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Manchester City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers at Etihad Stadium

FT
Etihad Stadium Referee : Chris Kavanagh
2nd March 2021 8:00 PM (GMT)
  • 4 Manchester City

    • ‘15' Leander Dendoncker (OG)
    • ‘80' Gabriel Jesus
    • ‘90' Riyad Mahrez
    • ‘90'+3' Gabriel Jesus
  • 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

    • ‘61' Conor Coady

#mancity

Commentary By

22:45

More from the boss...👇🏻

Pep Guardiola:

"We reacted well. Not just right after to concede the goal. We have to be better. In knockout games you have to be stable. I said last game after West Ham, when you win 21 games, you don’t always win 5-0 and everything is perfect.

"Every team creates a lot of problems in different ways. 15-20 victories in this period is incredible. The next one is Man Utd. Liverpool is the champion. They have the crown. If we want to take it, we have to win the Premier League." 

22:43

Pep's verdict...

"We conceded few actions to them. We created opportunities. An incredibly well deserved victory. A big compliment for the guys.  To finish 4-1 is nice for our confidence. Onto the next.

 "You cannot imagine how happy we are when Gabriel can score the goals he has scored because you cannot imagine how many things he does that people don’t realise he does.

"He helps us with his pressing. He is a joyous guy. 

22:16

Just leaving this here...

 🔹 Won 21 consecutive games in all competitions

 🔹 Won 15 straight Premier League games

 🔹 Equalled Arsenal's run of 19 games without trailing at any point

 🔹 Gone 15 points clear at the top of the table

  🔹 Not trailed at any point in our past 18 league fixtures, conceding just five goals. 

22:11

'No complacency'

More from Riyad Mahrez:

"We compete very good with each other, it’s the only way to improve the level of the squad, we have to play game by game and see what happens because the next game is the derby, we need to stay focused to try and win this game."

22:09

'We kept fighting'

Riyad Mahrez's verdict:

"Yeah, it was a tough game, I think we started very good, scored the first and created chances.

"We could've killed the game in the first half but I think Aymeric was offside.

"Second half was more difficult they pressed higher but we still created chances, they manage to score the 1-1 but then we finish good. We never give up, we keep pressing and creating chances to score the goal."

22:01

21-gun salute

David Clayton at the Etihad:

"Wolves, like West Ham, asked questions in the second-half but City again had the answers.

"Anything other than three points would have been harsh on us because we were much the better side. 21 wins is incredible and both Jesus and Mahrez thoroughly deserved their goals."

21:58

Leading men 💪

The win moves City 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with the side having played one game more than our rivals.

Not a bad position to be in though!!

90'+3'

Fight to the end

Another reminder that City never stop. We keep searching and probing and never let the opposition rest on their laurels.

Tonight has been a textbook case 

85'

Crackerjacks

Absolutely superb second half this.

Had everything - and another reminder that City have character in bucket loads to go with our undoubted quality and class.

81'

Gift of the Gab 💙

Walker made the initial impact and with a surging run down the right flank.

The ball is only partially cleared and Gabriel Jesus smashes the ball home from eight yards.

Dare I say it, the response of would be champions!

79'

Action stations

David Clayton at the Etihad

"City have largely dominated and we're playing really well but Wolves look dangerous when they break.

"Joao Moutinho made the most of the free-kick that led to the equaliser so hoping we don't give him another opportunity near goal."

Open
78'

So close again...

So unlucky there Raheem Sterling.

Her cuts inside on the edge of the box and curls a stunning shot which clips the outside of the post and goes behind.

74'

Just wide

Aargh.

Mahrez the danger man again as he latches onto Bernardo's inviting ball and fizzes in a superb cross.

Sterling clips the ball with his foot and it skirts just the wrong side of the post.

We're building up momentum again.

70'

Now Ederson has to be alert to dive and save a shot which takes a defection off Laporte.

Wolves then have a five on three. Neto's shot is blocked and the ball finds Traore who blazes over.

The visitors unrecognisable

68'

Warning signs

Timely block from Dias stops a Traore shot as the Wolves man drives forward.

The striker then powers forward again and shots just over

The visitors have had a shot of belief - and are suddenly looking very dangerous on the attack.

66'

Time for this....

Patricio has been a man inspired so far tonight.

But the positive news is that we still have more than 25 minutes to reclaim the lead.

And plenty of options on the bench.

Open
65'

Aaarghh...

Patricio again - Jesus is put through in the clear on the right side of the box and fires in a goalbound shot only for Patricio to deflect it behind with his foot.

How did that not go in?

