Erling Haaland back in goal as Manchester City punish Wolves in 10 men

Erling Haaland back in goal as Manchester City punish Wolves in 10 men

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<p><figcaption class=Photograph: Andrew Yates / EPA

There doesn’t seem to be a glitch in Erling Haaland’s infallible machine. The Manchester City forward took his tally to 11 league goals in seven games and 14 of nine in all competitions, after scoring with robotic precision in a procession against the Wolves. A one-sided match was blocked by strikes from Jack Grealish and Phil Foden, but it’s Haaland’s borderline silly numbers that keep raising eyebrows and creating an overall sense of disbelief.

For Haaland, this season so far has been a giant master class. By scoring here he became the first Premier League player to score in any of his first four away games. City were leading within a minute and things went from bad to worse for the Wolves when, trailing two goals, Nathan Collins was sent off in the 33rd minute for a savage kung fu kick on Grealish. City are unbeaten in 22 league away games.

When City took the lead with 55 seconds on the clock, it marked the beginning of a meager afternoon for anyone wearing antique gold. City flows to the right, with Foden hitting the ball in the path of Kevin De Bruyne, whose cross is typically unmatched. The ball escaped Haaland at the near post but not Grealish at the back, the winger beat Jonny on the punch to score his first goal since May before walking away to celebrate. Foden kissed Grealish’s forehead and Pep Guardiola, who defended Grealish’s form this week, just took a few sips of water.

When Haaland hit the net in the 16 minutes, the game had turned into a non-event. The game was definitely set for the Wolves when Collins made a high and rash challenge on Grealish that left the City midfielder nursing his hip and stomach, and Wolves with 10 men. Collins stepped off the field, bruised and seemingly inconsolable as he headed down the tunnel through an unsuccessful pit stop with fourth official, Tony Harrington, to discuss his point. The pained expression on Bruno Lage’s face said it all, but to their credit the wolves did not crumble. Their captain, Rúben Neves, replaced the center-back and Gonçalo Guedes and Daniel Podence continued to tamp, the latter slashing in John Stones to fire a powerful shot just over a post. But City never really needed to worry.

Phil Foden beats José Sá for the third goal.

Phil Foden beats José Sá for the third goal. Photography: Martin Rickett / PA

The guests were in total control, but it seems the more comfortable they feel, the more Guardiola seems to be dealing with his players. He frantically slammed his hands on the sideline with the demeanor of a man who had just been told his luggage was lost. Approaching the hour, shortly after Guedes cleared his lines after being picked inside the area by Rayan Aït-Nouri, Guardiola closed his eyes and quietly withdrew from his bench seat as City allowed the Wolves to cling to the idea of ​​a comeback. It’s safe to say that those hopes were dashed when Foden put a clever finishing touch on another delightful De Bruyne cross with 21 minutes left.

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