Manchester City could not make history with 12 consecutive wins and Sergio Agüero could not break Eric Brook’s all-time record, but the Blues are moving on in the League Cup thanks to a very nervous win on penalties against Wolverhampton. After 120 minutes of the worst performance of City’s season, the Blues managed to finally win thanks to a heroic performance from goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
From the first second of the game, the stage was set: City would have all of the possession while Wolves would sit back, absorb pressure and try their luck on the counter. The Blues were the better team, working possession very well to find runners and create dangerous chances.
Unfortunately the City players didn’t have their scoring boots in the first half and the good chances were wasted, especially by Sergio Agüero. Wolves had two good chances, one from a set piece, the other after a terrible mistake from Eliaquim Mangala that put Enobakhare through on goal, but Claudio Bravo came up big with two key saves.
At halftime, City were playing wonderful football but needed to improve their finishing to get the win in the second half.
Instead of improving their finishing, City got worse with their passing and general movement, constantly wasting easy balls and conceding too many counter-attacking chances to Wolves. Bravo had to come up big again in the second half in two huge occasions, and the Blues just couldn’t create any dangerous chances even though Kevin De Bruyne came on in the final minutes.
Onto extra time...
City improved a little bit in the first half of extra time, passing the ball better but not finding any openings thanks to a very solid defensive structure from Wolves. Leroy Sané came on to add some pace and skill on the wing, and he nearly created a goal but both Agüero and Sterling had their shots blocked on the line.
The second half of extra time was entirely made of City camped inside Wolves’ half trying to find a chance, but once again their final ball let them down and no real chances were created.
Claudio. Fucking. Bravo. That is all. The Chilean saved two penalties in a row, became a new cult hero at Manchester City and the Blues converted all of their four penalties to end the shootout with a 4-1 win.
Man City: Bravo; Danilo (Walker), Adarabioyo (Stones), Mangala, Zinchenko; Gundogan, Touré; Sterling, Bernardo (Sané), Jesus (De Bruyne); Agüero
Wolves: Norris; Batth, Coady, Hause; Bennett, N’Diaye, Price, Vinagre; Marshall (Ronan), Enobakhare (Bonatini), Costa (Cavaleiro)