero.
Unused subs: Bravo, Angelino, Foden, Garcia.
Wolves: Patricio, Traore, Boly, Coady, Saiss (Bennett 13), Vinagre (Jonny 74), Neves, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Jimenez, Cutrone (Doherty 68).
Unused subs: Ruddy, Vallejo, Kilman, Gibbs-White.
Referee: Craig Pawson