Barclay’s Premier League
Saturday 30 October 2010, 15.00 KO
City: Hart, Boateng, Kompany, K Touré (c), Richards (Jo 84), Barry (A Johnson 68), Milner, Y Touré, Silva, Balotelli, Adebayor (Zabaleta 77)
Unused: Given, Lescott, Wright-Phillips, Vieira
Goals: Adebayor (pen 23)
Booked: Zabaleta, Balotelli
Referee: Mike Dean
Man of the Match: Adam Johnson
City got off to a flying start at Molineux and, with just two minutes gone, had had three great chances to take the lead. First, Adebayor ran the length of the Wolves half to get a low cross in towards Balotelli, but the Italian couldn’t get the touch. Then the same combination gave Balotelli a first time shot on the six yard box, but he couldn’t steer it into the net and, seconds later, Adebayor was inches away from connecting to a low cross.
A minute later, Balotelli was found neatly on the penalty spot by Silva and Barry, after another good run by Adebayor, but he was crowded out before he could shoot. He then got another chance from the edge of the box, but it was over the bar, as City stormed the Wolves goal.
Edwards had a weak shot bobble through to Joe Hart soon after, before City looked to build another attack with some superb possession football that led to Milner being fouled about 35 yards out. Balotelli struck the free kick into the wall and Milner was punished for a foul when challenging the rebound.
Balotelli then headed over from a Boateng cross, before Kompany had a header from a corner cleared off the line. Silva then got to the ball and kept it in inside the box, while Edwards slid through him and took him down, leaving Mike Dean no choice but to award the penalty to the visitors. Adebayor stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way.
The goal seemed to kick the home side into life. First, Edwards forced Hart into tipping his header around the post, before that same Wolves man hit the post from the resulting corner.
A couple of minutes later, though, Wolves were level. Milijas latched onto a Jarvis cross that had been partially blocked by Milner and Kolo Touré couldn’t get out quick enough at him, leaving him to fire beyond Joe Hart and into the bottom corner. Jarvis nearly assisted another Wolves goal seconds later, as his low ball across the six yard box missed everybody, despite the despairing dives of Doyle and Hunt.
Joe Hart was in action again shortly after, punching the ball away from another Wolves corner, before Hahnemann made a hash of a cross from the City left, leaving Adebayor the chance to flick the ball into the net, but it landed just the wrong side of the post.
A Gareth Barry cross almost caused havoc in the Wolves area, as, first, Balotelli and, then, Adebayor looked to get on the end of it, but the home side were able to clear. At the other end, Micah Richards dived to clear the ball with a cracking header, before Doyle could latch onto it, in first half stoppage time.
City started the second half with all the pressure, but couldn’t force a chance on goal. Then, a ball into the City box caught Kolo Touré out and he could only nod it down to the edge of the box. The shot was volleyed in and, as Hart dived to save, Touré blocked it, leaving Edwards with a simple finish from the rebound.
With just over an hour gone, City tried to pull level through Silva, but his low drive lacked power and it was a simple save for Hahnemann to tip it around the post. Wolves were content with their lead and City looked toothless up front.
Johnson joined the action and broke into the box with his first run, but his low ball across was well cleared. Milner, Boateng and Silva all tried their luck from range, but every one of the shots was skied over the bar.
The golden chance came and went for City on 78 minutes, as a beautiful through ball from Yaya Touré found Johnson on the left. His first time pull back reached Adebayor in space, but his shot was well over the bar when it should have been in the net.
The final chance for City was a shot from Yaya Touré as the game edged towards stoppage time. But, typical of City’s luck in the match, it was twice deflected off Wolves defenders and fell kindly into Hahnemann’s arms. After their start to the game, City shouldn’t have lost the game, but once Wolves had gotten themselves in front, the equaliser never looked likely.