Wolverhampton Wanderers – Manchester City: Explosive Adama Traoré Leads Wolves Comeback In Red Card Induced Role Reversal (3-2)
After Ederson’s sending off left City with no way to go, two casual attacks gave Guardiola’s team a double lead. However, their inability to control possession with ten men exposed their defensive frailties, ultimately inviting Wolverhampton back into the game for the final win.
Tactical analysis and match report by Kareem Bianchi.
Fourteen points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, Manchester City traveled to Wolverhampton in a chase that is looking ever more unlikely as each match day passes. Left in Liverpool’s dust, therefore, City had to console themselves with the chance of overtaking Leicester City after their boxing day 4-0 annihilation on home soil at the hands of Jürgen Klopp’s ruthless soldiers.
However, the prospect of reclaiming second place could not have come against a harder opponent. Wolverhampton have been responsible for many of City’s slips since Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have climbed back to the top-flight league and - together with Manchester United - this season they have been the only team capable of stripping the three points off Man City’s home record, placing the pressure upon the visitors as they approached Christmas’ brutal and domestic season-defining series of matches.
Guardiola started his side in a 4-3-3 formation with Fernandinho and Otamendi replacing the long-term injured John Stones and Aymeric Laporte. In midfield, Bernardo Silva took his counterpart David Silva’s place, while Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero led the frontline.
Espirito Santo played Wolves’ trademark back three starring Roman Saïss, Leandro Dendocker, and Conor Coady. Ahead of them Rúben Neves and João Moutinho controlled the midfield, with Diogo Jota, Adama Traoré and Raúl . . .