Pep Guardiola left seething in stands as Wolves exploit star’s absence to beat Man City


Manchester City saw their 100% Premier League record surprisingly ended by a shock 2-1 away defeat to Wolves on Saturday afternoon, their second defeat this week

Pep Guardiola could have been forgiven for ordering his players to walk home.

‌After moaning about not being allowed to catch a flight back to the north west after the Carabao Cup loss at Newcastle in midweek, the Manchester City boss saw his treble winners defeated in the Premier League for the first time this season after being outrun and out-fought by Gary O’Neill’s gutsy side. When it came to putting in the hard yards, for once the champions just weren’t up to the task.

‌Hwang Hee-chan scored the 68-minute winner that sent Molineux into a frenzy – although how the South Korean was still on the pitch only referee Craig Pawson will know. Booked for a studs-up challenge on Manuel Akanji, the Wolves striker should have walked in first-half injury-time for a late lunge at Kyle Walker.

Pep Guardiola points finger at Man City stars after Wolves exploit weakness

‌Not that Guardiola could complain. He was serving a touchline ban for being booked for the third time this season at St James’ Park and watched the game from up in the directors’ box.

‌Hwang’s strike was Wolves only shot on target, but that shouldn’t disguise how O’Neill did a tactical number on the City boss. His ploy to use outstanding Pedro Neto and Mario Lemina to expose left-back Nathan Ake’s lack of pace was where the game was won. Both of the home side’s goals came from that flank.

‌They went ahead in the 13th minute when Neto pounced on Mateo Kovacic’s misplaced pass deep inside his own half and embarked on a run that saw him shake off both the City midfielder and Ake. The Portuguese then tried to pick out Hwang with a cross but the ball bounced off Ruben Dias’ outstretched leg to give visitors’ keeper Ederson no chance.

‌City, without the suspended Rodri, dominated possession but were strangely subdued. Guardiola’s decision to start with Mattheus Nunes backfired spectacularly. The Portuguese midfielder went on strike in the summer to force through his £53 million move to Manchester – and the merciless reception he was given by the South Bank had such an effect on him that he was replaced by teenager Oscar Bobb at the break.

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