Manchester City dropped points for the first time this season after 1-1 draw away to Wolves at Molineux. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side earned a hard fought point after City are denied on three occasions by the wood work in the West Midlands on Saturday afternoon.
Wolves started the game bright and seemed intent to carry their form from their Championship winning campaign last season into the game by pressing City right from the front early on.
The Wolves pressure told after 12 minutes when Vincent Kompany was booked after a late lunge on Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, who seemed to be causing the Belgian and Aymeric Laporte some problems in the opening quarter of the game.
As the game went on, City began to find their rhythm. Raheem Sterling found himself in space down the Wolves right hand side on a number of occasions after some intelligent runs, however he couldn’t conjure up anything other than a few half chances.
The first real chance of the game fell to Ilkay Gundogan after 15 minutes when some neat interplay between Benjamin Mendy and Sergio Aguero sent the German international into space inside the Wolves penalty area but his left footed shot was gathered easily by the impressive Rui Patricio.
As City pushed on in search for the opening goal they became susceptible to counter attacks and Wolves almost took the lead after 20 minutes when Jimenez was judged to be offside after he had the ball in the net from a Helder Costa cross.
A minute later, Sergio Aguero had a snap shot which found the bottom of the left hand post. City seem to be spurred by the disallowed goal and Sterling then had a rasping effort from 25 yards out saved brilliantly by Rui Patricio, who tipped his effort onto the cross-bar.
City were beginning to knock on the door but again Patricio was up to the task of an Aguero effort after a driven Mendy cross was parried out. The sides went in 0-0 at half-time.
City would start the second half as they ended the first, dominating the ball without being able to find that first goal and it was Wolves who came closest to opening the scoring on 56 minutes when Helder Costa would sneak between the sleeping Kompany and Laporte however Ederson was a match for the Portuguese mans effort as he pulled off a smart save to his down to his left and out for a corner.
From the resulting corner kick, Wolves would find the opening goal of the game. A short corner was played back to Joao Moutinho who’s wicked delivery was met by the onrushing Willy Boly, who at first looked to have guided it in with his head. In fact the replays showed ball had struck his hand before finding the net but in real time it was a difficult one for the linesman on the opposite side to see.
City came straight down the other end and David Silva was denied a penalty claim which he was booked for after for dissent. Guardiola decided to make a change and Jesus came on in place of Bernardo Silva in order to find City an equaliser.
Following a free kick won by David Silva on the edge of the Wolves box, City would get their equaliser from an unlikely source. Ilkay Gundogan whipped in a cross to the back post where Aymeric Laporte charged in to powerfully head the ball past Patricrio. City were level now and it looked as though only one team was going to win it.
Gabriel Jesus was denied by Patricio who was exceptional on the day after a Mendy cross found his head after 76 minutes. The Brazilian should have scored.
It was shaping up to be one of them days for City and this was hammered home in the 95th minute of the game. Sergio Aguero would step up to take a free kick with the last kick of the game. His effort was driven towards the top right hand side of the goal but was met with resistance after rattling the cross bar once again.
Wolves would hold on for a hard earned but well deserved point. They are the first team to claim a point off City this season and may have given other teams in the league hope as to how to set up against the Champions in the coming weeks and months. They will be a tough team to take points off at home this season and it a great result from their point of view as they hope to secure their place in the Premier League this season.
For City, this is not the end of the world. They didn’t seem to be firing on all cylinders on Saturday and will be hoping that this is just a start of season blip. Most teams will be wanting to take the scalp of City this season as reigning champions and Guardiola will no doubt be working hard with his players in training ahead of the game with Newcastle next week.