Wolves vs Man City LIVE highlights and reaction with goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus
Manchester City were without a number of key players as they began their Premier League campaign at Wolves tonight with a hard-fought win.
Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan, and Aymeric Laporte were already confirmed to be out, and they were joined by Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Aleks Zinchenko and Eric Garcia. The quartet all picked up injuries this week in training, City confirmed before kick off.
Those absentees paved the way for new signing Nathan Ake to make his debut for City tonight, against a Wolves side who did the double over the Blues last season, as well as taking a point from Pep Guardiola's men at Molineux the year before. John Stones is recalled to partner the new boy in central defence.
City took the lead in a dominant first half through Kevin de Bruyne, who won and took a penalty. Phil Foden doubled the lead as he converted a Raheem Sterling cut-back. The performance understandably slowed down in the second half, with a Raul Jimenez header setting up a nervy finish, but City held on to win their first points of the season - capped off with a late Gabriel Jesus goal.
City XI : Ederson, Walker, Stones, Ake, Mendy, Rodrigo, Fernandinho (c), De Bruyne, Foden, Sterling, Jesus.
Subs : Steffen, Torres, Mahrez, Otamendi, Delap, Doyle, Bernabe
Follow below for post-game reaction from Molineux.
He told Sky Sports:
I think we played really well, obviously second half there's going to be stages where it's a little bit difficult because offensively they're really strong, but I think we played secure, we didn't take too many risks.
And we knew with only two weeks of training it's going to be hard and we played secure. Props to the defensive midfielders because they kept it tight and I think we did really well.
Nathan Ake has told SKy Sports he is delighted to have made a winning start to life at City:
Yes of course we wanted to start strong, new season, Obviously, Wolves is a tough place to come so we're very happy with three points.
We just tried to play with the ball, keep the ball, make it difficult. We scored early, that was a bonus for us. After that we tried to control the game. Obviously second half they came out a little bit more and made it more difficult. When they got the goal we had to stay strong and defensively good and we got tht in the end.
[In the second half] they pressed us a little bit higher, they were more direct, they tried to get balls and crosses in the box. Most occasions we deal with it well but a few occasions not so well. The goal we're disappointed with.
Did you work on the formation?
Yes the last week in training we didnt have to much time, because pre season has been all over the place. But I was very happy to make debut today and happy that we won
Manchester City went into the season opener at Wolves to the tune of the jangling nerves of their fans.
But they played - in the first half at least - with a menacing composure which ended up warning Liverpool that they won't have it all their own way this time.
Old habits die hard, but the air of gloom among many City fans heading into this difficult season opener was astonishing.
The more pessimistic branch of the Blues’ support - and they still have plenty of numbers - was certain their team would be an unassailable six points behind Liverpool with just one game played.
And with a cobbled-together defence, seven players missing ill or injured, a subs’ bench packed out with kids and a last-minute change of plan after Ilkay Gundogan ’s positive Covid-19 test, it was hard to disagree with them.
But with Kevin De Bruyne putting them ahead from the penalty spot, Phil Foden bagging the second, and Gabriel Jesus netting a late third, City came through, even though some of their old defensive issues came back to dog them as Wolves fought back.
Read Stuart Brennan's report from Molineux here.
Nothing to do in the first half but grateful for Wolves' woeful finishing in the second 6
Quick, powerful and aggressive throughout, and a clearance off the line, too. 8
Too slack around Podence in second half but his build-up was crucial in the first half. 7
Slotted in seamlessly for his debut - not as prominent as Stones, but did well 7
Read the full ratings here.
FT - Wolves 1-3 CityJoe Bray
That was the last kick of the game.
Superb win for City.
90+4 - Wolves 1-3 CityKEY EVENT
Now Jesus scores!
He isn't content with taking it to the corner as he fires under Patricio after De Bruyne won the ball back.
Three points secure.
90+3' - Wolves 1-2 CityJoe Bray
Jesus shoots towards the bottom corner and Patricio pushes it out for a corner. Exactly where City want it.
90' - Wolves 1-2 CityJoe Bray
The ball is in the corner already.
86' - Wolves 1-2 CityJoe Bray
Rodri concedes a cheap free kick, perhaps harshly, but kicks the ball away to stop it being taken quickly.
