Manchester City 0, Wolves 2
Two late goals by Adama Traore dealt another blow to Manchester City’s title hopes as they fell 8 points behind Liverpool after a 2-0 home defeat to Wolves.
City were uncharacteristically wasteful and sloppy against Wolves, who lost Romain Saiss to an early hamstring injury.
City could have been three goals down in the first half as they were caught on the break three times after sloppy passes.
Chances for Patrick Cutrone and Raul Jimenez went begging as City resorted to last ditch defending by their makeshift central defensive pairing of Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi to prevent first half goals.
Otamendi in particular was guilty of lunging in on tackles, a sign of desperation which had been eliminated from is game in recent seasons.
But these actions would soon come back to haunt City who could only muster tame half chances through Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling, plus a David Silva free kick which crashed against the crossbar.
In the final quarter of the match in which the well travelled Wolves team, who had had two days less rest and a lengthy trip back from a Europa League game in Turkey, City finally paid for their poor defending on the break.
Turned over twice in the last ten minutes, Adama Traore was given the ball by Jimenez twice and, clean through, made no mistake to condemn City to a 2-0 defeat.
PLAYER RATINGS – Manchester City 0, Wolves 2
Ederson: 6. Couple of good saves early on but could do little with Traore’s goals.
Kyle Walker: 6. England situation may have been on his mind but he had a shot at the end of the first half that challenged Rui Patricio to make the save at a stretch. He was replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Nicolas Otamendi: 6. Exposed for pace twice, diving in with the ball going past him a dangerous gambit that has returned to his game. Gambled everything again to stop Raul Jimenez and lost out for Wolves’ first goal.
Fernandinho: 6. Twice helped his side out with interceptions and blocks but was too far away from Otamendi for an early through ball for Patrick Cutrone.
Joao Cancelo: 5. Switched to the left side to deal with physical Wolves – not his customary position – and wasn’t on the same wavelength as team mates.
Rodrigo: 6. Slow to react to danger from quick Wolves and, like his team mates, sloppy at times with his passing.
Ilkay Gundogan: 6. Set piece delivery not at his best.
David Silva: 6. Also afflicted by the poor passing in the first half.
Riyad Mahrez: 5. Poor passing put his team in trouble.
Raheem Sterling: 6. Found a couple of early openings. Forced a great save out of Rui Patricio and had a second half shot blocked by Ryan Bennett. Crosses into the box difficult due to massed defending by Wolves.
Sergio Aguero: 6. Frustrated by Wolves. Shot wide late on when chance laid on by Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (on for Kyle Walker 46): 6. Ineffective crosses against Wolves.
Bernardo Silva (on for Riyad Mahrez 60): 6. Had a great chance to score but it was blocked,
Gabriel Jesus (on for David Silva): 6. Difficult to get through Wolves defence
GOALS – Manchester City 0, Wolves 2
Man City 0, Wolves 1: 80. Adama Traore scored from 16 yards after Raul Jimenez skipped the despairing dive by Nicolas Otamendi to cross for the Wolves winger to score.
Man City 0, Wolves 2: 90+4. Adama Traore was clean through again and slid the ball in past Ederson from 18 yards out after being slipped in again by Raul Jimenez as City were caught upfield.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City 0, Wolves 2
Man City: Ederson, Walker (Zinchenko 46), Otamendi, Fernandinho, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan, David Silva (C) (Jesus 75), Mahrez (Bernardo Silva 60), Sterling, Aguero
Man City Subs not used: Bravo, Angelino, Foden, Garcia
Bookings: Rodri 50 (brought down Patrick Cutrone), Cancelo 50 (foul on Ruben Neves), Ederson 62 (dissent), Gundogan 71 (foul on Adama Traore), Fernandinho 77 (foul)
Wolves: Rui Patricio, Boly, Coady (C), Saiss (Bennett 13), Traore, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Vinagre (Otto 74), Jimenez, Cutrone (Doherty 68)
Wolves Subs not used: Ruddy, Vallejo, Gibbs-White, Kilman
Booking: Neves 84 (foul on Raheem Sterling), Moutinho 86 (foul on Bernardo Silva)
Goals: Traore 80, 90+4
Referee: Craig Pawson