61'

Moutinho's free-kick was precise and Coady showed desire to beat the City defence.

Another reminder that in football 1-0 is such a slender scoreline.

We should be out of sight - instead it's game on.

60'

Golden vision ⚽️

David Clayton at the Etihad:

"Rui Patricio keeping Wolves in this - his save from Kevin De Bruyne was superb and the Mahrez stop wasn't bad, either.

"Wolves showing a bit more intent but City have been relentless looking for this second goal."

58'

Seconds please

For all our dominance we could just do with second goal to provide that extra insurance.

A few signs of Wolves looking to be a bit more expansive this half.


54'

Save again

More impressive work from the Wolves keeper to deny Mahrez after the City winger cut inside onto his left foot and let fly from 18 yards.

Open
51'

Great save

Superb save from the Wolves keeper to deny De Bruyne.

The Belgian burst into the box and fired in a curling low drive which looked set to go inside the far post only for Patricio to get his fingertips onto the ball and force it wide.

48'

Close!

City build again and a low Cancelo cross rebounds off Coady into the grateful arms of Patricio with Jesus and Sterling both lurking in the box.

47'

Danger signs

A rarity as Kevin De Bruyne concedes possession. Traore bears down on the City box and Neto is in acres of space on the left but, fortunately, the Spanish international chooses to go right instead.

A warning though that Wolves can hurt us with their quality.

HT

'A special technique'

Nedum Onuoha's half-time verdict:

"Riyad Mahrez, and that touch, there’s different kinds of players, there’s the ones who control it with the thigh like me and there’s some with the outside of the foot.

"That confidence and technique is special, but the ball from Rodri was incredible. But the best thing is the relationship the two had, because he knew the run was coming, and he knew the ball was coming."

HT

So far, so good...

David Clayton at the Etihad:

"A solid first 45 by City with Ederson redundant so far.

"Wolves are something of a second-half team this season and they were impressive away to Newcastle after the re-start last time out.

"So  I reckon they'll have a bit of a fillip after that VAR disallowed Aymeric Laporte goal - which I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking maybe should have stood."

43'

Finishing school

The only negative is that we haven't been able to make Patricio work even harder in the Wolves goal.

Just missing that ruthless touch in the final aspect of our play.

42'

Give away

Wolves give the ball away in their box again and only a Neves block prevents a Mahrez shot from pinging in on goal.

The visitors aren't helping their cause here.

37'

Pep's running men...

Amongst the myriad qualities of the City squad, a word for our collective fitness levels.

Absolutely off the scale - every player covers so much ground in the course of their duty.

35'

Stop start

A crunching challenge from Cancelo stops Neto in his tracks and immediately gets City on the front foot.

We turned defence into attack in an instant there.

There is absolutely no respite for the visitors.

31'

Pep's sharp shooters

David Clayton at the Etihad:

"At the weekend we looked a bit jaded and the tempo wasn't so good - that's not the case this evening.

"We look bright and sharp all over the pitch - Bernardo is everywhere and Gabriel Jesus is finding pockets of space and causing problems. 

"The first 30 minutes have flown past."

30'

All right now

Another raking pass from Rodrigo almost puts Mahrez in behind the Wolves defence once more.

City getting a lot of joy down that right flank.

27'

Give it to Eddy

Actually a couple of touches for Ederson as he gratefully gathers some back passes from his team mates.

Fair to say the keeper has been somewhat under-employed so far tonight.

24'

Special K

Another stunning first time pass from De Bruyne so nearly finds Jesus in the box before Patricio just beats the Brazilian to the ball.

Relentless stuff from the Belgian and City whose appetite for more looks insatiable.


23'

Shaping up nicely

From David Clayton at the Etihad:

"Wolves ultra-defensive formation is asking for trouble and City looking in great shape.

"Great to have an early goal in the bag and be good to get another on the board as soon as possible.

"Interesting that Wolves are playing Adama Traore as a central attacker tonight - their plan must be to get the ball (when they can) and try and free him as quickly as possible.

"Nuno Espirito Santo clearly thinking along the 'horses for courses' theory."

20'

Not this time...

Coady gives the ball away on the edge of the box and City harry and probe once again before a heavy touch from Walker sends the ball out.

Brave of the visitors to try and play out of defence but any mistake and you get the feeling City will pounce.

15'

What a start

A brilliant pass from Rodrigo finds Mahrez  on the right, his first touch is exquisite and he fizzes the ball into the box and it goes in off Dendocker with Sterling just behind.

Nothing the Wolves man could do.

No less than we deserved. Stunning first 15 minutes.

