Manchester City’s hopes of staying in the EPL title race received a major jolt as they lost 2-3 to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Friday to leave them 14 points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Even after goalkeeper Ederson was red-carded in the 12th minute, 10-man City raced ahead with a two goal advantage with Raheem Sterling scoring in the 25th and 50th minute, but the Wolves rallied to register a stunning come from behind win with goals from Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and a last-minute winner from Matthew Doherty.
“Eighty minutes 10 against 11 is so tough, so demanding. We could not defend the result,” said City manager Pep Guardiola. “We have to think of the next game and about winning our games. It’s unrealistic to think about [catching Liverpool]. In 48 hours we have another game.”
In a match where there were no shortage of goals, VAR attracted controversy once again. It fetched City a penalty kick when Leander Dendoncker seemed to have tripped Riyad Meherez. Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio did well to stop a spot kick from Raheem Sterling but it had to be retaken with replay showing City skipper Conor Coady had encroached into the penalty area.
Again, Sterling took the kick and again Patricio saved. However, the ball deflected off the keeper and he tapped home a rebound. City, who went into the half-time interval 1-0 ahead, doubled their lead five minutes post interval when the England international finished with composure a through ball from Kevin du Bryne.
But poor defending did City in. Traore beat substitute keeper with a low kick and with less than 10 minutes remaining, he whipped a low pass to Jimenez who shot home. A draw seemed imminent before drama unfolded in the penultimate minute with Doherty taking on City defence and slotting the ball past Bravo and scoring the decider.
Guardiola felt City’s title hopes were over since Liverpool’s lead of 14 points is too big.
“The advantage is too big, yes,” he said. “It’s unrealistic to think about Liverpool, we think about Leicester. We have the chance to recover second place. I know the quality of my team but that’s the situation.”