Wolves 1-1 Man City: Champions draw after controversial Wolves opener
Report as Man City drop points for the first time this season
Last Updated: 27/08/18 8:47am
Wolves impressed as they earned a 1-1 draw with Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday at Molineux.
After City hit the woodwork twice in the first half, Wolves took the lead in the most controversial fashion as Willy Boly handled Joao Moutinho's fine cross into the far corner (57), the touch not spotted by referee Martin Atkinson or his assistants.
City equalised through Aymeric Laporte's strong header from Ilkay Gundogan's set piece (69), before Sergio Aguero hit the crossbar with a free-kick in the last minute of stoppage time.
Wolves: Patricio (8), Coady (6), Bennett (7), Boly (8), Doherty (6), Neves (6), Moutinho (7), Jonny (7), Jota (7), Jimenez (7), Costa (7).
Subs: Traore (7), Vinagre (NA)
Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (5), Kompany (7), Laporte (7), Mendy (6), Fernandinho (6), David Silva (6), Gundogan(7), Bernardo Silva (6), Aguero (6), Sterling (7).
Subs: Jesus (6), Sane (5), Mahrez (NA)
Man of the match: Willy Boly
The result means City drop points for the first time this season, while Wolves are on two points from their opening three games.
Wolves caused City some problems early on, seeing Raul Jimenez's early close-range strike chalked off correctly for offside, but City eventually got going.
They rattled the woodwork twice in two minutes; Aguero slid a first-time effort against the foot of the post from 12 yards, before Raheem Sterling's fine half-volley from 25 yards was superbly tipped onto the bar by Rui Patricio, an early contender for save of the season.
Wolves were unchanged following the 2-0 defeat by Leicester, while Man City made two changes after the 6-1 win over Huddersfield. Gabriel Jesus was replaced by Raheem Sterling, and Kyle Walker came in for John Stones.
Aguero then fired straight at Patricio in a good position after Benjamin Mendy's wicked cross was palmed into his path, before a frantic two-minute period in the second half saw Wolves take the lead and leave City feeling hard-done-by.
Ederson brilliantly tipped wide after Douglas Costa had raced through one-on-one on the City goal, but from the resulting short corner, Moutinho's wicked cross was turned home by the hand of Boly.
Seconds later, Boly superbly blocked from David Silva's drive as City looked for an instant reply, and City then saw strong appeals for a penalty turned down by Atkinson as Ruben Neves tripped Silva.
City did eventually respond through Laporte's first goal for the club, a thumping header from six-yards from Gundogan's pinpoint free-kick, and it was nearly 2-1 as Patricio saved brilliantly with his legs from Gabriel Jesus' strong header.
Aguero hit the woodwork for the second time with a 95th-minute free-kick coming off the crossbar, and it stayed one apiece after a frantic and entertaining contest.
- Wolves have lost just two of their 28 home games in all competitions under Nuno Espirito Santo (W18 D8 L2).
- City have lost just one of their last 30 Premier League games against newly-promoted teams (W22 D7 L1).
- City conceded the first goal of a Premier League game for the first time in their last 18 fixtures in the competition, since losing 3-4 to Liverpool on January 14th.
- Since the start of last season, City have lost just one of the six Premier League games in which they conceded the first goal (W3 D2 L1).
Nuno: "The players deserve credit. the way they worked and prepared themselves, we knew it would be tough but we worked for it, played the way and style and shape we believe, and individually we were fantastic."
Guardiola: "It was a good game. Too many counter-attacks, but we missed simple passes, and when that happens it is impossible to avoid it. We had chances with the players we had, and it was a good point.
"Of course, Wolves deserve compliments. It's none of my business [whether Boly's goal should bring in VAR]. The Premier League will decide, and when they decide VAR will be here. When I spoke to the referee, I was just making a compliment about their job."
Jamie Carragher: "I thought Wolves were brilliant. What I feared at half-time was that position Sterling and David Silva were taking up, and naturally you drop deeper but they kept trying to push up.
"I think for a lot of teams going forward against Man City, I'm not saying that's the exact blueprint but you don't want to be in your own box for 90 minutes and you had Conor Coady marshalling that back three and moving them forward."
Man of the match - Willy Boly
Forget the goal; it came off his arm and he may have been offside. Boly's passed his main objective - to keep City out at the other end - with flying colours.
He made two world-class last-ditch tackles in the first half, and another block from Silva immediately after his opener in the second half. Boly also lost the ball only four times, less than any other Wolves player.
Notes for Southgate
By his standards, this was a below-par performance from Kyle Walker, and though Raheem Sterling looked impressive in the first half, he tailed off in the second. Sterling could have scored from 25 yards with an early effort superbly saved by Rui Patricio, but he was snuffed out by Wolves as the game wore on.
What would VAR have changed?
To be frank, quite a lot. Boly's goal was a clear handball, and could have even gone down as an offside if the ball had in fact flicked off Ryan Bennett's head.
Just seconds later, City felt they should have had a penalty from Neves' clumsy foul on Silva; if the World Cup was anything to go by, it would have been given. Pep Guardiola had a few words in the officials' ears at full-time, and on balance, he was right to feel aggrieved.
Wolves now go to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup second round before a trip to West Ham on Saturday in the Premier League. City, meanwhile, host Newcastle at 5.30pm on Saturday.