13'

Hunger games

Rodrigo does superbly to win the ball from Wolves in their half and the ball instantly is moved to Sterling before two defenders shut the door.

City's hunger and desire to win possession back at every opportunity evident again there.

10'

Close!

Patricio is called into action again to punch the ball clear from Mahrez's teasing cross as Sterling prepared to pounce.

All one-way traffic in this opening 10 minutes.

6'

Flexible friends

City's movement on and off the ball is mesmerising. Now Sterling has moved more centrally with Cancelo adopting the left wing position.

You don't envy the opposition in trying to deal with our flexible shape!

3'

Wide boys

The Wolves players all camped in their half as City look to probe and find an opening.

Sterling wide on the left, Mahrez on the right with Jesus the attacking focal point.

19:59

Opportunity knocks

David Clayton at the Etihad:

"Great chance for us to go 15 points clear this evening with no other Premier League matches being played.

"Wolves are always a tricky side for us to face and in Adama Traore, they have an explosive talent. He doesn't do it all the time, but on his game he is almost unstoppable. 

"He has only scored five Premier League goals - and three of them were against us! Definitely a player we need to keep quiet."

19:57

Almost ready...💙

The players are almost on the pitch and we are minutes away from kick-off. Here's a reminder of how the teams line up today...

  

CITY XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne (c), Bernardo, Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez

WOLVES XI: Rui Patricio, Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss, Hoever, Neves, Joao Moutinho, Jonny, Nelson Semedo, Pedro Neto, Traore.

19:50

Stat attack (part three)...📈

 🔹 Ederson has kept 15 clean sheets in the Premier League, conceding just 15 goals in total.

 🔹 Wolves have won seven points against Manchester City since returning to the Premier League in 2018-19, the joint-best record of any team during that period.

 🔹 Their 2-0 victory at the Etihad last season means they can win back-to-back top-flight away games against City for the first time since 1960.

19:47

'City's unsung hereo'

Nedum Onuoha on Riyad Mahrez:

"I think he’s one of many players in the team who don’t necessarily get the headlines but does a great job for the team.

"For him you add that he’s scored six and got four assists, he’s contributing.

As a coach you can have your ideas but can you get your players to buy into it all the time? And he has that in someone like Mahrez. He works exceptionally hard defensively, he understands his role and occupies the defence in a certain way.

And if he gives away the ball he reacts straight away and there’s always a moment where he’ll get someone isolated inside the box and that’s bad news (for the opposition.)

19:40

Port of plenty

From David Clayton at the Etihad:

"Looks like we're playing Portugal this evening!

"Wolves will be playing in their maroon and green third kit, inspired by the Portuguese national team strip. They have five Portuguese players in their starting XI so it's understandable.

"Sadly, we don't have the same weather as Lisbon this evening - it's about 14 degrees there and it feels about 1 degree here at the Etihad."

19:32

'One of our toughest opponents'

Pep on the threat from Wolves:

"One of the toughest (opponents) since we arrive here. In my first season we play in the Carabao Cup, and since Nuno’s team was promoted they are one of the toughest ones.

"We have lost many times, last season both games, draw, win sometimes. They’re some of the toughest ones, we know it.

"We have to be patient and you know the quality of the players up-front, if we are able to make the difference."

19:29

Pep Guardiola's pre-match thoughts:

"The last four months is like this since the beginning of the season. Another one (game). Don’t think much, try to play well and try to win the game.

"We want to sustain the players mentally and physically. We started in the first months with many injuries and with COVID.

"So now we have everyone fit and everyone deserves to play. So the best way is to have everyone involved in what we are doing, that’s why we rotate the team."

19:25

'Unreal level of quality'

Nedum Onuoha:

"A couple of weeks ago, Pep was saying we’re taking every game as it comes, and I can believe it because every game there’s a plan to stop the opposition’s best traits.

"When we played Spurs here last month, it was to swarm the midfield and stop the counter attack.

"Realistically my only complaint about Pep, the only people who get frustrated are those with fantasy football issues!

"For everybody else who doesn’t have a stake, that level of rotation while maintaining the quality, that’s unreal."

19:20

'Wolves a threat'

More from Bernardo:

"They’re in a good moment and they’re a tough team, I have a lot of friends there.

"I know how intelligent they are and how tough it is to play against them.

"As I said, it’s going to be difficult but we’re in a good moment and we want to keep it that way."

19:17

'City in a good moment'

Bernardo Silva's pre-match thoughts:

"Yeah we’re on a good run but it’s going to be tough. We have Wolves, we have United, Southampton, Champions League, Everton in the FA Cup.

