Manchester City returned to domestic action with vengeance on the mind after a midweek UEFA Champions League defeat against RB Leipzig. Their European hangover appeared to carry through to today too, with a slow start ensuing at the Etihad Stadium. Raheem Sterling’s scuffed effort was about as close as either side came to finding a breakthrough in the opening stages. João Cancelo stung the palms of José Sá from distance, but was never in danger of finding the net, bringing an end to an incredibly tame opening half-hour.
The first half burst into action moments before its conclusion. Raúl Jiménez, who had just been cautioned, prevented a quick City free-kick, forcing Jon Moss to reach for a second yellow card and dismiss the Mexican. City emerged after the break with renewed optimism that they could break down Wolves’ resilient rearguard, and a seven-minute spell of dominance saw Wolves go almost touchless. City’s pressure eventually bore fruits with 30 minutes to play, as Bernardo Silva’s cross was handled by João Moutinho and confirmed to be a penalty after a lengthy VAR check. Sterling stepped forward from 12 yards and coolly converted his 100th PL goal.
Jack Grealish and Silva spurned golden opportunities to wrap up the game, but City needn’t have worried about missed chances – their victory was secure thanks to Ederson’s save from Max Kilman’s late header. Three points heap the pressure on Chelsea and Liverpool now, both of whom face seemingly difficult tasks. Meanwhile, a 1-0 defeat away at City with ten men certainly doesn’t disgrace Wolves, but Bruno Lage must be left pondering what could’ve been had it been 11v11 for 90 minutes.