Manchester City 3-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers – Match Review

Manchester City maintained their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table with a hard fought win over Wolves at the Etihad Stadium playing out the final quarter of an hour with 10 men.

Edin Dzeko scored his third goal against the Midlanders in the space of 72 hours before Aleksander Kolarov doubled the lead slotting past Wayne Hennessey to give City a 2-0 lead with 23 minutes remaining. The game then changed dramatically after Vincent Kompany was sent off for conceding a penalty allowing Steven Hunt to half the deficit and ensure a nervy final 15 minutes. It took a late Adam Johnson curler to ease the fears of a comeback from Wolves and ensure Robert Mancini’s men remain top of the pile. After being thrashed 5-2 by City in Wednesday’s Carling Cup encounter Mick McCarthy set out his team to frustrate the league leaders and they did just that as the hosts failed to hit the heights of their 6-1 derby day demolition of Manchester United a week earlier.

City’s lack of flair could have been put down to Mancini’s decision to leave Mario Balotelli on the bench despite the charismatic Italian scoring six goals in his last seven games preferring Dzeko up front after he found the net four times in the space of a few days. The Bosnian was at it again against Wolves as he broke the deadlock seven minutes after half time. The first period was one to forget for the City faithful as the visitors grit and determination quelled any threat from the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Samir Nasri. Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy proved to be immovable during the first forty five minutes denying the home side on at least three occasions before seeing all of his hard work go to waste. The Welsh stopped gifted City the opener after he dwelled on the ball seeing his attempted clearance blocked by Aguero allow Dzeko to tap and score the easiest of his 12 goals this season. Wolves attempted to rally but they found themselves two behind midway through the second half with Kolarov turning the ball home after Hennessey had spilled a rasping strike from Silva.

The home side were seemingly home and dry but the sending off of Kompany offered Wolves a much needed lifeline. Joe Hart failed to gather¬†Adlene Guedioura’s cross. ¬†Kevin Doyle reacted quickest to the loose ball only to be hauled down by the City skipper who was swiftly sent for an early bath. Hunt stepped up and sent Hart the wrong way from 12 yards but that was good as it got for McCarthy’s men who failed to test City sufficiently despite their numerical advantage. They were made to pay as Johnson wrapped up the points curling a beautiful effort past Hennessy to keep City’s unbeaten start to the season intact.