Wolves - Manchester City summary: score, goals and highlights, 2021/22 Premier League
Wolves vs Manchester City: as it happened
Wolves vs Manchester City: headlines
- De Bruyne scores four, including first-half hat-trick
- Dendoncker had levelled for Wolves
- Sterling adds late fifth for City
- City now need four points from final two games to be sure of title
Peep peep peeeeep! Thanks chiefly to Kevin de Bruyne, Manchester City have thumped Wolves and have restored their three-point lead over Liverpool, with two more to play. Whatever the Reds do, City will retain their title if they get a win and a draw from those two games, against West Ham and Aston Villa. Pep Guardiola's men have given their goal difference a nice little padding, too.
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Cancelo again gets forward and into shooting space in the box. He gets plenty of welly on his effort, but it's straight into the side netting.
Moments later, Mahrez gets to the right-hand byline and tries to cut the ball back, but plays it straight to Sa.
Three minutes of time added on at Molineux.
De Bruyne hits the post! He's so close to scoring his fifth. It's a shot that's not dissimilar to his third goal - a curling left-footed strike from the edge of the box that aims for Sa's right-hand corner. It thunders back out off the woodwork.
At the other end Hwang fizzes in a shot that flies across the face of Ederson's goal and out for a goal kick.
Right after scoring one, Sterling has a gilt-edged chance to score a second. He's released in on Sa, but sidefoots his finish past the keeper's far post. Doesn't look like he was offside. Could have had a hat-trick in the last 10 minutes!
Wolves bring on Luke Cundle for Moutinho.
City now have a +7 goal difference advantage over Liverpool, by the way.
Five for City! Sterling manages not to miss that one; it was pretty hard to, to be fair.
Grealish slips the ball into the box to meet Cancelo's run into the box, but Sa parries his shot. Sadly for the Wolves keeper, however, the loose ball falls right to Sterling, about two yards out. He taps in, and City lead 5-1.
Foden is replaced by Jack Grealish.
Cancelo steams into the box from the right, but, with Foden waiting at the back post, the Portuguese dinks his cross straight down Sa's throat.
De Bruyne is booked, to huge cheers from the home fans.
City make another substitution, replacing Fernandinho with Riyad Mahrez. Rodri will step back into central defence alongside Ake.
Sterling should score, but succeeds only in running into the post. De Bruyne again feeds Foden in space on the left of the Wolves box, and he strokes the ball across goal to Sterling, who's arriving all on his own and with most of the net to aim at. He completely misses his kick, however, and collides with the upright for good measure. He doesn't look like he's hurt himself too badly, at least.
Double change for Wolves: Hwang and Trincao are on for Jiménez and Neto.
City heading three points clear once more
Barring a major late turnaround at Molineux, Manchester City are about to restore their three-point lead at the top, then. They're away at West Ham at the weekend, before hosting Aston Villa on the final day. Four points from those two games would be enough for the title, whatever Liverpool do.
Jiménez has a go from range, bending in a shot whose target is Ederson's top corner. The Brazilian moves quickly across his goal to get a hand to it.
Foden should make it five, but he hits the post! As City broke quickly, De Bruyne fed it left to the Englishman, who was in plenty of space on the left of the box, but he can't beat Sa at his near post!
At the other end, Dendoncker pings a first-time shot towards Ederson's right-hand corner, but the goalkeeper is quickly down to grab hold of it.
Laporte is off for Nathan Ake, by the way. The change was made just after that fourth De Bruyne goal.
Right after that Neto penalty shout, Foden skipped into shooting space on the left-hand corner of the Wolves box and fired low towards Sa's far corner. It drifted just past the post, but Sterling might well have tapped it in had he been a little quicker off the mark.
Wolves want a penalty when Neto hares into the box and falls under Fernandinho's challenge, neither Martin Atkinson nor VAR see anything in it. I'll be honest, I was too busy typing to have a very good look at it. It's hard to keep up right now.
City score a fourth! Guess who.
Silva plays it inside from the left to De Bruyne, who slips Foden into the box. He tries to square it to Sterling, but it's just behind his compatriot. The ball squirms free to De Bruyne, who thumps home from 12 yards.
Laporte might not be OK, actually. He's moving very gingerly.
It's actually been a very decent few minutes for Wolves. Jiménez is released into space on the right to run towards the byline, but Laporte gets it behind for corner. Jiménez is again involved, the Mexican flicking a header on to Coady - whose shot from six-yards out is miraculously saved by Ederson! Ah, but Coady was offside. Wouldn't have stood.
