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Premier League

  • April 22, 2012
  • • 23:00
  • • Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 24576
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Wolves 0-2 Manchester City: Aguero & Nasri efforts relegate hosts as Mancini's men move within three points of United

Wolves 0-2 Manchester City: Aguero & Nasri efforts relegate hosts as Mancini's men move within three points of United

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The Italian's side keep their title fate in their own hands, knowing victories in all their remaining games will see them win the league, while Wolves' relegation is confirmed

Manchester City kept their Premier League title hopes alive as they saw off a brave Wolves at Molineux, condemning Terry Connor’s side to relegation.

Sergio Aguero gave City the lead with a cool finish in the first half, before Samir Nasri put the result beyond doubt, slotting home a second with just over 15 minutes remaining.

The win moves City to within three points of United and means the top-two clash on 30 April at the Etihad Stadium is shaping up to be the decisive moment in the title race.

Meanwhile, another defeat for Terry Connor’s men means they will be playing Championship football next season.

Goalkeeper Dorus de Vries made his league debut for Wolves after Wayne Hennessey underwent knee surgery in midweek. Sebastien Bassong returned from suspension, with Matt Jarvis and David Edwards also making the starting line-up.

Roberto Mancini made one change to the side that won 6-1 at Norwich last weekend, bringing in Yaya Toure for Nigel De Jong. Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero continued up front, with Mario Balotelli serving the last of his three-match ban.

The match started at a frantic pace, with two long-range efforts in the opening two minutes when Tevez drilled a 30-yard effort high before Bassong’s deflected shot for the hosts looped over the bar.

The game continued to look open as Wolves impressed early on, but it was City who had the first real opening. Gael Clichy played a chipped through ball to Aguero down the channel, and the striker fired a left-footed effort inches wide of the far post.

The hosts continued to try to match City’s high intensity, and when the ball fell to Stephen Fletcher in the box he laid back to David Davis, who unleashed a rasping strike from 20 yards which brought a stunning save from Joe Hart.

City were always threatening in possession, however, and on 15 minutes Pablo Zabaleta slotted a fine pass through for Samir Nasri to latch on to, but the France international’s rolled effort ran agonisingly wide.

After another Aguero effort rolled wide, De Vries did well to rush off his line as he smothered a David Silva through ball, with Tevez bearing down.

But the endless barrage of through-balls finally took its toll on the Wolves defence after 26 minutes. Clichy spotted Aguero and played an excellent pass to the Argentine, who showed real composure to take a touch and stab the ball low past De Vries.

Wolves weren’t resigning themselves to relegation just yet, though. Michael Kightly darted down the right wing and whipped in a deep cross which Fletcher was inches away from reaching.

The Citizens were dominating possession in the latter stages of the half as the hosts appeared to tire, but no clear-cut chances came to fruition as Mancini’s side remained only one goal up at the break.

But Wolves came out fighting at the start of the second half, enjoying an early spell of possession. Matt Jarvis made a bursting run down the left but couldn’t get a cross away, and Zabaleta did well to recover and clear the ball.

Jarvis spooned a long-range effort over, and Toure then picked up a booking for a lunge on Kightly as City struggled to find their feet early in the half, unsure whether to push for more goals or tighten up and see out the win.

Hart was then called into action for only the second time in the match, stretching to parry the ball after Fletcher did well to win a high ball in the area and steer a header towards the far post.

City’s forays forward were not as threatening as the game went on. De Jong replaced Silva, before Tevez and Zabaleta both attempted crosses from the right but were unable to find a blue shirt in the area.

But City finally doubled their lead with 17 minutes to go. A quick free-kick was worked to Tevez, who played a magnificent pass to Nasri, and the French international had plenty of time to take a touch and place the ball low into the far corner.

Substitute Adam Johnson then nearly made it three for City, taking a touch on the edge of the box before firing a shot which forced a fine save from De Vries.

Aguero wasted another chance after being put through for a one-on-one, but the diminutive striker completely scuffed his effort, much to the fury of Mancini who knows that goal difference could play a factor come the end of the season.

But the game finished 2-0, meaning Wolves will be playing Championship football next season, while City still have a real chance to win a maiden Premier League title.

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