League Cup Fourth Round
Wednesday 26 October 2011, 19.45 KO
City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, K Toure, Savic, Kolarov, de Jong, Razak (Milner 85), Scapuzzi (Rekik 74), Nasri (Suarez 67), Johnson, Dzeko
Unused: Taylor, Onuoha, Bridge, Balotelli
Goals: Johnson (38), Nasri (40), Dzeko (41, 65), Scapuzzi (51)
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Man of the Match: Edin Dzeko
It was a much changed City side that made the journey to Molineux and they struggled to get settled against a tough Wolves team. Kolo Toure managed to just about clear the danger, before Pantilimon had to be alert to pluck a good cross out of the air. Savic saw yellow for an edge-of-the-box block, before Kolarov was lucky not to concede a penalty for handball.
Then, with 18 minutes on the clock, Wolves made their pressure pay: Milijas took advantage of more poor defending from the visitors and smashed the ball past Pantilimon to give the home side the lead. It had been coming.
City looked to respond on 24 minutes, but Razak didn’t have the pace to escape from Elokobi, before Scapuzzi should have hit the target with a neat turn and shot from 10 yards out. But, the travelling fans didn’t have to wait long until the visitors were level. The goal came through a stunning effort from Johnson, after Dzeko had laid him off on the edge of the box.
And it immediately got better for the away side: Johnson slid a great through ball for Nasri to run onto and the Frenchman slotted the ball into the back of the net with a neat, low drive. From being a goal down, City had fought their way in front.
Just as the visiting supporters took their seats, they were up once more, as City made it three goals in four minutes. Scapuzzi did well to keep the ball alive inside the Wolves box before unleashing a rather tame shot at De Vries and the home side’s keeper didn’t deal with it. Dzeko was on hand to smash the rebound into the net and City were well in front at the break.
The first chance of the second half fell to the home side and Hunt will feel he should have done better to get the hosts back into the game. With the goal at his mercy he somehow volleyed wide from just six yards out and City were off the hook. And that miss turned out to be a costly one for Wolves.
Kolarov broke down the left flank and found Scapuzzi in the box. His first effort was saved by De Vries, but he couldn’t hold onto it and only parried it straight back into the danger zone, where the young Italian was able to get enough on it and force the ball over the line.
Just after the hour mark, City added their fifth of the evening. It was a very tidy passing move that started on the right flank and, after a neat one-two between Nasri and Dzeko, the Frenchman found Scapuzzi breaking into the box. There, he delivered a low cross to Dzeko inside the six yard box and the Bosnian couldn’t miss.
Almost immediately, though, Wolves responded. The ball was cut back to O’Hara inside the City box and he found the target across Pantilimon, who wasn’t able to keep it out and wasn’t helped by the defenders in front of him.
Dzeko should have added his third with six minutes to play as Johnson found him inside the box, but his effort was well blocked, before Johnson himself should have had a penalty for foul after a short corner, but the referee turned the shout down. There will, no doubt, be two very different line-ups at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but the final score will be a sickener for Wolves, who looked in control of the game for the opening half hour.