Laporte is back on, and looks like he'll be OK.
Wolves then win a very dangerous free-kick on the right. Chiquinho tears past Zinchenko before being hauled down by the Ukrainian, and Moutinho will deliver.
His cross is bent with plenty of intent towards the far post, but City get it behind, then clear the corner.
Laporte is down and in need of treatment after clashing with Jiménez. Another injured centre-back is absolutely the last thing City need.
That's a really promising opening for Wolves, but Chiquinho gets his cross all wrong. Released into acres of crossing space on the right-hand side of the box, he has a good few players queuing up for his delivery - but it's well overhit.
Sterling thinks he's made it four, but the flag is up. On the right, Cancelo bends through a low ball that releases Sterling in behind the Wolves defence, and his finish is underneath Sa and into the net. His celebrations are quickly halted, to jeers from the home fans. He was clearly off.
City are immediately back on the attack. Sterling bustles down the right wing, lifts his head up and spots Foden's run towards the far post. Sterling's cross is slightly underhit, though, and Wolves clear.
Peeep! Back up and running in Wolverhampton.
No changes for either side.
Some half-time reading for you, on the outside possibility of a playoff to decide the outcome of the Premier League title.
Peeep peeep peeep! It's been the KDB Show, and it's been a lot of fun. As things stand, Manchester City will restore their three-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Two minutes of time added on.
De Bruyne really is in imperious nick. He strides into the Wolves box before laying it off for Sterling, but he takes a tumble after an initial touch out of his body. Sterling wants a penalty, but he doesn't get one.
There's a shooting chance for De Bruyne... but - newsflash - he fluffs it. Silva plays it square to the Belgian about 25 yards out, but his attempt with his weaker (or should that be less strong) right foot trundles well wide.
Chiquinho has looked pretty lively for Wolves. He scampers his way into crossing space on the right wing, but his low ball into the box is too close to Ederson. The City goalkeeper scoops it up.
City really are playing well. Sterling slips it inside for Cancelo to burst into the box, and the full-back absolutely thunders in a shot that's intended for Sa's far top corner. The ball zips just over the bar.
Wolves are screaming for a penalty when Chiquinho tumbles under Zinchenko's challenge, but Martin Atkinson says no. There's a short VAR check, but the video ref also says no.
Wolves have a corner, though, which is played short to Neto. He clips it into the box towards Coady - who, as Chelsea found otu at the weekend, is half decent with his head - but City clear.
De Bruyne is "outrageously brilliant", purrs Match of the Day host Gary Lineker. "What a player."
Rodri isn't far away from scoring a fourth for City. Wolves lose it cheaply on the edge of their box, giving Rodri the chance to let fly from 20 yards or so. He can't keep his effort down, though.
De Bruyne hat-trick the third earliest in the PL
According to Opta, De Bruyne's hat-trick after 24 minutes is the third earliest hat-trick in the history of the Premier League.
De Bruyne hat-trick! This really is quite something.
I was just about to say that not much was happening at Molineux - at least compared to the opening 15 minutes - but De Bruyne has just scored an absolute stunner to complete a hat-trick in the space of what, 17 minutes?
On the right-hand side, Sterling knocks it inside to De Bruyne. He collects and sets off towards the top of the box, before caressing the ball past Sa and into the far corner. Sublime.
200 City goal involvements for De Bruyne
Soccer stats specialists Opta note that De Bruyne now has a double century of goal involvements in his Manchester City career.
It wasn't all square for very long. De Bruyne scores again, and City are in front again! What a first quarter of an hour it's been.
De Bruyne lifts a bouncing ball through to Sterling's run into the Wolves box, but Sa is off his line to bat it away from the England international. The loose ball falls right to De Bruyne, though, and he thumps it high into the net from just inside the box.
1-1! Dendoncker levels for Wolves. It really has been a fun start at Molineux.
It's a lightning break from the hosts, one that's initially led by Jiménez. He plays it left to Neto, who shows excellent composure to lay back to Dendoncker on the penalty spot. His low finish finds the net, and it's all square!
Blimey, this is shaping up as a really open game. Sterling touches the ball into Silva, who's got space in the box to shoot. He curls his effort over the bar, though.
Right away, Wolves open City up and Chiquinho is almost in for an equaliser. Raúl Jiménez lifts a ball over the top for Chiquinho to chase, and he holds off Laporte and advances into the area from the right. Just before he can get his shot away, however, the defender recovers his position and nips it off his toes.
