Man City 4-1 Wolves: Pep Guardiola says side ‘came through hell’

Manchester City
Gabriel Jesus scored two late goals as Manchester City beat Wolves

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City have “come through hell and done something more than remarkable” by overcoming a tough winter schedule to extend their winning run to 21 games in all competitions by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Their 4-1 victory courtesy of three goals inside the final 10 minutes means City have not dropped points in the league since drawing with West Bromwich Albion on 15 December and are now 15 points clear at the top of the table.

During that time they have played 21 games in all competitions, reached the final of the League Cup, the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and taken control of their last-16 Champions League tie against Borussia Monchengladbach.

“In winter time in England it’s hell and in that time we did something incredible,” Guardiola told BBC Sport. “It’s more than remarkable.

“The players have all my compliments but Liverpool have the crown. To win the Premier League we need those points.”

An unlikely second-half equaliser from Conor Coady – cancelling out Leander Dendoncker’s first-half own goal – had threatened to thwart City’s pursuit of a 15th consecutive Premier League win.

In what was an otherwise one-side encounter, Coady’s 61st-minute header – his first Premier League goal and his team’s first touch in their opponents’ penalty area – gave the visitors hope of earning at least a point.

However Gabriel Jesus put City back in front at Etihad Stadium with a shot on the turn from Kyle Walker’s deflected cross.

With Wolves’ spirit broken, in-form Riyad Mahrez fired in his seventh league goal of the season before Brazil striker Jesus got his second with virtually the final kick as VAR ruled his effort onside.

The leaders face second-placed Manchester United on Sunday with the chance to move another step closer to the title.

“We have one or two days to rest and I realise how strong they are,” Guardiola said of United “It’s an incredible opportunity to make a huge step and we are going to try.”

Man City 4-1 Wolves: We never gave up – Guardiola

Slick City stroll on

There were so many pre-game statistics that pointed to a 21st consecutive victory for the league leaders and they included one that dates back more than a decade.

Not since Peter Crouch scored Tottenham’s goal in May 2010 to earn victory in what was effectively a shootout for a Champions League place had City lost a midweek Premier League game.

Marton Fulop was their goalkeeper that night, and it is fair to say City have advanced a long way since then.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo certainly recognised their threat and likely dominance, selecting a team with two right-backs and no striker.

It was a measure of Nuno’s caution that when Adama Traore was fouled at the start of the second-half and referee Chris Kavanagh played advantage as the ball ran on to Nelson Semedo, he complained because he knew there was more chance of joy from the set piece than open play.

The fact that after 28 minutes City midfielder Rodri had completed more passes than the entire Wolves team demonstrated the home side’s dominance.

One of those passes was important too, delivered over 40 yards from the centre of the pitch over the Wolves defence to the feet of Mahrez, whose cross led to the opening goal.

Dendoncker knew he had to go for the ball otherwise Raheem Sterling would have had a tap-in.

Coady’s equaliser was an unexpected setback for Guardiola’s side but as was the case with West Ham United on Saturday, Wolves were unable to cling on to a point as City equalled a club-record 28 games without defeat.

City have also equalled Arsenal’s Premier League record of 19 games without trailing at any point.

Man City 4-1 Wolves: We were punished by Man City – Nuno

Patricio’s defensive barrier

That Wolves got as late into the game with a chance of taking something from it was largely down to goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

In the seconds before half-time, the Portugal Euro 2016 winner produced a superb full-length save to turn away Bernardo Silva’s header.

The second period was then only minutes old when Patricio pushed a Kevin de Bruyne shot wide as it appeared certain to find the bottom corner. Then he blocked a powerful Jesus effort that was also heading in.

He earned the luck he enjoyed when Silva fired a rebound from his own effort over the bar and when Sterling’s blind back-flick at the near post fizzed just wide of the far post rather than just inside it.

In the end, not even the combination of Patricio and good fortune could save Wolves and there was to be no repeat of their victory last season.

“We must look at the game because we made a couple of mistakes under the pressure of City and they are very dangerous and they will punish you,” said Wolves boss Nuno.

“City are very talented; amazing players, amazing manager. All the other teams that come here find it difficult because they are a good opponent.”

