Wolves 2-1 Manchester City: Hwang on target as hosts upset the odds

Wolves 2-1 Manchester City: Hwang Hee-chan on target as Gary O’Neil’s side upset the odds at Molineux to end City’s perfect start to the Premier League season

  • Wolves took the lead through a Pedro Neto inspired Ruben Dias own-goal
  • The Citizens hit back but Wolves restored their lead through Hwang Hee-chan
  • Mail Sport’s new WhatsApp Channel: Get the breaking news and exclusives here 

 Manchester City’s perfect record went up in smoke on a fiery afternoon that should kickstart Gary O’Neil’s tenure at Wolves.

Wolves, superb throughout, had faltered so far this term but there came a mix of an off-colour City and a pantomime villain in Matheus Nunes that stirred this stadium into a cauldron.

City could not cope and the home crowd actually contributed to Nunes being hauled off at half-time on his return by Pep Guardiola, sat in the stands serving a suspension.

Hwang Lee-chan’s winner six minutes after the hour, on a trademark breakaway, offers a major boost to O’Neil yet gives Guardiola plenty to ponder after such a seamless start to their latest title defence.

This result was coming long before the maligned Craig Pawson blew up. The sight of Erling Haaland, blunted by Craig Dawson and Max Kilman, hurtling towards Pawson moments before the break told it all of City’s early frustration.

Gary O’Neil’s Wolves secured a historic victory by defeating Manchester City at Molineux

The hosts produced an inspired performance while Pep Guardiola’s side were below par on Saturday

Hwang, already on a booking, had felled Kyle Walker and City implored Pawson to reach into his pocket again. Wolves played on the edge, thundering into tackles – buoyed by the persistently ferocious jeering of Nunes – but City believed it had gone too far.

Yet as Guardiola made his way down three flights of stairs from directors’ box to dressing room, he knew that a failure to break through a stubborn wall was why the defending champions were behind. The solution was to call for teenager Oscar Bobb, replacing Nunes. ‘What a waste of money,’ rang out from the Sir Jack Hayward end. The home support had completed their job quite nicely, seeing off someone they view as a mercenary and who apologised at how his time here ended.

Things had become overly congested in the central areas of the pitch, City not really threatening sufficiently from wide. Dawson’s intervention when Haaland was destined to poke the visitors into an early lead, deflecting a Nunes centre away from the Norwegian, had been as close as they came.

Pawson was in danger of losing control, though, and there is an irony that Guardiola – never shy in coming forward on the touchline – might have found himself in the book had he not been serving a one-match ban for three yellow cards. Sat two seats down from Mike Summerbee in the main stand, he was reduced to chuntering to sporting director Txiki Begiristain.

The Spaniard was serving a touchline ban and watched his side’s defeat from the stands

City had the better of the early chances with Manuel Akanji sending an effort over the bar

But Wolves would shock the Premier League leaders after Pedro Neto made a strong run into the box

Portugal international’s subsequent effort was deflected off Ruben Dias to give his side the lead 

Wolves had their plan and, following the patrolling Gary O’Neil, sat in to wait for countering opportunities, boldly keeping three men forward to fully capitalise. Possessing Pedro Neto is rather handy for that and the Portuguese, who is beginning to re-emerge as a force, caused untold issues down the City left. The opener, on 13 minutes, was all of his doing.

Mateo Kovacic and Phil Foden crowded each other’s space and Neto was off, 15 yards into his own half. Foden couldn’t keep up and Nathan Ake was done for pace, Neto charging towards the byline. He looked up, saw Matheus Cunha timing his advance, only for Dias to intercept beyond Ederson for them.

Cunha later dispossessed Kovacic in another dangerous area, while Manuel Akanji threw himself in front of Hwang on another sharp break. 

Molineux resembled a bear pit and that only heightened further 13 minutes after the break. Not for the quality of Julian Alvarez’s free-kick, helped into the top corner by a despairing Jose Sa, but the award.

Bobb appeared to be given a free role and progressed towards the box when Joao Gomes nudged him. Bobb bundled over, Pawson blew for the foul and this place lost its head.

Craig Dawson produced a pair of vital goal-line clearances to deny the visitors

City looked to have forced their way back into the game when Julian Alvarez netted direct from a free kick in the second-half

But Wolves continued undeterred and Hwang-Hee Chan restored his side’s lead just minutes later

City applied the pressure in the final stages but O’Neil’s side hung on to secure their second league win of the season

Yet the theme of this was that Wolves had the measure of City. Hwang had his goal, deliriously twirling away into the corner after mopping up a scramble. 

To get to that position, Wolves clipped a ball over Ake – an area they regularly profited from – and the sense of chaos into City’s box saw Dias block Hwang’s first effort before the South Korean was afforded a second bite, Walker narrowly failing to head it off the line.

Minutes before that, Dawson hooked Foden’s effort off their line. Sa hung on to an arrowed Walker shot from long range, while Jonny made sure a Kalvin Phillips strike was stopped at source as Wolves dug in for a huge victory.


WOLVES (3-4-3): Sa, Gomes, Kilman, Dawson, Ait-Nouri, Gomes, Lemina, Semedo, Hwang, Cunha, Neto

Subs: Doherty, Bueno, Traore, Silva, Kalajdzic, Otto, Sarabia, Bentley, Hodge

Goals: Dias 13′ (OG), Hwang 66′

Booked: Hwang, Lemina

Manager: Gary O’Neil

MAN CITY (4-2-3-1): Ederson, Ake, Dias, Akanji, Walker, Kovacic, Nunes, Doku, Alvarez, Foden, Haaland

Subs: Carson, Ortega, Phillips, Grealish, Gomez, Gvardiol, Bobb, Lewis


Booked: Walker

Manager: Pep Guardiola


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