Report | Man City 3-0 Wolves

Man City 3 (Halland 40, 50, 54) Wolves 0

Erling Haaland’s hat-trick sank Wolves at the Etihad Stadium, with the Norwegian’s two goals in four second half minutes taking the game away from Julen Lopetegeui’s side.

Wolves had proved a tough nut to crack for the first 40 minutes, but as Kevin De Bruyne whipped a cross on to the head of Haaland, City were away. Five minutes after the break the striker was converting from the spot, before he tapped home the third following a goalkeeping error from Jose Sa.

As many will have expected, Manchester City dominated possession from the start, but for the majority of the half, Wolves remained resolute and tough to break down. Sa wasn’t constantly questioned either, however when called upon, he responded, getting down low to deny Haaland on 18 minutes with his first save of the game.

Much of City’s attempts were from range during the opening stages, with Jack Grealish being denied by the Portuguese, before Rodri lashed an effort over the bar. For Wolves, openings were rare. Ruben Neves’ free-kick came close to finding Nathan Collins, but Manuel Akanji was in the right place to deny the old gold a shot on target.

However, Wolves’ resolve was broken five minutes before the break. Riyad Mahrez played back to De Bruyne, whose whipped cross was too teasing for Haaland to turn up, as he rose above Collins to plant a header beyond Sa – the Premier League’s most potent partnership proving a thorn in Lopetegui’s side.

Crucially, Wolves had to stay within touching distance at the break, and that was the case thanks to the impressive Collins. The Irishman was well placed on the line to head away Grealish’s effort with Sa beaten, before he crucially slid in to keep Ilkay Gundogan from setting up Haaland for a tap in.

Half-time | Man City 1-0 Wolves

Having been so resolute for much of the first half, the game got away from Wolves within the opening ten minutes of the second. Five minutes after the interval, Gundogan got the wrong side of Neves, who clipped the heels of the German. Haaland stepped up to send Sa the wrong way from the spot.

A comeback at that point would have been a push, but Wolves only had themselves to blame when the game was put beyond doubt. Sa, trying to play the ball out from the back, passed straight to Mahrez, who squared for Haaland to roll beyond Collins on the line and complete his treble.

To their credit, Wolves still tried to get their foot on the ball, and debutant Pablo Sarabia had a goalbound shot blocked by Nathan Ake, while Mahrez headed into the side netting and found the back of the net, only to be denied by the offside flag for the hosts.

Lopetegui, not for the first time, rang the chances with Wolves behind and two of his fresh options, Matheus Cunha and Daniel Podence combined for another chance soon after, but the latter’s chip was plucked out of the air by Ederson.

Wolves kept going until the end, with Podence firing narrowly wide and Maximilian Kilman heading over a Joao Moutinho cross late on, but the game was done. Wolves’ season won’t be defined by what happens against the reigning champions, however.

Full-time | Man City 3-0 Wolves

City | Ederson, Stones, Akanji, Laporte, Lewis (Ake 46), Rodri (Philips 77), Gundogan, De Bruyne (Silva 77), Mahrez (Palmer 81), Grealish, Haaland (Alvarez 61).

Unused subs | Ortega, Walker, Cancelo, Dias.

Wolves | Sa, Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Bueno (Ait-Nouri 81), Neves, Nunes, Lemina (Podence 67), A Traore (Moutinho 46), Hwang (Sarabia 46), Jimenez (Cunha 46).

Unused subs | Sarkic, Toti, Jonny, Costa.