Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez, and Matt Doherty scored second-half goals as Wolverhampton Wanderers edged Manchester City 3-2 at Molineux Stadium, sending Nuno Espirito Santo‘s Wolves to fifth on the table.
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Despite going down 2-0 in the 50th minute, an inspired Wolves side managed to rally a comeback against a 10-man City with Traore and Jimenez each contributing a goal and assist.
With the win Wolves move on to 30 points, while City stay on 38 points – 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool.
Espirito Santo’s Wolves are only the second team to win both league bouts against Pep Guardiola‘s City – the first dates back to their 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Oct. 6.
3 things we learned
1. Nuno Espirito Santo’s second-half substitutions were spot on: Both of Wolves’ last two goals came after the Portuguese manager restructured the left side of the field. Between the the 73rd and 79th minute, Diogo Jota and Jonny Castro left the field for Ruben Vinagre and Pedro Neto. Shortly after the changes were made, the home side’s attack was oozing with confidence, dominating possession and arriving at City’s goal from all angles. Eventually, Jimenez, Traore, and Doherty were able to find space within the new-look attack and contribute to game’s final score.
2. Manchester City’s December has been substandard: December has been an unusually poor month for Manchester City. Following the defeat, Guardiola’s side has now dropped six points – the other three against Manchester United. With Liverpool up 14 points, this is a stab on City’s chances of a three peat.
3. Jimenez-Traore duo is paying dividends and more: Each attacker scored and assisted once on Friday against City. In there 2-0 victory over the defending champions in October, both were just as influential. With the January transfer window around the corner, the objective will probably be maintaining both players and building around them.
Man of the Match: Adama Traore – With a goal and an assist, Traore was the heartbeat of Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday night.
The first half was filled with plenty of drama, with Ederson being issued a red card and Raheem Sterling converting from the spot on his second attempt after an encroachment call from VAR.
Even though City were playing with 10 men, the visitor’s started the second half with poise and confidence, controlling the match’s possession and tempo.
In the 50th minute, Sterling’s delicate chip over Rui Patricio – his second goal of the match – all but sealed three points for the defending champions.
What should havre been a low-blow for Wolves turned out to be additional motivation to go for the unlikely win.
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In the 54th minute, Traore’s low-driven, sizzling shot unearthed the “there is a chance” attitude that one could sense in every Wolves player and supporter inside the stadium.
With the clock counting down the final 10 minutes of regular time and the hosts knocking on City’s doors, Jimenez converted his 21st goal of the season, finishing Traore’s recovery and hustle inside the opponent’s box.
Matt Doherty sealed the comeback for Wolves, finishing his solo run with a close-range strike inside the box.