Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had praise for Wolves’ midfielders following the 3-0 win for the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium.
Julen Lopetegui’s side produced a really poor performance against the Premier League champions.
Any team can go to the Etihad Stadium and lose 3-0. But the manner of this defeat was really poor.
Lopetegui arguably got his team selection wrong, deploying Hwang Hee-chan, Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez up top.
The plan, it seemed, was the counter-attack City.
But there were hardly any opportunities to do so.
Wolves were fairly organised in the first-half as City dominated the ball. That was something John Stones gave Wolves credit for post-match.
But there was no attacking threat whatsoever, and Lopetegui made three changes at half-time.
But Wanderers were still unable to lay a glove on City really.
After the game though, Guardiola did have some kind things to say about Wolves and namedropped four players. The Wolves midfield in particular caught his eye. He also picked out Adama Traore.
He said (BBC Sport live, 17:26): “We were patient and you know they will play long balls against you. They have the quality to do it with Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes, Mario Lemina, all the players. They have quality. After the first half especially, with the pace of Adama [Traore], they were always a threat. We were serious and we make a fantastic game.”
Wolves midfield with Mario Lemina had a nice feel about it, but Adama Traore was again frustrating
Wolves were poor for most of the game. But there were some periods where Wolves’ midfield did look quite good.
Neves at the base, with Nunes and new signing Lemina operating as number eights might be the way forward.
Lemina provides that tenacity, while the Portuguese duo at solid technicians.
The Gabon international probably did just about enough to keep his place for the next match.
Guardiola spoke about the pace of Traore which is obviously always a big weapon for Wolves.
But sadly the Spanish winger just wasn’t effective at all against City, and him being taken off at half-time was no real surprise.