Wolves 0 - 2 City: Five Thoughts

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City at Molineux on April 22, 2012 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Not entirely convincing, but enough. Boosted by the unexpected news of a United draw against Everton at Old Trafford, it was City's chance to capitalize and close the gap to 3 points. Wolves were fighting to avoid relegation for at least a few more days, so a professional job would be needed to get the win. City never looked like they would concede; it was a matter of grabbing some goals, as was clearly the intent early on, especially as goal differential may prove to be the deciding factor now. Tevez and Aguero threatened early and often and probably could have had 3 or 4 more goals between them. There was no real weak spot on the pitch, despite allowing Wolves a bit too much space to operate in the first half.

Momentum and form are crucial at this point of the season (or any part of the season really) and as such it was important City continued the form they have shown in the past few matches especially being on the road. While it wasn't as pristine as the performance against Norwich, it was still a strong display enough display to not leave much doubt as to what the final result would be. The attacking flow that we have seen over the past few matches was once again on display. The one wrinkle in the match was David Silva who only completed 74% of his passes. Many of them were attempted through-balls that are difficult, and hopefully he is able to complete those passes once again the way he did at the beginning of the season. Silva's movement throughout the match was exactly as we expect it to be though, and the Silva-Nasri-Aguero-Tevez core seems to be getting more and more comfortable.

A few of City's unsung heroes this season had excellent matches once again. Gary Neville, commentating on Sky, chose Aguero as his Man of the Match, but for me, it definitely went to Gael Clichy. His play in defense, link-up play, and attack was phenomenal. He has solidified the starting left-back role 100% and has rarely missed a beat this season. The pass he served to Aguero for the opening goal was nothing short of sublime. For a wing-back who doesn't do too much to get in the headlines, Clichy deserves more praise than he gets. Gareth Barry, too. He had another fine match and his hard work with good decision-making has been an integral part of many of City's top performances.

Mancini has spent the past couple of weeks telling the media that City have no chance despite results going in their favor, and did the same after the 90 minutes at Molineux. Some see this as a jab at the press, who had written City off once United established an 8 point lead, and some see it as a way to take pressure off his side and put it squarely on United. Whatever his intentions might be, it seems to certainly be helping. He has done well in recent weeks to keep players on the pitch who are in form and has gotten his tactics right. On the field, he is doing fine. Off the field, he is engaging himself in ways he has not before, and perhaps this side of Mancini which the fans are not able to see has been an influence to the players during this tough patch of the season.

The stage is now set. Next Monday might just be the biggest and most important Manchester derby of all-time. The plan is simple: win each remaining fixture, and City are champions. It was unthinkable to most that City would find themselves with this opportunity a few weeks ago, but now it is upon us. Of course, if City do beat United, a particularly tough fixture remains after that in the away match to Champions League hopefuls Newcastle. But City are peaking at the right time. David Silva isn't quite in top gear, but most of the squad who have been playing, namely Aguero and Tevez, seem to be hitting form. There are likely to be mind games between the two managers leading up to the match, and boy, I cannot wait.

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