De Bruyne gives Man City the lead! It's lovely interplay with Bernardo Silva.
De Bruyne knocks a bouncing ball to Silva in the left-hand channel, before dashing forward into the box. Silva's return ball is perfect, as is the Belgian's finish. Low, across Sa and into the far corner. 1-0.
Right away, Manchester City go close to taking the lead. On the right wing, Cancelo touches it to Sterling, who has two men on him but manages to slip the ball through to De Bruyne, leaving the Belgian with space to burst forward towards the byline. He fizzes a low ball across the face of goal, and if Foden can get a touch, it's surely 1-0. He can't, though. Inches away.
Peeeep! Referee Martin Atkinson gets us underway at Molineux.
Ah, and in case you've been on off the grid for the last 24 hours or so...
Wolves chasing European spot
Wolves sit five points behind West Ham in seventh place - a position that brings a berth in the Europa Conference League next season. Mathematically, they can also catch Manchester United in the second Europa League spot in sixth - but it seems unlikely, even if United are playing absolutely terribly. Though Wolves have an eminently winnable game against already-down Norwich up next, they then face City's title rivals Liverpool.
City seven points from title
Here's how things look at the top. After Liverpool beat Aston Villa yesterday, Manchester City go into the game against Wolves above the Reds on goal difference, having played one game fewer. Pep Guardiola's men know the title will be theirs, whatever Liverpool do, if they get two wins and a draw from their final three games.
If you're wondering how you can tune into the game at Molineux online or on TV, might I suggest you take a look at our guide on how and where to watch.
What the coaches said: Pep Guardiola
Fernandinho at centre-back:
“Of course, I have faith [in his ability to play in central defence]. Fernandinho played as a full back in the semi-final of the Champions League and as a holding midfielder in the semi-final of the Champions League, maybe he will play central defender. It’s a position he knows from the past. I've said many times that when we arrive in these moments, everyone does extra for the team. Fernandinho is more than capable of doing that.
Tight title race with Liverpool:
"We need seven points [to win the title], but if Liverpool need three, four or five goals in the last games to equal the goal difference, they will do it, they have the ability to score a lot of goals from nothing. We have a lot of [the] job to do. Nothing changes mentally in my mindset.
Quotes via mancity.com
(Photo: Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Getty Images)
What the coaches said: Carlos Cachada, Wolves
Communication with Lage at Stamford Bridge - where the head coach gave a Zoom half-time team talk:
“He was here at the training ground, watching the game live, him and Luis, and we keep in touch every second. At the beginning it became quite difficult because it was the first time we had these kinds of situations, but then we dealt with it quite well.”
“It [the Zoom team talk at half time] worked pretty fine. He [Lage] came, he had his tactics board, we showed to the players what we want to do, what we need to change.
“Strong team, strong manager, they are strong in every point of the game. It’s always difficult, I hope at the end of the game we can score and create some difficulties. We admire every point of their games, for the past five or six years they have been incredible, so they’ll go for the game and try to deal with all their situations.”
(Quotes via wolves.co.uk)
Chiquinho in for Wolves, Fernandinho at centre-back for City
Wolves, who are again without covid-hit head coach Bruno Lage, make one change to the team that drew 2-2 with Chelsea at the weekend, as forward Chiquinho comes in for his first start for the club. Injured defender Romain Saïss makes way.
Lage also missed the trip to Stamford Bridge because of his positive test. First-team coach Carlos Cachada will again take charge, and as against Chelsea will be in phone contact with the head coach.
As for Manchester City, the chief news is that midfielder Fernandinho deputises at centre-back, in the absence of the injured Rúben Dias and John Stones, who have been ruled out for the rest of the season, together with full-back Kyle Walker. Nathan Ake has been carrying an ankle knock, and is only fit enough to take his place on the bench.
Manchester City team news
Starting line-up: Ederson, Cancelo, Fernandinho, Laporte, Zinchenko, Rodri, Gündogan, Silva, Sterling, De Bruyne, Foden
Wolves team news
Starting line-up: Sa, Boly, Coady, Dendoncker, Castro, Moutinho, Neves, Aït-Nouri, Chiquinho, Neto, Jiménez
Wolves vs Manchester City: welcome
Hello! Welcome to our live coverage of Wolves vs Manchester City, as Pep Guardiola's Premier League leaders look to get three of the seven points they need to be certain of retaining the title. Kick-off is at 3:15pm ET and the teams are in at Molineux, so let's take a look at them.