Wolves held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw in a thrilling contest at Molineux.
Aymeric Laporte’s header rescued a point for Pep Guardiola’s champions, who entered the game on the back of commanding victories over Arsenal and Huddersfield Town, but this was a much more severe test.
As expected, last season’s Championship winners took the game to their opponents and, in many ways, were unlucky to not come away from an eventful afternoon’s play with all three points, with Raul Jimenez having a goal ruled out for offside showing just how fine the margins were.
However, City were unlucky themselves, hiting the woodwork twice in the first half through Sergio Agüero and Raheem Sterling, whose crisp 25-yard drive was diverted onto the crossbar by Wolves shot stopper Rui Patricio.
The hosts opened the scoring in controversial fashion when defender Willy Boly’s attempted diving header went in off his hand from Joao Moutinho’s 57th minute cross.
City then had strong appeals for a penalty turned away by referee Martin Atkinson and his officials after Ruben Neves’ challenge on David Silva, but the champions’ never say die attitude drew their just rewards with twenty minutes to play. In similar fashion to Wolves’ breakthrough, Aymeric Laporte scored his first goal for City when he produced a towering header from Ilkay Gundogan’s brilliant dead-ball delivery.
Both sides missed opportunities to win the encounter in the closing stages, with the Cityzens almost taking all three points back to Manchester when Agüero’s free-kick clipped the bar with virtually the last kick of the game.
In their quest for victory, Wolves became only the third team since the beginning of last season to reach double figures in attempts on goal against Manchester City and if they can produce these kind of performances on a weekly basis, they will easily make the top half.
Guardiola and his Manchester City players will be frustrated at dropping their first points of the season against a newly-promoted side, especially considering they had over 70% possession in the match.
While City saw plenty of the ball, they fell short of their best pretty much all over the park and were not able to produce clinical end product that normally comes so naturally to them.
Guardiola, though, was still pleased with the point.
“It was a very good point. We created chances but their keeper made saves, so today we draw. We knew how good they were this season. I have no complaints.
“We created a lot, that’s why it’s good. In the first half, Agüero hit the post. Sometimes it goes in, sometimes not.”
The City manager then highlighted the need to improve his backline against such dynamic sides.
“We were not solid defensively today, that is why we conceded a few chances to them. But in general, the game, considering the quality of the opponent, was good. We have to give them credit.”
That being side, however, not too many sides will come at them the way Wolves did, which may have come as a surprise to the City players, and so I fully expect them to return to winning ways next week.