Three-goal City tame Wolves and move top of the Premier League
Goals from Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland and Phil Foden saw City to a 3-0 victory over Wolves and to the top of the embryonic Premier League table.
Grealish’s first strike of the season got us off to a perfect start inside a minute before Haaland’s low right-footed strike made it two after just 16 minutes.
Wolves had to play just under an hour with 10 men after Nathan Collins was shown a red card for a reckless waist-high challenge on Grealish.
Foden completed the scoring midway through the second half before City’s composure and a raft of changes took the sting out of the game.
The win moves us up to the summit of the league, although Arsenal can reclaim top spot with victory over Brentford on Sunday.
After a minute’s silence for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and a rendition of the national anthem, City were straight on the front foot.
In fact, it took just 55 seconds for Grealish to start the scoring. Our hosts were yet to get close to the Blues when Phil Foden worked a pocket of space on the right and waited for Kevin De Bruyne to pass him on the overlap.
The Belgian latched on to Foden’s backheel and fired a first time cross that Grealish attacked and poked home from just inside the six-yard box in the way Haaland has so often already this season.
Ederson was called into action at his near post by Pedro Neto shortly afterwards but that was just a brief interval in City’s dominance of the ball.
Rodrigo looked to have doubled the lead inside ten minutes but his jumping challenge on Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa to win the ball was deemed a foul.
We didn’t have to wait long for the second however, with Haaland’s eleventh Premier League goal in seven matches coming in the 16th minute.
The Norwegian picked up the ball in the Wolves half, drove at the hosts’ defence and hit an effort that beat Sa low down to the goalkeeper’s right for his first City goal from outside of the box.
It went from bad to worse for Wolves just after the half-hour mark when Grealish controlled a high ball only for Collins’ right boot to connect with his hip. Our No.10 was fine to continue, but the tackle was dangerous and Collins was rightly sent off.
The hosts rallied in the second half but it was nothing beyond the capabilities of central defenders Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji, who protected Ederson’s goal expertly.
The first chance of the second half came in the 66th minute following skilful work from Grealish and Haaland, whose shot was saved before Foden’s follow up was deflected over.
The third came moments later in similar fashion to the opener. This time it was Haaland who teed up De Bruyne in the right channel, with our midfielder playing a low cross that was glanced beyond the diving Sa by the onrushing Foden.
Astonishingly, that was De Bruyne's 125th assist in all competitions for City.
The three points were sealed from that moment and City passed the final twenty minutes in control of the ball.
"The game started really well for us. And then a second and a red card. To come here against this team, with the quality they have - Neto, Moutinho, Neves - they have the quality to transition so fast.
"It was an incredible victory. We struggled a lot - big compliment for Wolves. It was so important before the international break.
On Grealish, he said: "He played really good. Strong, made a good goal. He is a guy who doesn't lose the balls. It was a good performance from him. Hopefully he can continue in the international team and come back fit."
Jack Grealish - In his press conference on Friday, Pep Guardiola affirmed his delight at how Jack Grealish had played so far this season despite going without a goal or assist so far.
However, it’s hard to argue that Saturday’s goal will have done the 27-year-old the world of good. Grealish attacked the ball and turned it home so emphatically that you could have mistaken it for the actions of a prolific No.9.
Beyond his strike, he was a constant menace to the Wolves backline – slaloming around defenders and leaving players from the home side in his wake.
The England international has been pivotal in keeping the ball ever since joining from Aston Villa but moving inside and adding goals to his game will make him an even more frightening prospect for opposition defenders.
Erling Haaland’s early impact on this side has been unprecedented and unbelievable.
The 22-year-old’s first-half goal made him the first player in Premier League history to score in his first four away matches in the competition. It also took him to his 100th goal in 99 appearances since leaving Red Bull Salzburg in 2020.
The most striking thing about his finish today was how different it was to the 13 goals we have seen him score in City colours so far.
We’re used to seeing him between the posts, close to the goal but this goal proved that defenders can’t rest when he winds up for a shot outside of the area either.
City move to the top of the Premier League table with 17 points from our first seven matches in the Premier League.
Arsenal, currently on 15 points from six matches, can reclaim top spot with a win at Brentford on Sunday.
City are now unbeaten in our last 22 Premier League away games (W16 D6) since a 1-0 loss at Spurs in our opening game last season.
20 players from our first team squad will now head off on to international duty and we will not play again until 2 October.
That match will be the small matter of a Manchester derby, with Manchester United visiting the Etihad Stadium for a 14:00 kick-off in the Premier League.