De Bruyne involved in 3 goals as Man City outlasts Wolves
Wolves - Man City: Manchester City started its 2020-21 Premier League season with a 3-1 win over Wolves at the Molineux.
Kevin De Bruyne converted a 20th-minute penalty and helped set up goals from Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus.
[ MORE: Pep reacts to win, praises Foden ]
Daniel Podence was Wolves’ brightest attacker and set up Raul Jimenez for a late goal that made it 2-1 before Jesus scored in stoppage time.
Both teams have midweek League Cup matches before both play Sunday in the league when City hosts Leicester and Wolves go to West Ham.
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Notes from Wolves - Man City
1. No slow start for this Manchester side: Pep Guardiola’s men may be the final Premier League team to start its season but the blue side of Manchester was firing on all cylinders from Moment No. 1 against a pretty darn good Wolves side. The second half showed a team a bit weary in a first serious match since August, but the start sent a message to the rest of the league that City won’t be going away.
2. Patricio keeps it a ball game: Wolves’ veteran backstop made four of his five saves from inside the box, including a nice recovery to thwart an early De Bruyne free kick and a great stop on Jesus in stoppage time (before the Brazilian found his goal off the ensuing corner).
3. Ake debuts, Stones gets chance: Fernandinho was back in the midfield and Aymeric Laporte is returning to fitness after a positive COVID-19 test, which left City new boy Nathan Ake and out-of-favor John Stones at the heart of Pep Guardiola’s back four.
Ake was perhaps a bit too aggressive at times while Stones saw a couple of lapses go unpunished and would’ve wanted to be closer to Jimenez on Wolves’ goal. Stones was also more ambitious in passing, with Ake playing it safe. The pair went a combined 7-for-8 in duels.
Man of the Match
Kevin De Bruyne -- The reigning Premier League Player of the Year might’ve been nutmegged by Podence on Wolves’ goal, but otherwise did nothing to suggest he won’t contend for this year’s honor. The Belgian won and converted the opening penalty before getting the hockey assist with the most important pass of Phil Foden’s goal. His pressure then saw the ball hit him last before Jesus stroked home to finish the scoring.
Wolves - Man City recap
An early injury to Marcal forced Espirito Santo into an eighth-minute sub with Ruben Vinaigre replacing the Brazilian.
City was in control and De Bruyne spun a free kick that Rui Patricio saved well.
Romain Saiss, so good in the opening week win over Sheffield United, chopped down Kevin De Bruyne in the box and the Belgian smashed his spot kick home in the 20th minute.
Sterling forced a good save out of Patricio with a rip just before the half-hour mark.
He’d get an assist moments later, running onto a De Bruyne through ball and squaring to the heart of the box for Foden to slot over the line.
Wolves did nothing with a dangerous free kick and Patricio was soon called upon again as Gabriel Jesus flicked De Bruyne into the box.
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Wolves were a little better after the break but sloppiness with the ball gave City chances nonetheless.
Patricio stopped Jesus on a 53rd-minute left-footed effort.
Daniel Podence whipped a shot off the outside of the goal in the 54th, and Ruben Neves rolled a shot that City cleared off the line.
Podence got by John Stones and chipped Ederson but the effort drifted just over the bar. And Raul Jimenez just missed turning an Adama Traore cross inside the far post at the hour mark.
The drama was ratcheted up when Podence nutmegged De Bruyne and sent a perfect cross between Benjamin Mendy and John Stones for Jimenez to head inside the far post for 2-1 with a dozen minutes left in the match.
Patricio stopped Jesus in stoppage time to keep the game 2-1 but the ensuing corner kick more or less ended the affair.