Wolves show great spirit in draw with champions
MANCHESTER City had to battle back from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Premier League newcomers Wolverhampton Wanderers, who ruined the champions’ 100 percent record and gave them a real test at Molineux yesterday.
Last season’s Championship winners showed no inferiority complex as defender Willy Boly put them ahead with a controversial 57th-minute diving header which replays showed may have been offside and actually went in off his arm.
City, who had largely controlled proceedings but were vulnerable to Wolves’ bold counter-attacks, equalised with Aymeric Laporte’s first goal for the club, a header from Ilkay Gundogan’s free-kick, 12 minutes later.
In a high-quality game, City, who have seven points from three matches, hit the post twice in the first half, through Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, and the in-form Argentine Aguero also struck the bar with a superb free-kick in the dying seconds.
Though the champions will be frustrated at their dominance not being rewarded, Wolves deserved their second league point and never stopped striving for a late winner.
“It was a good game. We created enough chances to win the game but it is a good point,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “Wolves deserve credit, of course. We play at the same level as we did last season. We tried but we will improve because defensively we were not solid like we normally are.”
Wolves had been impressive from the start and midway through the first half, Raul Jimenez’s strike looked to have put them ahead only for the goal to be ruled out for a narrow offside.
That prompted an instant City response, Aguero’s snap shot hitting the post before Sterling’s thunderous effort was tipped at full stretch on to the woodwork by a brilliant Rui Patricio save.
The Wolves goal may have had a fortunate ending but it was set up superbly from Joao Moutinho’s pinpoint cross and City’s response was that of champions.
They could have gone ahead from a point-blank Gabriel Jesus header that again forced fine work from Rui Patricio and felt a foul on David Silva should have drawn a penalty.
“A lot of people are going to drop points here. They deserved the point,” City defender Kyle Walker said.
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo demanded that his players remain “humble” after their excellent result.
“We played in the shape and style we believe in. It’s an identity you want to create,” he said.
Arsenal celebrated their first Premier League win of the season under new manager Unai Emery after coming from behind to beat London rivals West Ham United 3-1 in an actionpacked match.
A Nacho Monreal strike, Issa Diop’s own-goal and Danny Welbeck’s stoppage-time effort enabled the Gunners to bounce back from their opening two defeats after Marko Arnautovic had fired West Ham into a 25th-minute lead.
Monreal equalised five minutes later, drilling a fierce shot from eight metres past two defenders on the line after goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski parried Hector Bellerin’s cross into the defender’s path.
Arsenal took the lead when Diop’s poor clearance resulted in Alexandre Lazazette’s cut-back cannoning off the defender’s body into the net and Welbeck sealed the win after Bellerin’s cross gave him time and space to beat Fabianski from close range.
Defender Harry Maguire’s stoppage-time goal gave Leicester City a hard-fought 2-1 victory over 10-man Southampton.
After a goalless first half, Southampton fullback Ryan Bertrand broke the deadlock with a thunderous strike from the edge of the box.
The lead proved short-lived as Leicester winger Demarai Gray punished slack defending to rifle home the equaliser and the sending-off of Saints midfielder Pierre Hojbjerg in the 77th minute proved pivotal.
Hojbjerg’s foolish dive and subsequent dismissal for his second yellow card handed the initiative to the visitors and Maguire sent a low shot into the bottom corner for the winning goal in stoppage time. – Reuters
Wolves 1, Man City 1; Bournemouth 2, Everton 2; Arsenal 3, West Ham 1; Huddersfield 0, Cardiff 0; Southampton 1, Leicester 2; Liverpool v Brighton (late kick-off)
Watford v Palace (2.30pm SA time kickoff); Fulham v Burnley, Newcastle v Chelsea (both 5pm)
Man United v Tottenham (9pm)
ONE GOAL TO THE GOOD: Taariq Fielies of Cape Town City celebrates with teammates after scoring against Sundowns