Wolves 2, Manchester City 1
Manchester City’s 100% start to their Premier League season was brought crashing back down to earth after Hwang Hee-chan’s winning goal for Wolves handed them a shock win against the Treble Winners.Embed from Getty Images
Ruben Dias’ early own goal after 13 minutes had been cancelled out in the second half by Julian Alvarez’ fifth goal of the season after 58 minutes but the Wolves striker scored with the home side’s only shot on target after 66 minutes to give them something to hold on to – and they duly handed out one of the shocks of the day.
City boss Pep Guardiola was again missing from the dugout but rather than more emergency back surgery he was suspended for a match after collecting his third manager booking of the season during the Carabao Cup defeat at Newcastle United on Wednesday.
At least he was at Molineux but he won’t have liked what he saw after he dropped Kalvin Phillips from the starting lineup for the City’s second game without the influential Rodri who was serving the second of a three match ban after his red card against Nottingham Forest last weekend.
In midfield for City instead was Matheus Nunes who was mercilessly booed and ridiculed by fans of his former club for the acrimonious mature of his summer departure to City.
Ederson, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Nunes, Phil Foden, Jeremy Doku, and Erling Haaland were restored to the side while Stefan Ortega, Jose Gvardiol, Rico Lewis, Phillips, Sergio Gomez, and Oscar Bobb stepped down.
But while City had their customary majority of possession and shots on goal they just could not beat Jose Sa and were vulnerable to the counter attack without the stability of and ball retention of Rodri.
Nunes’ square pass for Haaland was taken off him by Craig Dawson, who looked after the big striker all afternoon.
But Wolves quickly took the lead after Pedro Neto’s solo run took him past Phil Foden and Nathan Ake and his cross into the six yard box was knocked into his own goal by the luckless Dias.
Bobb replaced the wasteful Nunes at half time and the Norwegian winger won a free kick on the edge of the box from which Alvarez struck the equaliser with a brilliant set piece direct inside the near post beyond the grasp of Sa.
Phillips was reintroduced after 65 minutes for Mateo Kovacic and Phil Foden had a shot cleared off the line by Dawson while Manuel Akanji forced a save from Sa as City sought to take the lead.
But for all their industry Wolves held firm and Akanji’s half clearance of Nelson Semedo’s cross fell to Hwang whose initial shot was blocked by Dias but the rebound fell kindly to Matheus Cunha who unselfishly set up the South Korean striker too have another go and he buried it past Ederson.