The writing was on the wall for the home side with only 55 seconds gone as Jack Grealish scored the opener, and it went from bad to worse for Wolves. City’s star striker Erling Haaland scored his 14th goal of the season to double their advantage on 16 minutes before Nathan Collins was sent off for a high tackle on Grealish.
Phil Foden compounded the misery by netting the third goal despite Wolves showing some fighting spirit, and the Molineux side have only scored three Premier League goals all season, as many as they conceded today.
With Lage switching up his attacking trio, it was a player valued at £50m who disappointed the most…
Pedro Neto started the match and was trusted by the manager to pose a significant attacking threat, despite playing against the champions. However, apart from a weaving run and a shot which veered off target, he was largely ineffective during the gamr.
He achieved a SofaScore rating of just 6.4, the lowest out of Wolves’ six midfielders and attackers, and he really should have made way for youngster Chem Campbell earlier than the 86th minute.
Neto had only 41 touches during his time on the pitch, 30 fewer than goalkeeper Jose Sa, was successful with just three of his eight dribble attempts and delivered just one accurate cross. These are poor numbers from a winger, and he clearly struggled to get into the game.
Defensively, the Portuguese gem lost 67% of his duels, gave away possession 14 times (the most of any outfield Old Gold player) and made just one tackle throughout the afternoon. These poor defensive numbers suggest that Neto doesn’t have the required maturity to contribute to the team when they are on the back foot, and he was evidently Wolves’ weak link down the right-hand side.
Journalist Emmanuel Aneyaw tweeted that Neto was “messing Wolves up” against City following the winger’s performance, and it’s hard to disagree from this evidence.
Lage should maybe have sold the 22-year-old in the summer when he had the chance, for if the Portugal forward keeps producing performances like this on a regular basis, the manager might struggle to find a club who’d want to splash out on him.