"This season has been tough for everyone, we’ve been playing every three days but I think we’re in a good moment.

"We have an important game tonight and we want to keep winning."

19:14

'A new type of danger'

Nedum Onuoha:

"I think when I see Laporte, Dias and Walker then you know they'll look for the three at the back so Cancelo has more freedom to move about because the width that will be provided by a Mahrez or Sterling.

"When he’s playing that theoretical left back spot, that suits him because it’s a new type of danger teams are having to deal with now. 

19:08

Proving a point

Nedum Onuoha:

"Yet again, it’s another great City side.

"The rotation doesn’t necessarily weaken the team, and when you’re in that position where you can make changes given the schedule but the momentum remains the same, that’s a truly terrific spot to be in.

"It looks like a team based on the same principles and with bodies in there who want to continue to prove a point and try and break the records."

19:04

Safe crossing, Mark!

19:03

We're Not Really Here 📺

Nedum Onuoha and Steven McInerney are live now and you can get involved in the show by using #WNRH on Twitter!

Tune in ☝️

19:00

Team news 🔵📋

City boss Pep Guardiola make six changes from the side that beat West Ham at the weekend.

Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo, Rodrigo, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus all come into the starting line-up.

Ederson, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, skipper Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez are the men retained.

CITY XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne (c), Bernardo, Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez

SUBS: Steffen, Stones, Zinchenko, Garcia, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Torres, Aguero, Foden

18:55

'A crucial 10 days'

More from Pep Guardiola:

“We know how important this 10 days is with Wolves, United and Southampton before travelling to Fulham. If we are able to do what we want to do, we will make an incredible step, absolutely.

“I want to see the team focusing on the job we have to do. I said many times lately, we have two ways to view what is happening.

“We see what we have done and just reflect on that or keep doing things and get to take three more points through our game and not just see what we have done so far.”

18:51

Stat attack (part two)...📈

 🔹 Wolves' draw at Newcastle United at the weekend stretched their unbeaten run to five Premier League games.

 🔹 However, they have triumphed in just one of their last eight Premier League away matches (D3, L4).

 🔹 Wolves have claimed 20 points from losing positions - only Manchester United have a better record.

18:41

Stat attack...📈

 🔹 City are one of just three teams in the top five European leagues to record a run of 20 or more consecutive victories, after Bayern Munich (23 in 2020) and Real Madrid (22 in 2014).

 🔹 We have claimed 14 consecutive Premier League wins - no other side has won more than four in a row this season.

 🔹 City can equal Arsenal's Premier League record of 19 consecutive games without trailing at any point, set between December 1998 and May 1999.

18:34

No let-up from the boss...

Pep Guardiola:

"We know each other quite well and they know in that moment how demanding I am - even now with the sunny days in Manchester that we cannot relax for one second.

“Always we can do better… that is the target.

“As much as we win and as much as we get results, as much we have to demand and be over the players and say we can do better. That is the moment.

“This is the moment and when I feel that every player is thinking the job is done or how good it is, these guys are not going to play.

“I am so intuitive. I know exactly when the guys are not ready to continue what we need to do. I said before the champions are Liverpool so to do it we still have eight, nine or 10 games and it’s a lot."

18:26

Mindblowing numbers...

🔹 If City avoid defeat at home to Wolves, it will equal the 28-game unbeaten we put together under Pep Guardiola from May to December in 2017.

🔹 Saturday's 2-1 win over West Ham was our 20th win in a row in all competitions, which extends our English top-flight record.

🔹 Our unbeaten run now stands at 27 games, having not lost since the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on 21 November.

🔹 John Stones has scored four goals in all competitions this season. No Premier League defender has scored more.

🔹 Kevin De Bruyne's cross for Ruben Dias's opening goal against the Hammers on Saturday was his 11th assist of the season in the Premier League. No other player has provided more. (Harry Kane is level on 11)

18:19

Early team news 📋

 🔹 We'll find out tonight's teams at 19.00pm, though we do already have some early matchday selection pointers.

 🔹 City’s squad is in excellent collective shape, with Nathan Ake the only man to miss out as he remains sidelined with a muscular problem.

 🔹 But with the games coming thick and fast and Sunday's Manchester derby also looming on the horizon, the boss could look to rotate once again this evening..

 🔹 Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo is set to select from the same squad that drew at Newcastle United at the weekend..

 🔹 Willy Boly is back in training but is still unavailable, along with Daniel Podence, Raul Jimenez and Fernando Marcal.

