Belfast Telegraph

Guardiola happy as City keep up the pressure in title battle

Man City 3-0 Wolves

Cool head: Gabriel Jesus slots home a penalty for his and City’s second goal
Cool head: Gabriel Jesus slots home a penalty for his and City’s second goal

By Andy Hampson

Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Manchester City moved back within four points of Premier League leaders Liverpool with a comfortable 3-0 win over 10-man Wolves.

The Brazilian struck after just 10 minutes at the Etihad Stadium and added a penalty before the break as City made easy work of their visitors, who had Willy Boly sent off after 19 minutes.

Boly, who controversially scored off his hand when the sides drew 1-1 at Molineux in August, received a straight red for a bad challenge on Bernardo Silva.

City wrapped up victory when a Kevin de Bruyne cross was turned into his own net by Wolves captain Conor Coady.

De Bruyne had started on the bench along with Sergio Aguero but, such is the depth of City's squad, their superiority was established long before either appeared in the second half.

Jesus said: "Sergio is an amazing player and helps me a lot. When Sergio plays he helps the team and when I play I want to help as well. I play better now and to score goals is important to me because I am a striker."

City boss Pep Guardiola stated: "We have played a lot of time with 10 against 11 and we should be more aggressive in our attacking play, but we have a lot of matches in our minds and our legs.

"We were solid and didn't give away many chances so it is three points to keep the pressure on the team at the top of the table.

"Most teams come here and defend deep and it is not easy, but we did it well and we got a third goal to take us closer to Liverpool."

Wolves defender Coady felt the dismissal was harsh on them.

He said: "We know it is always going to be difficult coming here. We are disappointed with conceding the first goal like we did, but to go down to 10 was so disappointing for us. I thought the penalty was soft, and to come here with 11 was hard, but 10 makes it even harder."

City wasted little time in getting on the front foot. The opening goal came as Aymeric Laporte released Leroy Sane with an exquisite ball down the left and the German squared for Jesus (right) to slide home.

Rui Patricio denied City a second soon after as he palmed over David Silva's deflected strike but Wolves' night took another early downturn as Boly was then dismissed.

The defender was reckless as he jumped in on Bernardo Silva close to the halfway line. The Frenchman did reach the ball first but he had no control of his follow-through and caught the City player's standing leg.

City had a worrying moment of their own when Jesus hit his head on the post and required treatment but he was given the all-clear to return to the game.

Wolves made a rare break through Raul Jimenez but Jonny Otto failed to find Diogo Jota in front of goal and the chance was wasted.

Jesus had another effort deflected wide before getting his chance to double the lead from the spot after Raheem Sterling was tripped by Ryan Bennett. The Brazilian stuttered in his run-up and sent Patricio the wrong way to score his sixth goal in two games.

Sterling headed straight at Patricio before the break and Sane spurned a good chance after the restart as he miscued a shot in front of goal.

Adama Traore came off the bench to give Wolves a lift but City, even though they eased off the gas, remained in control.

De Bruyne, who appeared unhappy when substituted in last week's 9-0 thrashing of Burton, came off the bench for the final half-hour. He replaced David Silva, who had been making a club-record 267th Premier League appearance for City, surpassing Joe Hart's previous landmark.

De Bruyne was soon into the thick of the action and sent a thunderous effort narrowly wide from the edge of the area and then forced Patricio to save with a snap shot.

He then created the third 12 minutes from time as his wicked cross took deflections of Romain Saiss and Coady to find the back of the net.

Having enjoyed almost 80 per cent possession, the final scoreline reflected City's commanding display.

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