Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Man City 3 Wolves 1

Manchester City consolidated their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League after Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey went from hero to villain to gift the home side a ninth win in 10 league games.

City, buoyed by last Sunday’s 6-1 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford, had been frustrated throughout the first-half by a series of fine saves by Wales international Hennessey.

But the keeper’s second-half display undid all his good work as Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov were gifted unmissable opportunities to score and secure the points for City.

Stephen Hunt’s 84th minute penalty, following a Vincent Kompany foul on Kevin Doyle which saw the Belgian defender dismissed by referee Stuart Attwell, ensured a nervous end to the game for the home side.

But an injury-time strike from substitute Adam Johnson restored City’s two-goal advantage and maintained his team’s stunning start to the season.

The mark of City’s progress under Mancini was evident in the manager’s programme notes for this game, with the Italian warning that the club must not ‘dwell on what we have done,’ and instead focus on using last Sunday’s derby win as a platform for greater success.

There can be no denying that the humiliation of United has put an extra spring in City’s step, however. Top of the league and deservedly so, Mancini’s team is certainly playing with the swagger of champions.

That confidence also poured down from the terraces, with City fans chanting, ‘We’re Man City, We score when we want,’ on the back of eleven goals in two games, against United and then Wolves in the Carling Cup in midweek.

Yet for once, City could not score whenever they wished as bad finishing and resolute defending by Wolves frustrated the home side during a one-sided first-half.

Doyle and Adlene Guedioura both went close for Wolves in the opening 45 minutes, but the reality was one of City dominance minus the goal their efforts deserved.

Samir Nasri almost opened the scoring inside two minutes when he tried his luck with a right-foot strike from 20 yards, but the French midfielder’s powerful effort was tipped over the crossbar by Hennessey.

Micah Richards, City’s in-form right-back, gave another example of his claims for a return to the England team by dominating his flank and the defender also proved a threat going forward.

Dzeko should have scored from three yards on 16 minutes after being teed up by Richards, but the Bosnian forward delayed his shot, enabling defender Roger Johnson to make a crucial intervention.

City continued to press and Hennessey denied them once again on 23 minutes with a stunning low save from Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine forward then missed a much easier opportunity two minutes later when he scuffed a shot wide from eight yards after more good work by Richards.

Hennessey was proving to be the key man for Wolves, however. The Wales goalkeeper was enjoying one of those games when everything seemed to go his way – in the first-half at least – and the 24-year-old produced a third crucial save shortly before half-time when he somehow diverted Dzeko’s rising shot behind for a corner.

With chances being wasted and referee Stuart Attwell angering the home crowd by failing to award a succession of free-kicks and a penalty following a Richard Stearman foul on Dzeko – the Warwickshire was largely correct with his decisions – the frustration inside the Etihad Stadium boiled over when David Silva was fouled by Wolves full-back Stearman.

Silva was left clutching his left ankle following the challenge, which went unpunished by Attwell, and although the Spanish winger was able to continue, the referee left the pitch to a cacophony of boos and jeers.

Despite City’s inability to convert their first-half chances, there appeared to be an inevitability that Wolves would run out of luck after the break.

But for Hennessey to suffer the misfortune of being the villain for the visitors was a cruel twist for the keeper, who had done so much to repel the home side.

Yet Hennessey’s lackadaisical clearance was charged down by Aguero and the ball dropped to Dzeko, who was gifted an open goal from 18 yards. £27m strikers don’t miss those chances and Dzeko didn’t.

Hennessey’s day then worsened 15 minutes later when his failure to hold onto Silva’s 20-yard strike enabled Kolarov to convert the rebound from six yards.

At 2-0, all seemed lost for Wolves, but Hunt’s penalty at least gave them hope of an unlikely fightback.

It was a forlorn hope, however, as City strengthened their grip on top spot with Johnson scoring their third in stoppage time.

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