Premier League - Ten-man City beat Wolves to stay on top

Sat, 29 Oct 16:57:00 2011

Goalkeeping errors were the order of the day as Manchester City completed a second win of the week over Wolves with a 3-1 Premier League win at Eastlands.

Man City 3 Wolves 1

Hot on the heels of a 5-2 Carling Cup win at Molineux, City were less impressive but took a 2-0 lead through goals by Edin Dzeko and Alexandr Kolarov, both of which came from Wayne Hennessey blunders.

City skipper Vincent Kompany was then sent off after a Joe Hart mistake forced him to haul down Kevin Doyle, with Stephen Hunt converting from the penalty spot.

Wolves threw men forward but - unlike their 2-2 comeback draw against Swansea last weekend - they were unable to force an equaliser and City added a late third through substitute Adam Johnson, grinding out a three points that keeps them five points clear of Manchester United atop the division.

Mindful of the heavy defeat to the same opposition in midweek, Wolves worked incredibly hard to restrict City in the first half.

Their defensive travails came at the expense of any meaningful attacking play - they only managed one early half-chance, when Kevin Doyle fired wide after a Micah Richards error - while for all their frustration, City created several opportunities.

The best of these were denied by an inspired Hennessey: the Wales keeper tipped over Samir Nasri’s volley, palmed a Sergio Aguero drive behind and made a wonderful stop to keep Dzeko’s vicious low shot from fizzing inside the left-hand post.

There was also some inspired defending, as Roger Johnson intercepted Richard’s low ball, knocking it against Dzeko and over when the Bosnian would have finished otherwise, while Richard Stearman made a thrilling flying block from David Silva’s far-post volley.

And, to round off the first-half’s profligacy, there was a poor miss as well - from Aguero of all people - as the Argentina star put wide when Richards found him free from 10 yards.

The second half continued in the same manner, City growing steadily more dominant as the game progressed.

Hennessey had been the difference in the first half, and he was to prove the difference in the second: however, this time he gifted City both their goals.

Silva had just poked wide from close range when, on 52 minutes, Hennessey took an age to clear a straightforward back-pass: he hit it against the advancing Aguero, the rebound falling to Dzeko who bagged the easiest of his nine league goals this season.

On 66 minutes it was two, and Hennessey was again at fault as he spilt Silva’s shot into the path of Kolarov, who like Dzeko had an easy finish.

Wolves had responded to the first goal gamely enough and they set up an exciting finish when the normally unflappable Hart failed to hold a long-range effort from Adlene Guedioura: with Doyle set to finish, Kompany instinctively fouled the Irishman and was given an early bath.

Hunt made no mistake from the spot, drilling the low finish into the right with Hart going the other way, and Wolves sensed another miraculous comeback.

City are a different prospect to Swansea though and a quick reorganisation - Johnson, who had come on to play as a winger before the dismissal, was shunted to right-back - and they picked Wolves off at the end as sub Mario Balotelli used his power to cause problems.

But it was Johnson who scored the third, drilling home a superb low shot from range after good play from Balotelli and Yaya Toure, getting his second against Wolves in two games and - with a top tackle on Adam Hammill late on - reminded Roberto Mancini that he is a more than capable team player.

Reda Maher / Eurosport

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