MAN CITY 1 - 0 Wolves: Review, Player Ratings and Referee Report

After the opening day victory against Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City marked their first fixture this campaign at Eastlands with a 1-0 win over a battling Wolves side. A second goal in two games for summer signing Emmanuel Adebayor handed the Blues the three points, but the victory margin should have been greater than just a single goal. Converting only one of their sixteen shots, City displayed the profligacy that should have disappeared with the arrivals of the afore-mentioned Adebayor, Carlos Tevéz and Roque Santa Cruz, but a win is a win, and we should therefore put any complaints on the backburner.

Unfortunately, due to time constraits, there is no time for a full length review, so I will try and condense the important details into this brief, but hopefully still worthwhile, article. Courtesy of this victory, City currently lie in fifth position, level on points with rivals Manchester United, and with a game in hand. Altogether, this was not a thoroughly convincing performance by the Citizens, and truth be told, we were hanging in at the end a little bit. Wolves, poor in the first half, were clearly boosted by the half-time words of manager Mick McCarthy, himself a former City player who represented the Blues on 140 occasions, and in the second half they came out fighting, putting City under periods of sustained pressure. However, the home side were probably good value for the win, although stiffer challenges await and the Blues must improve.

Mark Hughes saw his side record their second Premier League win in succession

Blues boss Mark Hughes made only one change to the team which performed so heroically against Blackburn Rovers, replacing Welsh international Craig Bellamy with former Man United heart-throb Carlos Tevéz, who made his first start at the City of Manchester Stadium. Wolves were able to call upon the services of defender Michael Mancienne, on loan from Chelsea, but were without their most potent striker, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Chances were galore as City piled on the pressure early on, but Robinho and Adebayor both saw shots saved. Gareth Barry, playing in a central midfield role alongside Stephen Ireland, saw his free-kick come close, whilst Shay Given kept City in the game at the other end with a spectacular save from Matt Jarvis, the result of a rare Wolves attacking foray.

For all the pressure and possession they had, the Blues were unable to find a way past Wayne Hennessey, once on City’s youth books, in the Wolves net. That all changed however in the seventeenth minute, when a Wayne Bridge cross was cushioned by Tevéz into the path of his striker partner Adebayor, who lashed home to beat Hennessey at his front post.

Adebayor celebrates after putting City ahead

As the period of fifteen minutes for half-time came and went, City yet again searched for that second goal. Stephen Ireland, last season’s undoubted player of the year, inexplicably fired wide when through on goal, whilst Robinho saw his goal correctly disallowed for being offisde. Emmanuel Adebayor arguably missed the most gilt-edged oportunity, firing into the side netting after taking the ball round Hennessey. His touch took him too wide, and the Togo international will have to do better in future.

As the visitors then pressed, substitute Kevin Doyle, signed recently from Reading, saw his speculative volley cannon off the crossbar with Given, for once, beaten. Richard Dunne and Kolo Touré then expertly marshalled the City rearguard as Wolves launched an aerial assault, and the final whistle went to signal a second win on the trot for the Blues.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy felt his side deserved a point

Player Ratings

GIVEN - Made one superb save from Jarvis and generally coped very well. Oozes confidence - 7.5

RICHARDS - Very poor positioning as expected, but outstanding in the air. Should be replaced by Pablo Zabaleta - 6.5

TOURÉ - Looks like another superb piece of transfer business by Hughes. Assured, confident and calm on the ball, he is quality - 8.5

DUNNE - Has looked much better alongside Touré than Richards. Distribution was sometimes wayward, but defended stoutly - 7

BRIDGE - Another one whose performances have improved markedly since last year. No support from Robinho but played very well - 8

WRIGHT-PHILLIPS - Drifted in and out of the game, but did cause Stephen Ward some problems in the first half - 7

IRELAND - Playing much too deep for my liking. Nowhere near as influential as last season, but still should have got on the scoresheet - 6.5 

BARRY - A class apart. Very cultured in possession and his reading of the game is second to none. A bargain at £12 million - 9

ROBINHO - Poor, poor, poor. Should have done better with a couple of shots and his tracking back was minimal to say the least. I’m not his biggest fan at the best of times, but he really wound me up on Saturday - 4

ADEBAYOR - Put in a great shift for the team, and linked up nicely with Tevéz. Took his goal with customary aplomb - 8.5

TEVÉZ - Home debut, and looked sharp for the hour that he was on. Harried and hussled defenders and managed a deft assist for Adebayor’s goal - 7.5


BELLAMY - Nothing seemed to go his way today. One horrendous pass summed up his half hour, but a very valuable sub when teams are tiring - 5

DE JONG - Added some sense of solidity and stability to the City midfield when Wolves came on the attack - 7

Referee Report

LEE MASON - Could have possibly given a penalty to City for a push on Wright-Phillips, but I felt that he handled the game quite well, playing advantage wherever possible and letting the game flow as best he could - 7

16 Responses to “MAN CITY 1 - 0 Wolves: Review, Player Ratings and Referee Report”

  1. I*T*P*L Says:

    A decent little report Steven, a good result for you but possibly a concerning one. On last season’s home form you may well have put three or four past Wolves who were defensively poor, but with your new star-studded attack you looked decidedly blunt. That will have to improve.

