Manchester City were not at their scintillating best as they saw off Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux Stadium, despite the 3-0 scoreline, but will undoubtedly go into the international break happy, having maintained their unbeaten start to the season ahead of next month's Manchester derby.
As ever, the first name on Pep Guardiola's team sheet was Ederson, with a backline of Joao Cancelo, at what has become his usual position in left back, Ruben Dias, new boy Manuel Akanji, and auxiliary right-back John Stones.
A rather normal midfield three from the Catalan, consisting of Rodri, captain Kevin De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva. Jack Grealish and Phil Foden featured on the wings, and the imperious Erling Haaland started up front.
Not one minute had elapsed before the Blues were ahead. A quick move started with a Foden back heel into the feet of an overlapping Kevin De Bruyne. A lashed pass across the floor found Jack Grealish, who opened his account for the 22/23 season.
From there, Wolves seemed to come into the game. A sustained period of possession from the West Midlands side had begun to worry City, but Wolves couldn't find a shot on target to trouble Ederson.
16 minutes on the clock, Haaland once again scored.
His 11th in seven matches, Haaland received the ball just inside the final third from Bernardo Silva. He ran at Wolves centre-back Max Kilman, turning him inside out, and fired a low shot to the right-hand side of Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa. it wasn't the cleanest of hits, and it certainly helped that Sa jumped to his left before the shot came in, but they all count the same on the scoresheet.
City seemingly still hadn't gotten out of second gear and were unable to take the sting out of the game.
In the 33rd minute, Wolves centre-back Nathan Collins committed what could almost be considered assault as he hit Grealish with a studs-up challenge to the upper thigh. Referee Anthony Taylor wasted no time brandishing the red card, and the defender was given his marching orders.
With an hour or so to play, Wolves were down to ten men.
Whatever Bruno Lage said in the dressing room to his players, it worked. Wolves came out of the half as the better team, and City looked rudderless.
For much of the first 20 minutes of the second half, it was hard to tell which side was down to ten men. City had no answer to Wolves' sustained pressure. But Wolves hadn't scored a second-half goal in their last seven Premier League matches coming into this match, and City were keen on extending that run.
The Premier League champions decided to turn up the heat one more time, finding a third goal through Foden. A ball in behind to Haaland led him a little bit wide, the Norwegian checked back and found the overlapping run of De Bruyne once again. Just like the first goal, a lashed ball across the box found an England international – this time Foden, who guided the ball between the legs of a Wolves defender and Sa.
3-0 City, 69 minutes gone.
City finally seemed to have killed the game off. The 72nd minute saw Guardiola make a triple change, as Ilkay Gundogan, Julian Alvarez, and Riyad Mahrez came on. Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, and Kevin De Bruyne made way for the fresh legs.
At this point, City dominated the ball. A few shots from Haaland and co. failed to trouble Wolves too much, and it seemed that City were happy to see out the game.
The 77th minute saw Jack Grealish make way for Cole Palmer, and in the 81st, Sergio Gomez was swapped in for Rodri. Guardiola decided to protect Spaniard, as he had picked up a yellow card in the 13th minute of the contest.
Nothing of note happened from that point on, as City saw off Wolves by three goals to nil, in what can only be described as a 'job done' performance for the Blues.
Man of the Match
My Man of the Match was Jack Grealish. The Englishman was aggressive and decisive in his movements, taking on defenders. Certainly one of his best performances in a City shirt to date. Erling Haaland wasn't far behind, but Grealish got my nod. Also a special mention for Manuel Akanji, who looks like an absolute bargain.
Ederson - 7
Stones - 6
Akanji - 8
Dias - 7
Cancelo - 7
Rodri - 7
De Bruyne - 6
Bernardo - 7
Foden - 7
Haaland - 8
Grealish - 8
Substitutes: Gundogan - 6, Alvarez - 6, Mahrez - 6, Palmer - 6, Gomez - N/A
Written by: @Ba5que
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