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Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-3 Manchester City: 5 Talking Points as Cityzens open with away win | Premier League 2020-21

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City - Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City - Premier League
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Modified 22 Sep 2020, 03:26 IST
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Manchester City beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 at Molineux on Monday night to open their Premier League campaign with a precious three points, as their title rivals Liverpool have already won their opening two games.

Kevin de Bruyne won and scored a penalty for City's first goal of the season, and put them on their way, in a first half when Pep Guardiola's side wiped the floor with Wolves.

They were two goals to the good soon after, when Raheem Sterling set up Phil Foden to slot into an open goal.

Wolves had their fair share of chances in the second half, but could not convert any of them until Raul Jimenez's header past Ederson in the 78th minute.

Gabriel Jesus wrapped up the points for City with virtually the last kick of the game, as his shot deflected off Conor Coady and past Rui Patricio in the Wolves goal.

Here are five points of discussion from the game.


#5 Pep Guardiola takes a cautious approach with team selection

Nathan Ake was afforded protection from the midfield on his City debut
Nathan Ake was afforded protection from the midfield on his City debut

Whether this remains a theme throughout the season remains to be seen, but on the opening day, Pep Guardiola took a rather cautious approach, with two defensive midfielders starting for City.

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Both Fernandinho and Rodri started in midfield, slotting in front of the centre-back pairing of Nathan Ake and John Stones. That made City robust in midfield, and allowed them to control the ball in a manner that Guardiola enjoys his sides doing.

Rodri and Fernandinho ensured that neither Joao Moutinho nor Ruben Neves got any time on the ball in the first half, as City were sharp in their press, and very effective in turning possession over.

That meant that de Bruyne could take over possession in advanced positions, and set City on their way to threaten Patricio.

Now, whether this combination continues to stick in midfield is a question, because they will have to contend with Ilkay Gundogan coming back into the side after his recovery from COVID-19.


#4 Wolves's right flank needs sorting out

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City - Premier League
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City - Premier League

With Matt Doherty departing for Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, Nuno has chosen to go with Adama Traore in the right-wing-back spot, but that has not quite worked for Wolves.

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Especially in the first half, the area between Adama and the right-sided centre-back Willy Boly was a constant sources of joy for City. Sterling lodged himself in the space between the two, and caused plenty of problems.

Those stem from the fact that Traore is not really a defender, and is being shoehorned into an unfamiliar role, that might be detrimental to both him and the team.

With the imminent arrival of Nelson Semedo from Barcelona, that balance is immediately restored for Wolves, as it would allow them to send Traore up the field, while also ensuring that they have a recognized defender in the wing-back role.

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Published 22 Sep 2020, 03:26 IST
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