Sloppy Man City pay heavy price and other talking points from Wolves defeat

Alam Khan - Reporter 20:00 06/10/2019
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Adama Traore’s first goals in 13 months gave Wolves their first win at Manchester City in 40 years.

The champions were stunned by two strikes from the Spaniard in the last 10 minutes as they remain eight points behind leaders Liverpool.

It was no more than the visitors deserved as they could have been three-up at half time.

The first wasted opportunity came when Traore’s pass from halfway found Patrick Cutrone clear, but the Italian sliced his finish horribly wide.

It then took a brilliant double block from Fernandinho to save City as he denied Raul Jimenez and then Cutrone’s rebound with his head.

Another poor pass from Nicolas Otamendi then saw Jimenez burst clear, but the Mexican went down in the box as he approached Ederson, claiming to have been clipped by the chasing Fernandinho.

City stepped up in the second half, but desperate defending from the visitors kept them out.

Rui Patricio was beaten in the 68th minute but relieved to see David Silva’s free kick hit the bar.

Traore then slipped a shot past Ederson for the opener before doing likewise in added time.

SLOPPY CITY PAY HEAVY PRICE

While leaders Liverpool are winning games without playing well, City are dropping points when least expected.

It would be easy to use the absence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne as the main reason.

Perhaps it is a case of focus – and this faltering, feeble performance should be another wake-up call for the champions if they are to have any hope of bagging a trophy in this campaign.

They were below par from back to front.

For Wolves to create three gilt-edged opportunities in the opening half hour offered an insight into City’s current vulnerability.

A run of five wins suggests they are back on form after the shock loss at Norwich, but it is clear they are still fine-tuning. They also cannot afford to be as sloppy.

Every one of those chances was a result of mistakes, be it the passes from Riyad Mahrez and Otamendi that went astray, or the positioning of Fernandinho and Otamendi when Traore released Cutrone clear on goal.

TRAORE FRONTS UP IN DETERMINED DISPLAY

The Europa League factor is always a worry when a club enters the competition for the first time and has to adapt with the flow of domestic games.

Wolves seem to have suffered with that and to see them standing just a point clear of the bottom three at the start of the day was a big surprise. They are better than that, as this determined display showed.

Had they been more clinical in attack they would have claimed victory with greater ease and embarrassed City.

Cutrone and Jimenez look too similar in their styles up front to play together and the absence of the injured Diogo Jota, a clever player, affected their balance. When Santos took off Cutrone and pushed the enigmatic Traore up front, it was better. With pace and power, Traore finally provided an end product here and needs to do it more.

CANCELO VERSATILITY COULD BE VITAL

Among Joao Cancelo’s first touches was a ball across his own box with the outside of his right foot to find Otamendi from the left-hand touchline.

It is not something Benjamin Mendy or Oleksandr Zinchenko would have done without incurring the wrath of their manager or panic among the supporters.

And that is perhaps why Cancelo was preferred at left back, a position that has caused much concern for Pep Guardiola.

If there were any positives for the City boss here, in a first half where he had to handle Traore, Cancelo showed enough quality and composure to suggest he would be adept on the left and the answer to City’s dilemma in this area.

In the second half he then switched to the right as Zinchenko replaced Kyle Walker. This versatile option on both flanks will be welcome as more challenges await.

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