Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Sterling strikes with major milestone as Man City eventually punish Wolves and bizarre red card

Raheem Sterling, Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva Man City v Wolves December 2021

Raheem Sterling scored as Manchester City eventually got the better of Wolves with a deserved 1-0 victory, following a bizarre sending off for Raul Jimenez.

In a first half of incidents, Jimenez’s two yellow cards in the space of a minute were not the only major highlight.

After the break, City eventually broke the deadlock through a Raheem Sterling penalty. That was his 100th goal in the Premier League. Nevertheless, aside from the set-piece, Wolves’ defence stood firm in the face of a wave of attacks.

The result extended the hosts’ lead at the top of the Premier League ahead of title rivals Liverpool and Chelsea playing later that day.

As expected, City got on the ball in the early stages. However, after Adama Traore held the ball up, Wolves had some nice touches in the hosts’ half before Ederson collected Ruben Neves’ low cross.

City responded with Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva trying their luck from long range. Indeed, Wolves’ defence stood firm – as it did for so long against Liverpool last time out.

The first of the incidents occurred just after half an hour, when Max Kilman and Neves clashed heads in a tackle. The subsequent stoppage lasted over five minutes, but both players played on.

However, the first half continued in the same stop-start manner from then on. Romain Saiss went down and rolled around after a challenge with Sterling, much to the angst of the City fans.

When the ball was in play, Traore was dangerous when he threatened to get forward. Rodri and Ruben Dias received yellow cards trying to stop him.

Raul Jimenez red card for Wolves v Man City, December 2021

But the biggest incident of the first half came when Jimenez got booked for a challenge on Rodri. From the subsequent free-kick, the Mexican striker blocked the attempt to play the ball.

Jimenez received a second yellow, but he took his time to go off. In doing so, he got the City supporters involved with jeering him off the pitch, adding to a bizarre turn of events.

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After seven minutes of added time, City piled the pressure on in the early stages of the second half.

Phil Foden came on for Ilkay Gundogan and him and fellow England internationals Jack Grealish and Sterling helped to win several corners and float in a number of crosses.

Man City finally get breakthrough

Raheem Sterling scores for Man City, December 2021

And it was Sterling who broke the deadlock with a penalty.

From one of the crosses, the ball appeared to strike Joao Moutinho’s armpit. The spot-kick decision survived a VAR check. Sterling then finished coolly down the middle to put City 1-0 ahead.

Grealish then fired a volley over before Silva had a shot blocked by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa.

Wolves had barely any chances until this point and they struggled to create openings. At the other end, though, City wanted to kill the game off with a second goal. Foden failed to score with two shots while Sterling had a tame effort from long range saved.

But Wolves got their chance in stoppage time when Ederson tipped Max Kilman’s header over the bar. That was his first real intervention of the match.

City were eventually happy to stick with the 1-0 and win and Wolves boss Bruno Lage will have been impressed by his side’s overall defending.