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Unstoppable: Man City's winning machine finds extra gear to power past Wolves

22:55 GMT 02/03/2021
Gabriel Jesus Manchester City Wolves Premier League GFX
Pep Guardiola's side scored three times in the final 10 minutes to secure a 21st successive win in all competitions with a 4-1 defeat of Wolves

Manchester City 4-1 Wolves: Match statistics

Manchester City simply refuse to accept anything other than victory right now.

At the Etihad on Tuesday night, Wolves came as close as anyone over the past four months to putting the brakes on their hosts' incredible winning run, yet somehow still ended up losing by a three-goal margin.

It’s now 21 wins on the bounce for City, a club record-equalling 28 matches unbeaten and, most importantly of all, a 15-point lead over Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.

However, with 10 minutes remaining, Pep Guardiola was stalking his technical box in frustration, with his team having been pegged back by Conor Coady's shock equaliser after squandering a succession of chances.

City just kept driving forward relentlessly, though, and, eventually, the ball dropped to Gabriel Jesus just outside the six-yard box, allowing the Brazilian to smash City back in front.

Riyad Mahrez and Jesus again added two more goals to make it 4-1, effectively punishing Wolves for pushing them so hard.

This was a fine illustration of the winning spirit that Guardiola has created and the squad were united in appreciation of each other’s hard work as they all embraced at the full-time whistle.

Both Wolves and Sunday’s opponents, United, had won at the Etihad last season, so these two fixtures arguably represented the final obstacles on City's march to the title.

Certainly, Nuno Espirito Santo has as good an idea as anyone on how to stop City – the Wolves boss had only lost once in his three previous visits and did the double over them last season.

In fact, no Premier League club has been more successful against Guardiola’s side over the past three years than Wolves.

The Portuguese manager has a gameplan, instructing his players to soak up City’s incessant pressure and catch them out on the break.

It's obviously worked well for Wolves in the past but even he would have to admit his side were riding their luck with their rope-a-dope performance on Tuesday.

City had 80 per cent possession in the first half and deservedly led at the break thanks to Leander Dendoncker’s own goal.

It would have been 2-0, too, had Aymeric Laporte’s header not been ruled out for one of those infamous armpit offside calls to which we've all sadly grown accustomed.

Wolves rarely threatened on the break either, as they struggled to retain possession because of the constant harrying by City's midfielders Rodri, Jonny and Kevin De Bruyne.

Indeed, the visitors barely crossed the halfway line and certainly never looked like scoring, as underlined by the fact that they registered no touches in their opponents' box during a painfully one-sided first half.

However, Wolves stunned City by netting with their first effort on goal, in the 61st minute, when Coady headed in Joao Moutinho’s deep free-kick.

City, unsurprisingly, came storming back in search of a winner. Jesus missed two glorious chances, Rui Patricio made an incredible save from De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling hit the post.

Yet despite Wolves' bravery and City's misfortune, there remained an inevitability about the home side's victory. Teams can only resist for so long, as City are so relentless.

Consequently, it was impossible to shake the suspicion that the goal would come. And it did, along with two others. From 1-1 to 4-1 in the space of 10 minutes as City found another gear late on.

The title is virtually theirs now but when pressed on the matter afterwards by BT Sport, Guardiola insisted his sole focus is City's next game: "Manchester United – that's all we care about."

There will be no let-up, then, no switching off. This winning machine will just keep powering on.