Raheem Sterling scored his 100th Premier League goal as Manchester City beat 10-man Wolverhampton Wolverhampton 1-0 after Raul Jimenez’s foolish red card in the first half.
At the end of the quiet opening game, Jimenez inexplicably saw the red color of two yellow cards in just 31 seconds, first for a midway foul and then to try to block the resulting free kick.
City finally broke the tie by earning a controversial penalty – Bernardo Silva’s cross hit Joao Moutinho’s armpit, despite John Moss and the VAR judging the ball to hit enough of the midfielder’s arm – allowing Sterling to reach the Premier League 100 A penalty kick, the number 32. The player does it and the eighth youngest is 27 years old.
31 – Only 31 seconds separate Raul Jimenez’s first and second yellow cards (45:50-46:21). It’s his first red card in his 102nd appearance in the Premier League, while he was the first Mexican to be sent off in the competition. Request #%s.
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 11, 2021
The result means City extend their Premier League winning streak to seven, and finish top of the Premier League at the weekend, while Wolves are now winless and goalless at four.
How City smashed 10-man Wolverhampton after weird red Jimenez
The vast majority of the first half was apathetic and tepid as Manchester City controlled the ball, but struggled to break through the tight unit of Wolverhampton, who themselves struggled to implement the match plan on the counterattack.
But in first-half injury time the game turned up as Jimenez foolishly conceded two bookings in quick succession. After seeing the yellow of Rodri’s suppression halfway through, the Mexican stood in the way of City’s free kick, leaving John Moss no choice but to send him off. Jimenez, looking shocked and embarrassed by the needless red, took a tooth out of the field.
City received a loud shout for a penalty that was denied minutes later as Jack Grealish’s cross hit Max Kellmann’s arm in the penalty area, and although the Wolverhampton defender leaned on the ball with his arms at his side, Moss and VAR gave him the benefit. out of doubt.
As expected, the numerical advantage increased City’s pressure on the Wolverhampton goal, but more clear openings began to emerge. Ilkay Gundogan’s header was cleared off the goal line by Conor Kwady, before City were awarded a controversial penalty.
Bernardo’s cross appeared to hit Moutinho’s armpit in the penalty area – in fact, it looked less of a penalty than Kielman’s first-half incident – but after a VAR review, the initial decision on the penalty was halted. Sterling stepped up, and a penalty rolled halfway to join the Premier League 100 club.
Jack Grealish should have pulled it off two minutes later, turning the crossbar with a gaping hole in most of the goal at the far post from a sterling cross.
Wolves, defensive third most of the match, put their bodies on the line to hold one goal for City, and nearly rewarded in stoppage time with their only meaningful attack in the afternoon. Leander Dendoncker sent a cross to Kellman’s back post, and his head had to be tilted over the crossbar by Ederson, who had been a mere spectator until then at the Etihad.
Manchester City made two changes from the 3-1 win at Watford where Zinchenko came in instead of Walker, and Gabriel Jesus also entered for Phil Foden, who was on the bench.
Wolves made one change from the 1-0 loss to Liverpool as Hwang fell to the bench, replaced by Joao Moutinho.
It wasn’t City’s most impressive performance, but with 71 per cent possession and 24 shots to three, few could deny that they didn’t deserve it.
Man City now host Leeds at 8pm on Tuesday, while Wolverhampton hosts Brighton at 7.30pm on Wednesday. Watch free footage from both games soon after full-time on Sky Sports.com, the Sky Sports app and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel.