Match Report

City edge out spirited Wolves to secure three vital Premier League points

RAHEEM THE DREAM: Sterling wheels away to celebrate.
Premier League
Premier League
Sat 11 Dec
1
0
Raheem Sterling 
(66')

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Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of the game - his 100th in the Premier League - as City beat a well-organised Wolves side to extend our lead at the top of the table.

The England forward struck from the spot after Max Kilamn was adjuged to have blocked Bernardo Silva's cross with his arm. 

It was a day of significant milestones at the Etihad, with Ederson's 100th clean sheet for City adding to Sterling's 100th Premier League goal.

What happened

Wolves set up with five at the back and sought to frustrate City and, for much of the opening 45 minutes, they succeeded. 

They were disciplined and defended in numbers, limiting the space in which City could create.

But a first half light on clear-cut chances for ether side suddenly sparked into life when Raul Jimenez was sent off in stoppage time at the end of the first period after being booked twice in the space of 31 seconds, his second for stopping Rodri’s free-kick being taken.

It was a moment of madness that left the visitors with an uphill task.

And there was time for more drama before the break when Jack Grealish felt his cross was blocked by the arm of Max Kilman, but John Moss waved away the penalty claims.

The second half saw City up the pressure. Ilkay Gundogan's header was cleared off the line by the impressive Conor Coady, and Oleksandr Zinchenko forced a decent save from Jose Sa from distance. 

A City goal felt likely and the breakthrough came from the spot. Joao Moutinho blocked Bernardo Silva's cross with his arm and, after a lengthy VAR check, a penalty was given. 

Raheem Sterling converted calmly to score his 100th Premier League goal. 

Grealish should have made it 2-0 moments later, but his effort from close range was off target, and Bernardo's powerful drive was saved superbly by the legs of Sa. 

The Wolves 'keeper made another excellent stop to deny Gabriel Jesus from a tight angle, before Ederson tipped over Kilaman's header deep into stoppage time. 

It was a tense finale, but City were deserved winners. 

Sterling century 

Raheem Sterling became only the 32nd player to enter the Premier League 100 club with his opener in this game. 

And at 27 years and three days, he is the eighth youngest player to reach the milestone. 

It's the latest statistic underlining his continued excellence. 

Sterling joined City in the summer of 2015 and has since gone on to win three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and five league Cups.

He is also a star on the international stage. He was named in the Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament after leading England to their first major final for 55 years in the summer.

He has now played 72 times for England, scoring 18 goals.

Congrats, Raheem! 

Ederson 100 

Ederson was rarely called upon during this match, but with seconds remaining he tipped over Max Kilman's header to preserve his clean sheet. 

And it was his 100th shutout for City in just 212 games! 

Tight at the top

Wolves were incredibly well organised and threatened to frustrate City - but we found a way to win. 

This may not have been vintage City, with our free-flowing football stifled by Wolves' resolute defending, but it represents three vital points just days after a European away match. 

With Liverpool and Chelsea in touching distance just behind us in the Premier League table, it's going to be one of the tightest title races in recent memory. 

Strap and in and get ready for some nerve-racking days ahead. 

Pep reaction 

(On Sterling

"It's a great number at his age, 100 goals is a lot.

"Congratulations. Like the100 clean sheets from Eddie - congratulations to both and to the team, of course."

(On the game)

"In general we were good. We were not so clever in the final third, some players dropped their performance and some players are coming into their best.

"We conceded one chance in 94 minutes. We created chances to score more but we were not clinical enough to convert them."

Teams 

City

Starting XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Gundogan (Foden 56'), Bernardo Silva, Grealish (De Bruyne 73'), Sterling, Jesus

Subs: Steffen, Walker, Stones, Ake, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Foden, Palmer

Wolves

Wolves XI: Sa, Samedo, Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri, Neves, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Jimenez, Traore (Hwang 67')

Subs: Ruddy, Hoever, Marcal, Podence, Trincao, Boly, Silva, Hwang, Cundle

What it means

City’s lead at the top of the Premier League table is extended to four points, for the time being at least.

Liverpool, who sit second, face Aston Villa at Anfield at 15:00 (UK) today and can close the gap back to a singe point with a win.

Third-placed Chelsea, a point further back, also kick off at 15:00 (UK) as they host Leeds United.

It seems clear this season’s title race will be keenly-contested, with all three sides looking like worthy champions. December and January, with domestic fixtures aplenty, looks like being a key period.  

What’s next?

The fixtures come at a rapid rate in December. Our next assignment a Premier League home game against Leeds United on Tuesday, which sparks a breathless run of five games in 19 days.

That one kicks off at 20:00 and we will have full coverage on ManCity.com and the official Man City app.

We then travel to Newcastle United on Sunday 19 December. That one is a 14:15 kick off.

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