Manchester City made light work of Wolves as Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland and Phil Foden all scored in a comprehensive victory at Molineux in Saturday’s early kick off.
Grealish turned in Kevin De Bruyne’s cross for the opener in the first minute before Haaland made it 2-0 by firing in after Wolves gave away possession.
Nathan Collins was sent off for a ludicrously high boot on Grealish and while Bruno Lage’s side remained competitive for large parts of the second half, City extinguished any hope of a comeback when Foden cleverly flicked in another De Bruyne cross to seal the result.
The Citizens were straight into their work in the first minute as a wicked De Bruyne cross was tapped in by Grealish, responding perfectly after he was criticised for his showing in the victory over Borussia Dortmund in midweek.
Wolves did sustain some pressure in the opening 15 minutes as Goncalo Guedes tested Ederson at the near post, but it amounted to nothing before City extended their lead.
Bernardo Silva played in Haaland who made mincemeat of Max Kilman, weaving in and out of the defender before firing in low beyond the outstretched Jose Sa.
That goal made the Norwegian the first player in Premier League history to score in each of his first four away games in the competition.
The champions’ job got a whole lot easier when Collins saw red for an ugly challenge on Grealish. The defender jumped in with his studs showing and caught the City winger in the midriff, being dismissed immediately by referee Anthony Taylor.
Wolves started the second half in promising spirit, unsettling City and venturing forward without creating any clear-cut opportunities. City butchered a counter in response, with De Bruyne’s pass lagging behind Foden and allowing Wolves to regain their shape.
The home side kept punching above their weight and created a decent chance when a driving run from Rayan Ait-Nouri fell to Guedes, but the forward could only slice his effort horribly when well placed in the box.
However, City soon made sure of the result with a third goal as De Bruyne whipped in a ball for Foden to divert neatly past Sa into the far corner.
The win takes Pep Guardiola’s side to the top of the Premier League standings, while Wolves are down in 16th.
GK: Jose Sa – 5/10 – Given no chance for either goal in the first half. Few hairy moments in possession which he got away with.
RB: Jonny Otto – 5/10 – Troubled by Grealish’s quick feet all afternoon.
CB: Nathan Collins – N/A – Grealish was nowhere near goal when Collins caught him high with an outstretched leg. An absolutely ludicrous challenge and deservedly sent off with Wolves 2-0 down.
CB: Max Kilman – 6/10 – Given a torrid time by Haaland before the Norwegian scored City’s second. Shook that off and was more composed in the second half.
LB: Rayan Ait-Nouri – 6/10 – Needed an extra touch on occasion which drew groans from the home crowd. Direct running in the second half was a lot more purposeful.
CM: Matheus Nunes – 6/10 – Managed to steal a few interceptions and got Wolves moving forward in the second half.
CM: Ruben Neves – 7/10 – Made a couple of important tackles before dropping into defence following Collins’ dismissal. Distributed well at the back and was a leading figure.
CM: Joao Moutinho – 6/10 – Spirited performance from the veteran in the second half but little more.
RW: Pedro Neto – 6/10 – Dragged one decent opportunity wide and was well shackled by Cancelo throughout. Looked threatening but final ball waslacking.
ST: Daniel Podence – 5/10 – A few moments of promise that usually ended in disappointment.
LW: Goncalo Guedes – /10 – Lazy in failing to track De Bruyne before Grealish made it 1-0. Fluffed Wolves’ best chance
SUB: Hwang Hee-chan (70′ for Guedes) – 5/10
SUB: Boubacar Traore (70′ for Podence) – 5/10
SUB: Nelson Semedo (81′ for Ait-Nouri) – N/A
SUB: Chem Campbell (86′ for Neto) – N/A
Manager: Bruno Lage – 7/10 – Yes, Wolves were ultimately seen off by a comprehensive 3-0 scoreline, but the home side disrupted City’s rythym and might have found a way back into the game on another day. Lage’s tactics made it a tough afternoon for the champions.
GK: Ederson – 6/10 – Just the one save for Ederson to make all afternoon. Good distribution.
RB: John Stones – 7/10 – Charged forward but his channel was exploited a few times when Wolves countered.
CB: Manuel Akanji – 7/10 – Rarely misplaced a pass and his job got easier when Wolves went down to ten players.
CB: Ruben Dias – 7/10 – Never troubled by any running in behind and recovered possession well.
LB: Joao Cancelo – 7/10 – Defensively stubborn against Neto. Not at his inventive best but didn’t need to be.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne – 8/10 – Awesome cross set up Grealish for the early opener. Got another when Foden flicked his ball in. Two assists but could have torn Wolves apart on another day.
CM: Rodri – 7/10 – Booked early on for a cynical pull. Set the platform for City by breaking things up.
CM: Bernardo Silva – 7/10 – Picked up the assist for Haaland’s strike. Work rate across midfield was insatiable.
RW: Phil Foden – 7/10 – Held up play nicely before feeding De Bruyne early on. Got his goal by excellently flicking in De Bruyne’s flick.
ST: Erling Haaland – 7/10 – Turned Kilman inside and out before smashing in City’s second from the edge of the box. Saw a couple of shots saved by Sa.
LW: Jack Grealish – 8/10 – Got into the box early on to score his first goal of the season on his 100th Premier League appearance. Dribbled well throughout the contest.
SUB: Julian Alvarez (72′ for Silva) – 5/10
SUB: Ilkay Gundogan (72′ for De Bruyne) – 6/10
SUB: Riyad Mahrez (72′ for Foden) – 5/10
SUB: Cole Palmer (77′ for ) – N/A
SUB: Sergio Gomez (81′ for Rodri) – N/A
Manager: Pep Guardiola – 6/10 – Wolves gave City a puzzle to solve in the second half, but they were largely in control despite being somewhat unsettled. The result was there, but Guardiola will want better performances.