Not very subtle, and he earns a booking.
85' - Wolves 1-2 CityJoe Bray
That doesn't happen often.
Ederson just ushered his defenders upfield and opted to take a goal kick long. We know he can get some distance on his kicks, and he sends it out for a throw by the corner flag.
A sign of City's intent as we tick over into the last five minutes?
82' - Wolves 1-2 CitySimon Bajkowski
How are City nerves then? Many of the players on the pitch will remember all too well conceding so many late goals to Wolves last season.
Perhaps that is why Guardiola is turning to the new face in Torres. It has been a great night for City so far but suddenly their lead looks very fragile.
80' - Wolves 1-2 CityJoe Bray
Ferran Torres, City's new no.21, is on for Raheem Sterling.
79' - Wolves 1-2 CityJoe Bray
That goal has prompted Pep Guardiola to call Ferran Torres to get ready.
78' - Wolves 1-2 City KEY EVENT
It was a matter of time. Raul Jimenez heads home from a Daniel Podence cross, after nutmegging Kevin de Bruyne.
76' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
Fabio Silva and Leander Dendoncker are on for Wolves. Joao Moutinho and Pedro Neto off.
Still no sign of changes for City, but Ferran Torres has been warming up.
73' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
Pedro Neto advances into a shooting position with Rodri unable to stop him, but Nathan Ake slides in to stop the shot troubling Ederson. Great defending.
70' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
Gabriel Jesus is miles offside, but hammers the ball past Patricio just incase. No goal.
70' - Wolves 0-2 City Simon Bajkowski
It feels like City could do with a sub or two given Wolves have started to get a foothold in the game and trouble Stones and the backline, but in truth there is nobody that can control the midfield like Rodri and Fernandinho and City could do with every bit of nous they can muster against the wily Wolves.
Mahrez is an option, but the lack of experience on the bench otherwise may mean Guardiola sticks rather than twists.
65' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
With Wolves growing in confidence, it might be the time to change things up for City.
The pace of Ferran Torres might stretch Wolves, with 25 minutes still to play.
63' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
What a goal that would have been.
Fernandinho goes on a wander with the ball down the right, taking on two players in the process and getting a sight of goal from a tight angle.
The finish is that of a player who spent all of last season in defence.
61' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
If Podence still had some work to do, Raul Jimenez has been given this one on a plate.
Adama Traore sends another ball in to an unmarked Jimenez, who just has to convert from six yards. But the striker doesnt connect properly and the ball screws wide.
Massive let off for City, who are being cut open by Wolves here.
59' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
Wolves should level here.
Daniel Podence is sent through on goal with John Stones chasing, but he can only lift a chip over Ederson and onto the roof of the net.
57' - Wolves 0-2 CitySimon Bajkowski
There were a few weird comments ahead of this season about Kevin De Bruyne’s shape based on limited pictures from training.
De Bruyne is never going to look like the fittest athlete in the squad but his football remains better than every single player he will come up against.
His performance tonight should delight City and worry every other team in the league.
54' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
Adama Traore sends a low ball into Podence, who turns and tries to pick out the top corner.
It hits the stantion behind the goal and drops down into the (wrong side of the) side netting. The Sky Sports crowd director thought it was in.
52' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
Gabriel Jesus collects a through ball from Kevin de Bruyne, opts to shift onto his right and shoot, but it's straight at Patricio from the edge of the area.
50' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
City start the second half as they finished the first - confident in possession and looking to break whenever possible.
One warning came from Adama Traore, who beat Benjamin Mendy and Rodri on his right to put in a cross, but it was an easy take for Ederson.
45' - Wolves 0-2 CityJoe Bray
Off we go again.
If City see out this victory, they will become the first Premier League side to win ten consecutive opening fixtures.
But they were two up at Wolves last season, so will need to be professional to see this one out.
Ederson - A spectator. 6
Walker - Working well with Stones. 7
Stones - Sharp, savvy and dominant. 8
Ake - Settled in superbly. 7
Mendy - Secured the left flank. 7
Rodri - Nearly goal of the season! 8
Fernandinho - Dictating the flow. 7
De Bruyne - Can’t keep him quiet. 9
Foden - Scored one, made one. 8
Jesus - Important role in second goal. 8
Sterling - Starts with an assist. 7