Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City defeated Wolves 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night, as the visitors finished the game with ten men following the first half dismissal of centre-back Willy Boly.
The reigning champions took just ten minutes to open the scoring. Aymeric Laporte found Leroy Sane down the left with a sublime ball, and the German found Gabriel Jesus, who from close-range fired past Rui Patricio in the visitor’s goal.
Patricio produced a good save from a David Silva effort on 16 minutes. Things got a lot worse for the visitors three minutes later, as Boly received a straight red card for a lunge on City midfielder Bernardo Silva. The defender looked to have won the ball at first. However, his follow-through caught the City man and referee Craig Pawson did not hesitate in showing the red card.
The home side doubled their lead on 39 minutes. Wolves centre-back Ryan Bennett brought Raheem sterling down in the penalty area and Jesus stepped up to score his second of the night and his 12th in his last eight home games for City in all competitions.
City boss Pep Guardiola sent on Kevin De Bruyne from the substitutes bench and the Belgian international came close to adding a third goal, missing the target with a powerful drive.
On 69 minutes, Sane put Sterling through on goal, only for Patricio to react quickly to come off his line and deny the England winger. The Portuguese international was also alive to keep out a long-range drive from De Bruyne with 13 minutes left on the clock.
However, the Citizens soon had their third. De Bruyne fired in a cross that took two deflections off Wolves defenders, eventually coming off captain Conor Coady before beating Patricio. The goal sealed a much-needed victory for the home side, who never really looked in any danger of dropping points in the crucial clash.
Where does that leave the two teams?
The victory for City means that the Citizens reduced the gap to league leaders Liverpool to four points. It also means that the Citizens have won their last five games in all competitions, with three of those wins coming in the top-flight.
The reigning champions knew they could not afford to lose ground on their north west rivals with just 16 league games left to go this season. City are still outsiders for the Premier League title.
Wolves have now slipped to 11th place in the top-flight, having now won just once in five top-flight games. However, despite the defeat, the side from the Midlands are still only three off seventh place in the crowded middle of the table.
What is next for both teams?
The reigning champions know they have to keep winning and hope that Liverpool lose points in order to catch the Reds. The Citizens next match is a trip to Huddersfield on Sunday afternoon.
Wolves host Midlands rivals Leicester City in the early Premier League kick-off on Sunday. Both sides have been inconsistent, so the derby could really go either way.
Can Manchester City still catch Liverpool at the top of the table?