By Robert Morris
A promising start from Roberto Mancini’s men turned into a nightmare, as they let a valuable lead slip to lose 2-1 at the Molineux Stadium.
After a disheartening defeat to Arsenal at home last week, Manchester City looked to bounce back against Wolverhampton Wanderers and decrease the gap on leaders Chelsea. Mick McCarthy’s side, yet to keep a clean sheet this season, have struggled of late, and a good result this afternoon would surely galvanize them with upcoming fixtures against Manchester United and Arsenal.
The Blues were without the injured Carlos Tevez, amidst rumours that he is unsettled with life in Manchester. Emmanuel Adebayor replaced the Argentine, whilst recent signing Mario Balotelli made his first Premier League start.
It was the latter who was involved heavily early on. A cross from James Milner, just minutes into the match, found the Italian, however, under pressure from the defender, his right-footed shot was steered wide from close range. The combination of David Silva, Balotelli and Adebayor looked to strike fear into their opponents, somewhat appropriately on Halloween weekend.
City were well and truly on top in the first half-hour and soon took the lead. Silva, who was in the thick of the action once again, was clumsily brought down inside the penalty area. Up stepped Adebayor to convert emphatically from the spot kick and claim his first Premier League goal of the season.
Wolves responded in anger and began to get on top of the Blues. An in swinging corner from Matthew Jarvis found David Edwards whose header ricocheted off the post. Minutes later, Wolves claimed an equaliser. Once again, a cross from Jarvis made its way to the box and Nenad Milijas fired home a delightful effort into the bottom corner. City appeared rattled at the end of a great half of football.
Deservedly, the men in orange grabbed the lead in the 57th minute. A strike from Kevin Doyle was blocked by Kolo Toure, nevertheless, the rebound fell to the feet of Edwards who calmly nestled a shot into Joe Hart’s goal.
The Blues offered little in response, which was hardly aided when Roberto Mancini removed Adebayor for full-back Pablo Zabaleta. Despite Wolves’ nervousness towards the final whistle, City looked worryingly poor without their talisman in the starting eleven. They will have to adapt their game should they wish to remain in the title hunt.
Three much-needed points dropped in what was a historic win for Wolves.