Wolves Fans' Verdict v Man City: A perfect performance
Our Wolves fans have their say on the win over Manchester City.
Well, all those moaners who were at Ipswich owe our manager an apology. Apparently he does know what he’s doing, because his game plan was excellent.
Instead of Saiss, Coady and Boly it was Kilman, Toti and Dawson. Instead of Neves and Moutinho it was Gomes and Lemina. We have seen backs-to-the-wall defending like this before. We were good at it
We’d learnt from the Liverpool game and set up differently, being less open and allowing City to have the ball. We used less energy and that worked to our advantage late on.
Neto provided our outlet ball but it was virtually out of nothing he repeated his feat from Luton. Using his pace and avoiding challenges to get near the byline. With no angle for a shot his cross had the desired effect of finding the back of the net.
We managed the game well. With five at the back City found it hard playing between the gaps around the defenders while they were not getting behind us either. (I for one didn’t miss Sterling and Mahrez constantly doing that in the past). We defended extremely well throughout starting from front. Even near the end when Grealish came on and we expected the inevitable we snuffed him out and made him a non-factor.
The fans reception for Nunes was impressive – people were really paying attention throughout the first half.
After the break we expected City to be better, and they were, but we were also.
People have moaned that we lacked any leaders, well there were plenty out there. Many players led by example. Semedo, Kilman, Gomes, Cunha impressed, as did Neto and Hwang. Dawson gets MOTM though, keeping Haaland quiet throughout and clearing one off our line.
When the equaliser came we’d almost certainly have all taken the draw then. Instead though a fine sweeping counter attack saw Semedo advance and a clever lay-off from Cunha that took the keeper out the game and set up Hwang. It’s probably time we started to rate our top scorer more highly.
Seeing out the final 30 minutes was likely to be a challenge but we coped well. The introduction of Doc and Boubacar helped, with the latter tackling as intently as his predecessor Gomes had.
The atmosphere during that period was buzzing with the hopes, expectations and nervousness all wrapped into one feeling of someone standing on your stomach. Alls well though and seven points from seven games, gained in not the way we might have expected, is a decent start to build on.
Like most other interested observers, I had written our obituary for this game before a ball had been kicked. Judgement dispensed without recourse to the jury.
No doubt, City swaggered into Molineux with a similar mindset and who could blame them? But they found their hosts to be decidedly inhospitable.
The vitriolic contempt meted out to the prodigal Matheus Nunes may not have been in the most delicate of tastes, but it set a tone of simmering defiance that transferred itself onto the playing arena.
The reasons for the petulant disdain he had shown to Wolves may have been understandable from his perspective, but for us, the insulting and haughty disregard still lingers. This sense of entitlement seemed to spur Wolves into a belligerent response, defending for their lives, making innovative use of limited possession and best of all, not conceding an inch when the going was at its toughest.
The substitution of Nunes at half-time may have been for a variety of reasons but for Wolves both on the pitch and in the stadium, the significance was abundantly clear. They had blinked first; they had pulled him out of the firing line, his entrails couldn’t hack it.
Molineux had already witnessed many a below par performance from this guy previously; loud thunder but few raindrops and here was more mediocrity to add to the list. And for the first time, nobody of a Wolves’ persuasion was remotely disappointed.
Instead, we basked in one of those all too rare moments of egregious ecstasy when with logic confounded, just about everything goes right. The no contest foot-race between the invigorated Neto and the trailing Ake for the opening goal superbly set the tone.