Man City 4 (Dendoncker OG 15, Jesus 80 & 90+3, Mahrez 90) Wolves 1 (Coady 61)
Wolves gave a good account of themselves against the runaway leaders, and Conor Coady’s first Premier League goal had them level for a stage, but Manchester City saw off Nuno Espirito Santo’s plucky side thanks to three late goals at the Etihad.
After Leander Dendoncker’s unfortunate own goal, Wolves never let their heads drop and Coady’s guided header had the visitors on for a hard-earned point, but the league leaders wouldn’t be denied and three goals in the final ten minutes ended Wolves’ five-match unbeaten run.
Under no allusions of the task in front of them, with City having won their previous 20 games, Wolves aimed to keep things tight early on, including Rui Patricio, who raced off his line in the opening minute to snuff out Raheem Sterling’s first opening.
However, the visitors’ resistance wouldn’t last much longer. It took one clever pass to set Riyad Mahrez away down the right and once the wide man put a devilish delivery across the face of goal, Dendoncker inadvertently turned into his own net, with Sterling ready to pounce.
Wolves supporters may have feared that goal would light the City touchpaper, but that wasn’t the case, as Nuno’s side recomposed themselves and denied the hosts many further chances that half, following lengthy spells of possession themselves.
However, in the dying stages of the half, City twice came close. First, Aymeric Laporte had the ball in the Wolves net, but had marginally gone too soon when meeting Bernardo Silva’s flick and was denied by the offside flag. Then, Silva’s powerful downward header was kept out by a strong arm from Patricio to keep the score down.
Half-time | Man City 1-0 Wolves
With City’s talent, they always posed a threat and Patricio needed to produce a brilliant fingertip save to turn away Kevin De Bruyne’s powerful low effort. Mahrez quickly became the next man denied by the Portuguese soon after, as he cut inside and had a curling effort palmed away.
And those saves looked worth their weight in gold, as Wolves stunned the runaway leaders with an equaliser. Rodri’s reckless tackle on Joao Moutinho presented an opportunity, which Wolves took full advantage, as the midfielder swung in a delicious delivery which was too tempting for Coady, who stuck his head in bravely and guided a brilliant effort beyond the reach of Ederson.
Wolves had something to hold on to and began their defence of the draw. Naturally, City looked for a response, particularly after Adama Traore had come close to giving Wolves the lead, and Sterling’s effort kissed the outside of the post for the home side.
However, once Traore gave the ball away in a dangerous area, City were alive. The ball was worked wide, and Mahrez fed Walker, who drilled a cross in to cause confusion inside the Wolves box and Gabriel Jesus pounced to turn home from close range.
Back came Wolves again, showing character in abundance and Pedro Neto’s cross was headed over the bar by Dendoncker. However, the contest was finally ended as Owen Otasowie was robbed of the ball inside the Wolves area and eventually Mahrez rolled in the third.
Then, with one final cruel blow, City got a fourth as Ilkay Gundogan’s effort was parried by Patricio and Jesus gobbled up the rebound, which was confirmed as a goal by VAR, after initially being ruled out, to give the final score an unfair look.
Full-time | Man City 4 Wolves 1
Man City | Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Silva (Gundogan 81), De Bruyne, Sterling, Mahrez, Jesus.
Unused subs | Steffen, Stones, Garcia, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Foden, Torres, Aguero.
Wolves | Patricio, Semedo, Hoever, Coady, Saiss, Jonny (Silva 55), Neves (Otasowie 89), Moutinho, Dendoncker, Traore, Neto.
Unused | Ruddy, Ait-Nouri, Boly, Kilman, Gibbs-White, Vitinha, Jose.