Wolverhampton Wanderers 0, Manchester City 3
Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland, and Phil Foden scored the goals that saw Manchester City beat ten-man Wolves to go top of the Premier League.Embed from Getty Images
It was City’s 22nd Premier League game unbeaten away from home as Wolves fought valiantly but were undermined by first half sending off of Nathan Collins for a high challenge on Grealish.
Kevin De Bruyne scored four goals at Molineux last season and although he wasn’t as devastating this time he still laid on two of the goals as City cruised to victory without reaching the heights of last season’s demolition job.
Goalscorer Grealish was understandably relieved after breaking his duck this season:
He said: “It was a long time coming, I haven’t scored since the West Ham game last season.
“It was just nice to get off the mark this season against a top top team in Wolves.
“I do want to add more goals to my game and hopefully with this team I can.
“I keep saying to Kevin [De Bruyne] – you’re the best assister in the world, and he gave me a goal today!”
City boss Pep Guardiola praised Grealish, and hoped that City could continue their momentum after the International break.
He said: “Jack played really good and made a really good goal, it was a good performance for us.
“It started really well for us, after the Champions League a 12.30pm start here against their players was hard.
“It was an incredible victory, we struggled until Phil scored the third goal.
“Wolves fought to the end.
“Fingers crosses my players come back fit [from international duty] and are ready for the [Manchester] derby.”
Jack Grealish makes perfect start for Manchester City at Wolves to defy critics
Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva, and Phil Foden replaced Nathan Ake, Riyad Mahrez, and Ilkay Gundogan as Pep Guardiola made three changes from the side that beat Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
New Wolves signing Diego Costa wasn’t deemed fit enough to join the match day squad for City’s hosts.
And City were off to a flying start at Molineux within a minute.
Kevin De Bruyne received a backheeled return pass from Phil Foden and his cross was met by Jack Grealish after just 55 seconds with a classic City goal to celebrate his 100th Premier League appearance.
Grealish will have been mightily relieved to open his City account for the season with a simple goal from 6 yards – he hadn’t even had an assist this season yet.
Wolves almost had the equaliser after 4 minutes when Goncalo Guedes’ near post shot was saved by Ederson but City were comfortable.
Rodri stabbed home from close range soon afterwards after coming into contact with Jose Sa and dislodging the ball from his grasp with his head as both went for the ball – the goal was quickly chalked off for a foul on the goalkeeper.
But City were 2-0 up after 16 minutes when Erling Haaland found space inside Max Kilman after Bernardo Silva slipped the ball to him and the Norwegian picked out the near post for a goal from outside the box after driving up from midfield.
In scoring his 14th goal in 10 games, he became the first player to score in his first four successive away games in the Premier League – and remarkably it was his 100th goal in 99 games in all competitions since leaving RB Salzburg in January 2020.
Pedro Neto fired a shot wide after Guedes picked him out while Ruben Neves thrashed a free kick over the bar.
Grealish was taken out by a reckless high tackle into his midriff by Nathan Collins and Anthony Taylor had no option but to produce the red card leaving Wolves down to 10 men after just 35 minutes.
Daniel Podence received the ball from Neves but could only shoot wide from distance as Wolves adapted to being a man short before half time.
De Bruyne went close a couple of times as the game slowed down.
After the break Wolves created chances, with Neto dawdling on the ball too long after he got into shooting range.
Guedes miskicked a good chance as City continued their subdued start after the break with Dias having to block a cross into the area later.
Grealish won the ball in midfield and slipped the ball to Haaland whose shot was saved by Jose Sa.
City finally upped a gear with a swift passing move in the 69th minute that ended with De Bruyne’s cross flicked home inside the back post by Phil Foden after a move which was started by Haaland.
It was Foden’s third goal of the season and moments later the Molineux crowd rose and applauded the Queen with an impromptu rendition of God Save The Queen, after which Guardiola opted to make changes.
Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, and Phil Foden were replaced by Riyad Mahrez, Julian Alvarez, and Ilkay Gundogan in the 72nd minute.
And Cole Palmer came on a few minutes later, replacing Grealish with 13 minutes to go.
He quickly found Mahrez whose shot was blocked and Neves almost scored an own goal from the resulting corner.
City’s final change saw Sergio Gomez replace Rodri with 9 minutes to go as City comfortably saw out of the win.