Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers home 2009/10

wolves home 2009 to 2010 prog


Barclays Premier League

22nd August 2009

attendance 47,287

scorer Adebayor(17)

ref Lee Mason

City Given, Richards, Dunne, Toure, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry, Robinho, Tevez, Adebayor – subs De Jong(83), Bellamy(72), Taylor(unused), Zabaleta(unused), Onuoha(unused), Petrov(unused), Weiss(unused)

Wolves Hennessey, Edwards, Stearman, Craddock, Henry, Keogh, Ward, Halford, Jarvis, Milijas, Mancienne – subs Vokes(74), Elokobi(46), Doyle(46), Surman(unused), Hahnemann(unused), Jones(unused), Berra(unused)

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CITY’S expensive new strikeforce clicked just once. And once proved to be enough this time, although the big spenders from Eastlands cannot expect to go unpunished for such wastefulness when they come up against better opposition than Wolves. lf City manager Mark Hughes really wants to break into the top four, he needs to introduce a killer instinct up front to go with all the pretty passing. Hughes put a positive gloss on yesterday’s events, although Wolves could so easily have snatched a point. It seemed that the less time Emmanuel Adebayor had to think about what he was doing, the more effective he was up front for City. So it was in the 17th minute when Carlos Tevez fed his fellow marksman with a simple first-time pass and the former Arsenal striker drilled in a spontaneous finish. Hughes, purring over what appears to be the imminent arrival of Joleon Lescott from Everton, was impressed. ‘On chances created, we should have put the game to bed quite early on,’ he said. ‘But some of our play in the first half was outstanding and Adebayor’s play with Tevez was really good. They are quality players and have a mutual respect for what each can produce. We stood up to what Wolves threw at us later on and it completes a great week with three games, three wins and three clean sheets.’ City’s crossbar, rather than the team, stood up to Wolves striker Andy Keogh’s shot in a rousing climax. Keogh’s dipping effort beat Shay Given and rattled off the woodwork Given had been forced to make a spectacular save from the excellent Matt Jarvis just before the interval. Jarvis might also have forced that elusive equaliser near the end but his shot lacked power. Substitute Kevin Doyle also threatened late on, with visiting supporters screaming for a penalty when he was floored.

wolves home 2009 to 2010 warm up

Wolves had changed from a negative 4-1-4-1 formation to a more enterprising 4-4-2 – leaving City looking strangely vulnerable despite their superiority. In the 25th minute, Shaun Wright- Phillips left England hopeful Michael Mancienne for dead with a deft flick as he stole down the right. His cross invited Stephen Ireland to end the contest with a second goal, but the City midfielder felt he had to set up Adebayor instead. On this occasion you could hardly blame the big man for squandering his chance, because he was so surprised to receive the ball that he ended up shooting weakly. Robinho wanted his share of the limelight as City toyed with the opposition and twice failed to stretch keeper Wayne Hennessey with his finishing. Adebayor had unselfishly set up his fellow striker on the second occasion. Then, when Ireland fed Adebayor again with a threaded pass in the second half, the ex-Gunner was clean through with Hennessey at his mercy. Rounding the keeper with nonchalant ease, Adebayor took the ball too wide and found the side-netting as the goal gaped. The introduction of Craig Bellamy failed to provide another goal, with the Welshman proving equally wasteful in the danger area. And you began to wonder what sort of punishment better opponents would have organised for a group of men who almost seemed drunk on their riches. Wolves boss Mick McCarthy said: ‘I have said that I don’t think City will win the league, which isn’t the same as saying they cannot. If they carve as many chances against others as they did against us, brilliant. But if everyone else carves out the chances we did? And we got into good situations, too. But we were tentative and seemed to play against the reputation of the club in the first half, whereas we learned in the second half, when we changed the formation, that we can actually play ourselves.’ Hughes knows he has to strengthen his defence and was optimistic about Lescott’s probable signature last night after revealing that ‘the clubs (Everton and City) are speaking, which is certainly a positive sign.’ Above all, however, his team need to learn that quality must be converted into goals if that unlikely title charge is really to be maintained for long. City fans were still in summer carnival mood yesterday. But they were sounding rather more anxious by the end, wondering out loud why the result had not been decided long before the final whistle. As it turned out, they need not have worried. This time. MARK RYAN WRITING FOR THE MAIL

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