NICK PARKES TALKS ABOUT WOLVES 2-1 WIN AGAINST MANCHESTER CITY
5 at the back… pace in attack… we’re Wolverhampton…Could we be on our way back?
Well, well, well! Who saw that result coming? Not many Wolves fans predicted a Wolves win against the European champions, but there you go! Wolves 2 Man City 1.
Rightly or wrongly, manager Gary O’Neil has received a lot of negativity recently – poor performance against Luton and a dire outing against Ipswich in the cup has him treading thin ice with certain Wolves fans. For this week’s fixture he chose to go with 5 defenders (Nunoesque) with Toti replacing the suspended Bellegarde. The only change from last weeks draw against Luton.
As predicted Man City had the lion-share on possession early on with Dawson getting a crucial touch to deny Haaland a certain goal from “fans favourite” Matheus Nunes. Jeered and heckled with every touch from the Molineux faithful, his afternoon didn’t get any better as he was dragged off at half-time after a meek and under par performance (seen that before).
Despite City’s possession, Wolves never looked in too much trouble. Well drilled and compact, each player knew their role and stuck to it. Similar to the glory days of Nuno, Wolves looked to attack on the break, and we did just that. Man in form, Pedro Neto produced another sensational run from his own half – shrugging off Foden and beating Ake (not for the last time) to charge into the box for his cross to take a deflection off Dias and into the net. An incredible goal from a player in incredible form.
Wolves remained solid and difficult to break down. Joao Gomes and Lemina stuck to their tasks and constantly stopped attacks and winning possession back. Jose Sa had a commanding first half, a decent save from a free header at the back post – and claiming for balls with confidence.
We continued to look aggressive on the break with Hwang dancing passed City players in the middle of the pitch. A great tackle in his own half from Cunha had Hwang involved again, he ran into the City box, cut the ball back and only a block stopped his shot heading on target.
A dogged and organised half came to a close with Wolves headed into the break 1-0 up.
Second half started brightly as we didn’t look to sit back, Neto made a mockery of Ake as he danced down the wing to put a good ball in the box. Defensively we continued to be organised and compact. Each of them worked tirelessly to stop City creating any chances – Semedo and Dawson were immense against Haaland and Doku – two world-class players.
Joy turned to despair as City equalised from a decent free-kick by Alvarez on the hour mark. Wolves fans felt aggrieved as Cunha was fouled only seconds before but the referee waved play on.
Most teams would have admitted defeat against City at this point or try to hang on for a point, but Wolves kept pushing. Two quick break-aways from Ait-Nouri and Neto should have led to more. City pressed forward again and with Dawson clearing off the line and Sa saving to prevent City, our hopes were still alive that 3 points could be ours.
And those hopes turned into reality in the 66th as Wolves scored the all-important second goal. A beautiful ball over the top from Kilman found Semedo sprinting forward, he played in a low cross which was half cleared by City, Hwang’s blocked shot found Cunha in the 6-yard box, whose clever lay-off found Hwang, who fired the ball into the City goal. (4 Premier League goals already). Molineux erupted and so did the 11 players on the pitch.
As the minutes passed, O’Neil’s tactics continued to pay off as City had all the possession but no clear cut chances. Wolves subs came on and Traore in particular played well.
The final whistle blew and 3 beautiful points stayed in Wolverhampton. After a difficult week for the club it was fantastic to see the passion and heart from each individual player. O’Neil deserves immense credit for how he approached the game. Hopefully a sign on things to come.
MAN OF THE MATCH
A very difficult decision. Beating Man City needs 11 players to play perform and they did just that. Semedo had a great game – so did Hwang, Dawson, Ait-Nouri and Joao Gomes. But Pedro Neto stood out again – not many players beat Nathan Ake once, Neto did it all game. His run for the goal was sensational and the boy wonder is coming good at a time when we need him the most!
ARTICLE BY NICK PARKES
Hi, I’m Nick! Born in Wolverhampton and currently living in Barcelona. I’ve been a Wolves fan since birth (dad’s choice) and was a north bank season ticket holder in my younger days. My favourite all-time player, Bully!
I’m an English teacher by trade and when I’m not scolding teenagers in the class, I’m either running, gardening or watching cricket!