    One thing, I think it was Andy Keogh that hit the bar not Doyle.

  2. Steven Goran Eriksson Says:

    I’m fairly sure it was Doyle, but will check again to make sure. The result was slightly concerning, but as you say, only because we failed to take our plethora of chances. I’m fairly sure that we will click sooner rather than later though. We’ve got a potential banana skin against Crystal Palace in midweek, which should be a good opportunity for the likes of Zabaleta, Onuoha, de Jong, Petrov and Bellamy etc to get some playing time, before we travel to Pompey on Sunday.

  3. dan_ctid Says:

    hi, i’m a season card holder, so i was at the game yesterday. i’m just wondering why you gave robbie a 4?!? for me and many people around me he was causing their defenders lots and lots of problems, his dribbling was great (although he did lose it a couple of times), his off the ball movement is excellent, he manages to bring other players into the game without even touching the ball as he’s constantly dragging defenders away from their areas giving our supporting players (i.e. bridge and barry) room to run into down the left. It gets on my nerves when people get on the back of city players who are trying to give us entertainment and something to cheer about, robbie does this a lot (at home), and how you could give ballamy (who was woeful) a better rating tham him is beyond me. apart from that, good read.


  4. TheSwede Says:

    I’m fairly sure it was Keogh, haha. In fact I’m totally sure. Nice blog, though! And were have I heard that name before? Hmm.

  5. Steven Goran Eriksson Says:

    Thanks for all the praise and constructive criticism

    dan_ctid - A lot of what you say is true, ie, all the movement off the ball to drag defenders away, but overall, I felt that his contribution was minimal. He had a couple of shots which forced Hennessey into saves, but they were efforts which should have been hit with a lot more conviction, especially the one which resulted from Adebyor outpacing Mancienne. His dribbling and close control is fantastic, but so often, he wastes breaks by over-elaborating and that gets on my nerves. Bellamy was indeed very poor, but his contribution at Blackburn should not be under-estimated and over the course of the season, I’m sure he will prove to be a fantastic substitute to have on the bench. Thanks for the comment, it is good to hear different views.

    TheSwede - I’ll change it to Keogh then shortly. You may well be correct. thanks for the praise … I do my best

  6. Plattsy Says:

    Sven, you are far too harsh on Robinho! From what I saw on MOTD he looked lively and hungry to get forward and beat his man, which he often did.

    Also, ‘As the period of fifteen minutes for half time…’, very wordy!

    I’m glad we got the win, we could easily have dropped 2 points yesterday.. we’re clearly not the finished article at the back yet

  7. Steven Goran Eriksson Says:

    Ah, yet another person who would rather judge the game from the 3 minute highlights on MotD as opposed to trusting the judgement of someone who watched the game in its entirity. When will you learn …

    Robbie did look skillful on the ball but wasted a couple of promising breaks and I’m confident we would be a better side if Petrov was playing.

  8. Charlieeee Says:

    ” last season’s undoubted player of the year” — pablo zabaleta should have won it mate

  9. Steven Goran Eriksson Says:

    Erm … no he shouldn’t. Ireland by a clear distance with Zabaleta and Kompany in second and third.

  10. Charlieeee Says:

    no, your rong

  11. Steven Goran Eriksson Says:

    OK, so even though Ireland was voted as player of the year, I and everyone else who voted, are wrong?!?!?

    Methinks not.

  12. CHED EVANS YOU WERE MY HERO! Zabaleta, why does Sparky not play you?! Says:

    Love the little rant above, like the short articles, they work well!

    My score is going to be City 2 - 1 Palace (Tevez, Ireland and Ambrose!)

  13. Steven Goran Eriksson Says:

    Which little rant? Comment 7 or 11?

    Thanks, this type of article is now a lot less time consuming than before.

    I’ve gone for 3-1 City (Petrov, Bellamy, Ireland, Sears)
    Plattsy’s gone for 3-0 City (Petrov, Bellamy, Barry)

    Still waiing for Ricky and Dan.

  14. CHED EVANS YOU WERE MY HERO! Zabaleta, why does Sparky not play you?! Says:

    Im going to stick with 2-1, but change to Ambrose, Bellamy and Petrov Thanksss

  15. Steven Goran Eriksson Says:

    No worries.

    Dan has gone for 2 - 0 City (Bellamy, SWP)

    Looks like Bellamy is due a goal!

  16. Steven Goran Eriksson Says:

    Dan now changed to Bellamy and Barry.

    Still waiting for Ricky. He might be relegated before the season has even started!!

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