Rui Patricio makes a save from Raheem Sterling
Rui Patricio made a couple of big saves before Manchester City’s late flurry

Portuguese players make history – the stats

  • Manchester City have won their last 21 games in all competitions, scoring 55 goals and conceding just eight. City are one of just three teams from the big-five European leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) to record more than 20 consecutive victories, after Bayern Munich (23 in 2020) and Real Madrid (22 in 2014).
  • Riyad Mahrez has been directly involved in 30 goals in 38 starts in all competitions for Man City at the Etihad (15 goals, 15 assists).
  • Only Conor Coady (three) has scored more own-goals for Wolves in the Premier League than Leander Dendoncker (two).
  • There were more Portuguese players starting Tuesday’s match between Manchester City and Wolves (eight) than in any other Premier League game in history.
  • Manchester City have made more changes to their starting XI than any other any side in the Premier League this season (79).

What next?

Manchester City’s next game is at home to Manchester United in the Premier League at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, 7 March (16:30 GMT). Wolves are in action at Aston Villa on Saturday, 6 March (17:30 GMT).

Player of the match

MahrezRiyad Mahrez

with an average of 7.58

Manchester City

  1. Squad number26Player nameMahrez
    Average rating

    7.58

  2. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
    Average rating

    7.22

  3. Squad number7Player nameSterling
    Average rating

    7.05

  4. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
    Average rating

    6.98

  5. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo
    Average rating

    6.94

  6. Squad number17Player nameDe Bruyne
    Average rating

    6.83

  7. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating

    6.80

  8. Squad number2Player nameWalker
    Average rating

    6.76

  9. Squad number14Player nameLaporte
    Average rating

    6.73

  10. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating

    6.63

  11. Squad number16Player nameRodri
    Average rating

    6.60

  12. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating

    6.55

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  1. Squad number11Player nameRui Patrício

    Average rating

    7.11

  2. Squad number16Player nameCoady

    Average rating

    6.57

  3. Squad number8Player nameRúben Neves

    Average rating

    6.02

  4. Squad number28Player nameJoão Moutinho

    Average rating

    5.92

  5. Squad number27Player nameSaïss

    Average rating

    5.82

  6. Squad number37Player nameTraoré

    Average rating

    5.81

  7. Squad number7Player namePedro Neto

    Average rating

    5.79

  8. Squad number19Player nameJonny

    Average rating

    5.54

  9. Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo

    Average rating

    5.51

  10. Squad number32Player nameDendoncker

    Average rating

    5.46

  11. Squad number2Player nameHoever

    Average rating

    5.41

  12. Squad number17Player nameFábio Silva

    Average rating

    5.17

  13. Squad number54Player nameOtasowie

    Average rating

    4.25

Line-ups

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 14Laporte
  • 27Cancelo
  • 20Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forGündoganat 82′minutes
  • 16Rodri
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 26Mahrez
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 7Sterling

Substitutes

  • 5Stones
  • 8Gündogan
  • 10Agüero
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 21Torres
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 47Foden
  • 50García

Wolves

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 11Rui Patrício
  • 32Dendoncker
  • 16Coady
  • 27Saïss
  • 2Hoever
  • 8NevesSubstituted forOtasowieat 90′minutes
  • 28João Moutinho
  • 19Castro OttoSubstituted forFábio Silvaat 55′minutes
  • 22Nélson Semedo
  • 7NetoBooked at 71mins
  • 37Traoré

Substitutes

  • 3Aït-Nouri
  • 12Da Silva
  • 15Boly
  • 17Fábio Silva
  • 18Gibbs-White
  • 20Vitinha
  • 21Ruddy
  • 49Kilman
  • 54Otasowie

Referee:
Chris Kavanagh

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Manchester City 4, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Manchester City 4, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.

  3. VAR Decision: Goal Manchester City 4-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Gabriel Jesus).

  4. Goal! Manchester City 4, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal.Goal awarded following VAR Review.

  5. Attempt saved. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus.

  6. Foul by Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).

  7. Romain Saïss (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Goal! Manchester City 3, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

  9. Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Owen Otasowie replaces Rúben Neves.

  10. Kyle Walker (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Foul by Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  12. Attempt missed. Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Pedro Neto with a cross following a corner.

  13. Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Kyle Walker.

  14. Foul by Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).

  15. Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Substitution, Manchester City. Ilkay Gündogan replaces Bernardo Silva.

  17. Goal! Manchester City 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner.

  18. Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Foul by Fábio Silva (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  20. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne following a corner.

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