Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Manchester City


By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor from Molineux

Manchester City's comfortable win at Molineux closed the gap on neighbours Manchester United to three points ahead of next week's derby whilst ending Wolves' three year stay in the top flight. 

Knowing Manchester United's result - a 4-4 draw with Everton - City were six points behind whilst Wolves needed to win to stand any chance of staying up, and they did push their rivals close, but City always had an extra gear just incase. 

Both sides had early chances, and Aguero neat finished opened the scoring. Samir Nasri sealed it with an easy finish pas debutant Dorus de Vries. 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

Manchester City have won back-to-back away games for the first time in 2012. 


Wolves again mixed it up a bit with 4 changes: Hennessey was ruled our for six months so will miss Wales' World Cup clashes in September, so Dorus de Vries made his Premier League debut - his first appearence since the 2011 Championship play off final for Swansea. Bassong returned from a ban, and Jarvis and Edwards also returned to the starting 11.

City meanwhile, made just a solitary change with Yaya Toure replacing Nigel de Jong who dropped to the bench. 

Carlos Tevez nearly had the ball in the net after just 18 seconds but his shot from the edge of the area flew over the bar. 

Aguero had 3 shots in the opening 20 minutes: his first he shot across De Vries bit wide off the far post, and then poked a shot wide after creating some space for himself. 

Wolves had a nice little spell, too and if it wasn't for Joe Hart, David Davis's shot would have braced the back of the net, not the England keeper's gloves. 

A good move finished with a sublime defence-splitting pass by Zabaleta into Nasri but the Frenchman scuffed his shot wide. De Vries then denied Tevez as Wolves were struggling to hold on. 

Wolves' resistance was broken when Aguero finally scored. Wolves's high line and defence had deserted them aas Clichy's excellent ball forward split the defence - Aguero took one touch to control before applying the finish. 1-0 City, one goal towards the title?

De Vries's afternoon was becoming busy as tevez forced him into another save, yet Wolves held out to half time and also had some decent spells in possession although didn't force Hart into a meaningful save. 

In the second half, the team in Orange gave a good account of themselves and could have equalised but Hart came to City's rescue: Kightly's cross was flicked towards goal by Fletcher - who scored against City at Molineux last season - but saw the England number 1 push away his header. 

It proved to be the turning point. 

Because with 15 minutes left on the watch, referee Lee Probert awarded a debatable free kick just inside the home side's half, and the Argentine took it quickly leaving City with men over against the heavely outnumbered defence and slipped in Nasri. 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

This is the quickest relegation in the Premier League since Derby in 2007 (relegated March 25th). 


Unfortuantely for Wolves, Bassong who was running back and may well have caught up to him, pulled up with a hamstring problem - limping off soon after - leaving Nasri all the time in the world to pick his spot. 2-0, and game over. 

So Wolves are down, leaving just 2 spots remaining. As Wolves boss Terry Connor said, they need to carry on playing as they could play a part on who joins them in the Championship next season, especially since they take on Wigan on the last day of the season. 

City? the gap is down to 3 points, goal difference is massively in their favour, and oh, there's the matter of a huge title-clash of astronmical proportions: it's going to decide where the trophy will be heading in May, and because it's a derby, so bragging rights are also top of the agenda. 

What will happen? Who will win? It's still United's to lose, City's to gain. City have no option but to win. And that could swing the already swinging momentum in their favour. April 30th: you don't want to be anywhere else.  




Sunday 22nd April

Barclays Premier League

Molineux

 

Wolverhampton 0-2 Manchester City                          KO 4pm                (HT 0-1)

                           Aguero 

                           Nasri

 

Wolves:   31. De Vries- 6.5/10, 32. Foley- 7/10, 05. Stearman- 5.5/10, 21. Bassong- 7.5/10 (Berra 75- 4/10), 11. Ward- 6.5/10, 07. Kightly- 7/10, 04. Edwards- 5.5/10 (Doyle 61- 3.5/10), 26. Davis- 7/10, 17. Jarvis- 6.5/10, 08. Henry (C)- 6/10, 10. Fletcher- 6/10 (Ebanks-Blake 88- 2/10).

Subs not used:  13. Ikeme, 14. Johnson, 20. Milijas, 23. Zubar

Booked:     None

 

Manchester City:   25. Hart- 7/10, 05. Zabaleta- 7.5/10 (Milner 84- 1.5/10), 04. Kompany (C)6.5/10, 06. Lescott- 6/10, 22. Clichy- 8.5/10, 18. Barry- 5/10 (Johnson 62- 3.5/10), 42. Yaya Toure- 6.5/10, 21. Silva- 6.5/10 (De Jong 61- 5/10), 19. Nasri- 7.5/10 (K. Toure 86- 2/10), 16. Aguero- 8/10, 32. Tevez- 6.5/10 (Johnson 75- 3.5/10)

Subs not used:  29 Sorensen, 20 Upson, 30 Shotton, 24 Delap

Booked:     Barry (38), Yaya Toure (90+4)

 

My Man of the Match:      Gael Clichy (Manchester City)- Rating 8.5/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:     Gareth Barry (Manchester City)- Rating 5/10



Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)- 7.5/10
Attendance: 24,576



Terry Connor - Wolverhampton Manager

"It's raw for me, the players, the staff, but most importantly the supporters. It's a tough day, and it's going to be a tough few days. We've proved we're not good enough to stay in the Premier League. They have been doing that for a while now, the last 8 weeks, and just not getting the rub of the green. That happened again today, and it's been a calling to our season. We've done okay, but some decisions have gone against us."

Click here to hear the full thoughts of the distraught manager

Click here to hear the thoughts of Jez Moxey - Wolves' Chief Executive



Roberto Mancini - Manchester City Manager

"They [Man United] are top, three points ahead. After the derby they have two easy games [Swansea H, Sunderand A]. United always are favourites. Is it a good day? No not really. You all wrote the title race was finished, seven days ago you wrote that. We have two trickier games. After the derby we play Newcastle away who are fightin for the Champions League, and QPR who are fighting relegation, so it is difficult for us."

Click here to hear Mancini's full interview

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