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Premier League

  • October 30, 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 25971

Wolves 2-1 Manchester City: Milijas And Edwards On Target In Thrilling Comeback After Adebayor Penalty

Wolves 2-1 Manchester City: Milijas And Edwards On Target In Thrilling Comeback After Adebayor Penalty

First win since August for McCarthy's side

Wolves earned their first win since the opening day of the season after coming from behind to put another dent in Manchester City's Premier League aspirations.

The visitors opened the scoring through Emmanuel Adebayor from the spot before Nenad Milijas marked only his second league start of the season with an equaliser from the edge of the area.

Wolves' comeback was completed as David Edwards pounced on a defensive error to take the lead in the second half, and the Midlands side were able to weather a late storm to wrap up a crucial win.

Both teams arrived at Molineux with plenty to prove. The home side, having not picked up a win since the opening day of the season, headed into Saturday's fixture in a lowly 19th position.

Meanwhile, City boss Roberto Mancini had headaches with matters off the pitch as well as on it, with Joe Hart, Adam Johnson, Gareth Barry and Shay Given all being reprimanded in midweek after embarrassingly being caught drinking at a student party; last week's self-inflicted capitulation to Arsenal at Eastlands denting a title challenge, as well as having to contend with the absence of club captain and topscorer Carlos Tevez.

Mick McCarthy elected to start with just one striker, Kevin Doyle, as Milijas and Stephen Hunt were both given places in a five-man midfield, while Mancini also threw a curveball with the selection of Mario Balotelli alongside Adebayor up front, with James Milner dropping into midfield to replace late drop out Nigel de Jong.

It was the home side who started the brightest with an early burst that yielded a free-kick, but the visitors soon swaggered forward, first as Adebayor ran half the pitch with the ball on the counter and nearly set up his Italian strike partner for a tap-in, then as Balotelli saw a powerful effort fly just over Marcus Hahnemann's goal after a sweeping team move.

The former Inter man was at the hub of his side's early attacks, but a braver striker would have scored from Milner's inch perfect cross that had Hahnemann rushing off his line to punch clear.

That chance jolted Wolves out of their slumber, and Matthew Jarvis - swapping flanks with Hunt throughout - caused problems for Jerome Boateng as he cut inside onto his left foot after collecting a clever clipped pass from David Edwards, but the Englishman's cross was well met by the head of Kolo Toure as Hunt lurked at the far post.

But in what was proving to be quite a back and forth affair, it was City who continued to create the clearer chances, with Doyle forced to clear off the far post from a Micah Richards header.

And it came as little surprise when the Citizens took the lead on 23 minutes. A slick move involving Silva and Boateng ended with the former hoodwinking Richard Stearman in the box, who carelessly tripped the Spaniard, allowing Adebayor to step up and slam the ball into the net from the spot.

Wolves, however, weren't going down easily, and saw Edwards hit the post from a corner before Milijas equalised with a stunning strike from the edge of the area.

McCarthy's side should arguably have gone ahead as Jarvis, after reverting back to his familiar left flank, delivered another high-quality cross that his opposite winger came within inches of converting.

That momentum was so nearly halted as Hahnemann completely misread a cross, granting Milner a free header, but the former Aston Villa midfielder could only nod wide with the goal gaping.

That chance was the last of a lively and competitive first half that had seen a glut of chances for both sides and several moments of quality, not just from the north west's billionaires.

Neither manager saw fit to make any changes to personnel for the restart, from which Jarvis  continued to cause problems for Richards, but Mancini may have cast a glance at compatriot Balotelli, who petulantly continued to pester the referee and goad his opponents.

The second half hardly began with the quality that had been on display in the first, but that didn't matter to the home fans, who were soon on their feet after Kevin Foley's cross was disastrously dealt with as Doyle's shot was blocked by Toure and fell straight into the path of Edwards, who composed himself before slotting home.

World Cup winner Silva nearly struck back minutes later, but his effort from range was well met by Hahnemann

That chance preceded Mancini's first change of the game, with the ineffective Barry replaced by the more forward thinking Adam Johnson, who immediately earned his side a corner after weaving into the box.

And the England international was at it again moments later, latching onto a clever reverse ball by Yaya Toure, beating substitute George Elokobi for pace and picking out the unmarked Adebayor in the middle of the box, only to see his team-mate lash wildly over the bar.

Mancini then had the away fans scratching their heads as, with 15 minutes remaining and City needing to score, he hauled off the former Arsenal striker and brought on Pablo Zabaleta to play at left-back, with Jerome Boateng pushing into an advanced role in the middle of the park.

A much more straightforward change followed by Mick McCarthy, who took off Milijas for Michael Mancienne, while Mancini then brought on Jo for Richards, with Boateng switching to right-back.

Substitute Zabaleta then saw yellow for a reckless challenge on the halfway line that had the home fans baying for a red, and not without good reason.

McCarthy made his final change by taking off Jarvis for right-back Steven Mouyokolo in an effort to consolidate a lead that was beginning to look increasingly precarious as City threw men forwards.

But the Midlands side were able to cling on to a deserved victory after some resolute rearguard action in the final minutes and secure a precious three points.

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