18:13

BT Sport offer

A quick reminder that tonight’s game, plus three other City fixtures will be shown live on BT Sport this month and you can sign up for a BT Sport Monthly pass to get all four games for £25! *

SIGN UP HERE

*Available to UK viewers only.

18:06

It's your shout! 📱

As always, we'd love to hear your views and thoughts ahead of tonight's match - be it regarding who you'd like to see play, our amazing, record-breaking run of form - or anything else City related for that matter!

Just get in touch using the hashtag #WNRH.

18:04

TUNE IN 📺

 We’re Not Really Here

Nedum Onuoha and City fan/vlogger Steven McInerney are the special guests on today’s matchday We're Not Really Here show and they are joined by presenter Natalie Pike in the studio at the Etihad Stadium.

The duo will be providing the usual mix of pre and post-match analysis and opinion and you can watch it all right here in the Matchday Centre.

The pre-match show begins at 19.00, with Nedum and Steven returning at half-time to summarise the opening 45 minutes and again after the full-time whistle for half an hour of post-match reaction.

Essential matchday viewing!

18:00

Matchday greetings 👋

A very good evening to you all!

And welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City’s latest Premier League home game against Wolves.

The sun has been shining, spring is most definitely in the air and we are into March but the fixtures keep coming thick and fast, as Pep Guardiola’s side go in search of a record 21st consecutive victory in all competitions against the men from Molineux. 

Kick-off at the Etihad is at 20.00pm (UK) and from here on out we’ll have live updates taking you through the pre-match build-up, match action and post-match reaction. 

Stay tuned!

City v Wolves

Hello!

Welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City’s Premier League home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Kick-off is at 20:00 (UK) on Tuesday 2 March and we’ll have live updates from around 18:00 to take you through all the pre-match build-up, match action and post-match reaction.

Can City make it 21 wins in a row? 

Join us later to find out and, whilst you wait for kick-off, you can check out everything you need to know ahead of this game below.

See you at 18:00!

We're Not Really Here 📺

Former defender Nedum Onuoha and City fan and vlogger Steve McInerney are the guests our live matchday show, which will be hosted by Natalie Pike.

The panel will be providing the usual mix of pre and post-match analysis and opinion and you can watch it all right here in the Matchday Centre.

The pre-match show begins at 19:00, with Onuoha and McInerney returning at half-time to summarise the opening 45 minutes and again after the full-time whistle for half an hour of post-match reaction.

Pep Guardiola – History shows how tough this will be

“The history against them shows us how tough it has been and tomorrow it will be. We know exactly the type of game we have to play and to be so intense but at the same time, be calm because they play with ambition and patience to punish you. We have to be so clever because the last years have been tough, with the quality of players they have. This year it will be no exception.”

Read the manager’s pre-match thoughts, HERE.

Nuno Espirito Santo – City blessed with fantastic talent

"Their run is because of hard work, quality, dedication, but mainly and more than anything, talent. The talent of the players that they have, it’s fantastic. It requires a lot of discipline, balance, it requires cover, focus, determination to reducing distances, but Man City will create a lot of questions and a lot of problems to us which we have to find ourselves solutions and give answers to it.

“First and foremost, we must prepare ourselves for a very difficult challenge, because it’s going to be very tough. We’re going to face Man City, a fantastic team, talented squad, always good ideas in their approach of the game. I have a good relationship with Pep, I know him, and I have a lot of admiration and respect for him. He’s an amazing person and a fantastic manager.

“It’s a tough challenge for us, and the first thing that we have to get ready for is to compete very well.”

Form guide 📈

City come into this game having won 20 games in a row in all competitions.

Guardiola's side's 2-1 win over West Ham extended our English top-flight record for consecutive victories and are unbeaten in 27 games stretching back to November 2020.

However, Wolves have the edge in our recent encounters, having won two our last three meetings.

They are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games, winning three and drawing twice.

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Manchester United 26 +21 50
3 Leicester City 26 +15 49
4 West Ham United 26 +9 45
5 Chelsea 26 +16 44
6 Liverpool 26 +13 43
7 Everton 25 +5 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur 25 +14 39
9 Aston Villa 24 +12 39
10 Arsenal 26 +7 37
11 Leeds United 26 -1 35
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27 -9 34
13 Crystal Palace 26 -14 33
14 Southampton 26 -13 30
15 Burnley 26 -16 28
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 26 -7 26
17 Newcastle United 26 -17 26
18 Fulham 26 -11 23
19 West Bromwich Albion 26 -35 17
20 Sheffield United 26 -28 11
Link To Full Table