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Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester City at Hongkou Stadium

Hongkou Stadium Referee : Martin Atkinson
20th July 2019 12:30 PM (BST)
  • 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • 0 Manchester City


Commentary By John Edwards


See you on Wednesday...

Right, that's all from us here in Shanghai.

It didn't go our way today but it was another valuable 90 minutes work for Pep Guardiola's men as we prepare for the return of the Premier League.

Our pre-season schedule continues on Wednesday against Kitchee FC in Hong Kong SAR and as always, we'll be here with live updates throughout the game.

Thanks for tuning in today!


Pep satisfied with performance

"We played really well in the first half. The second half, we were against a top side who defend really well, sit deep and do not allow space, then use the counter attack and set pieces.

"But, we controlled the counter attack. Later on we maybe concede one or two, but in general we were good. We created chances and missed the penalty, but overall it was a good performance with no injuries so it was a good game for us."


Pep on young players

"They played incredibly well today. It is not easy to create chances. Everybody, not just the young players, made a good performance and we learn from that."


Pep Guardiola

"Unfortunately last season we missed Kevin a lot. We did incredibly well without him but we are stronger with him.

"Hopefully he can reach his level. He is very positive in his mind. He made an incredible first half, really good."


Aymeric Laporte

"I think the first half was good. We were better than them but we didn’t score. That’s the most important thing in football.

"It could have been better for us but it’s pre-season and we have to improve and keep working."


Up next

We head to Hong Kong SAR on the next leg of our tour of Asia.

Kitchee FC are our opponents on Wednesday, with the game getting under way at 1pm BST.


Positives to take

The drama of penalties didn't go our way, but Pep Guardiola said before kick-off that victory was not the be all and end all today.

There were plenty of positives to take from the performance. We dominated the first half and despite not finding a goal, controlled the game throughout. Kevin De Bruyne was particularly impressive and our youngsters again looked assured in the first team environment. 

No trophy, but another important step towards being ready for when competitive action resumes!


Vinagre - Scores

Ruben Vinagre is equally as calm to find the bottom left corner, sending Bravo the wrong way.

Lukas Nmecha up next and he must score to keep City in it.


The Chilean made two saves when we beat Wolves in the 2017/18 Carabao Cup fourth round, denying Connor Coady and Alfred N'Diaye.

Same again, please!


Right, a short break now whilst the players take on more water and the spot kick takers are decided.

With both sides making several changes it could be a youthful looking shootout!


City still very much the aggressors here. The temp has dropped somewhat, as has the Wolves back line, who are very deep, but it's no surprise given the humidity!


Taylor Harwood-Bellis has just carried the ball out of defence to set up an attack. 

It came to nothing, but great to see a young player with such confidence. πŸ‘


Play's settled again, so a little on Ben Knight, who's making his first senior appearance this evening...

The 17-year-old is a forward player who joined the Club from Ipswich Town last summer. An England junior, he scored seven times for City's U18s last season.

Aaaaand, his uncle is former England cricketer, Nick Knight.


An effort from distance from Jota.

He tries his luck after being released by Moutinho, but Danilo gets across to deflect it out for a corner.


It was all City after the restart as we peppered Wolves with balls into the box, but Traore's speed is a real outlet.

He raced clear down the right and picked out Gibbs-White on the edge of the area, but he couldn't get a shot off. Jota was the better option for Wolves winger there.


The shape remains the same for City, but Sane is playing through the middle of the front three.

Danilo is alongside Laporte at centre-half, with Walker at right-back.


Back to back Ed Sheeran being played here in the stadium, where I cannot stop thinking about that Kevin De Bruyne pass.

Seriously, it was wonderful. πŸ€€

Let's not forget, Nuno Espirito Santo has named a strong Wolves team, so plenty of positives to take from City's dominance. The usual killer instinct has perhaps been missing at times, but it's early days and that will come as the season gets closer.

No goals to report of then...

BUT, it's pretty much been all City so far. De Bruye's been at the heart of most of our best play and found the front three with ease at times. His interplay with Sterling bodes particularly well for the new season, too! 


Wolves enjoying a decent spell of possession before the break, here.

Traore sends a good ball over from the right, with Jonny guiding it to Moutinho, but the midfielder blazes over the bar.



Stop that, Kevin De Bruyne.

The Belgian flicks the ball up and volleys a cross field pass out to Sane on the left flank. 

And I for one, am a huge fan of that. πŸ˜


Couple of decent chances for Wolves...

Coady heads Moutinho's free-kick back across goal and City clear but Traore picks it up and drives at goal.

Rodrigo stepped across him and stopped him in his tracks, though. πŸ’ͺ


It's been a decent start from the young pair of Bernabe and Poveda. 

Both extremely comfortable taking the ball in tight areas and moving it on. 


Good block from Laporte!

The Frenchman thwarts Gibbs-White after a good passage of play from Wolves. The first time they'd held on to the ball for any length of time and they nearly reaped their reward.


Kevin De Bruyne's certainly popular with fans here in China. A none stop rendition of 'Ohhhh Kevin De Bruyne' when play was paused for Patricio's injury. 


Both sets of team using this break to take on water, obviously.

It's not quite as humid as it was in Nanjing, but still vastly different than the weather you might find in Manchester or Wolverhampton...πŸ˜…


It was the De Bruyne/Sterling combination again there. 

A slide rule pass from the Belgian and it would have been a goal but for good work from Patricio.

The Wolves' keeper's hurt himself in the act and there's a delay in the action.


What a ball that was from De Bruyne. πŸ‘

He shifted the ball onto his left foot and swung it over to the far, but it was inches ahead of the onrushing Sterling.


Neat link up between Bernabe and Sane and the former flashes a teasing centre across the face of goal, but there's no one there to meet it.

Tidy stuff from the youngster.


Another run from Sterling as he weaves past a couple of players and gets into the box only to be dispossessed.

Lively start from our No.7! πŸ’¨ 


Loving it

That was well received by the sea of blue to my right, too, with the City section following up with a rendition of 'Championes'.

They're in fine voice here in Shanghai! 



Five minutes until we're under way and Blue Moon is belting out of the public address system at the Hongkou Stadium. Lovely stuff. 


A word from the boss...

"It’s a friendly game so the trophy is not important. Of course we want to win because every athlete does, but that is not the target. The target is to not get injured.

"Wolves are a strong side. We know their quality. They have an incredibly solid defensive structure and incredibly fast players up front and they know exactly what to do in midfield with Moutinho and Neves."


Ready and raring to go...

Oleksandr Zinchenko: "We prepare ourselves well. We know them well, they have quality in front and I think the fans will definitely enjoy it.

"We had enough time to rest. Everyone is enjoying it here in China because of the fans. Physically I think we are ready."


Plenty of experience

It's a strong team for our second game of pre-season, then and that's matched by Wolves, who have a Europa League game coming up in five days time. 

Bernardo eyeing victory

β€œTo win is a fundamental element of this team. 

"We want to prepare for the season in the best way possible, we want to recreate the dynamic we had last season, which helped us win four trophies.

β€œBut, of course, if we can add another win and trophy to that equation, ever better.”


Pre-season continues at the Hongkou Stadium today, where we face Wolves in the Premier League Asia Trophy. Kick-off is 12.30pm BST and team news is coming up shortly...

Other games that day

  • Newcastle United1
    West Ham United0