News ID: 263607
Published: 0330 GMT December 28, 2019

Guardiola reaches career possession low in City defeat at Wolves

Guardiola reaches career possession low in City defeat at Wolves

Manchester City recorded the lowest possession number of Pep Guardiola's managerial career in the 3-2 defeat to Wolves on Friday night.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is renowned for building teams that rarely give the ball away and has regularly enjoyed the lion’s share of possession with City in the Premier League, reported.

However, goalkeeper Ederson was sent off just 12 minutes into the reigning league champion’s match against Wolves, enabling Nuno Espirito Santo’s side to dominate the ball.

Wolves restricted City to just 37.8 percent possession at Molineux – the lowest figure recorded by a side managed by Guardiola in top-flight history.

That number was significantly less than the second-lowest figure in Guardiola's career, the 46.7-percent possession City had in its 2-1 victory over Chelsea in November.

Despite being a man down early on, City found itself 2-0 up after 50 minutes, with Raheem Sterling converting the rebound of his retaken penalty in the first half and scoring again early in the second.

City’s lead was not to last, however, and it allowed its two-goal advantage to slip as Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and Matt Doherty all netted to hand Wolves a first league double over City since the 1999-00 season in the second tier, and for the first time in the top flight since the 1960-61 campaign.

Wolves also becomes just the second team in history to complete a league double against a Guardiola side after Antonio Conte’s Chelsea first managed the feat in its title-winning 2016-17 season – Guardiola’s first in English football.

It was the first time City had lost a Premier League game having led by two or more goals since its 3-2 loss in April 2018 against Manchester United. In that game, the Red Devils came back from a 2-0 deficit at halftime to prevent its local rival officially securing its status as champion in the Manchester derby.

Additionally, the loss to Wolves means Guardiola’s side has shipped 23 goals in its 19 league games so far this term – as many as it had conceded in the entirety of its last campaign.

If league leader Liverpool wins its game in hand against Wolves today, it could extend the 14-point gap between itself and City to a seemingly unassailable 17 points.


‘Exceptional’ Traore


Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp claimed he always knew Wolves winger Traore would become a star once he found the right manager to nurse his burgeoning career.

After starting out at Barcelona, a failed £7 million move to Aston Villa followed in 2015 as he made just 12 appearances in his one and only season with the club before a switch to Middlesbrough a year later, PA reported.

Two relatively successful seasons followed on Teesside during which time he caught the eye of Nuno, with Wolves shelling out £18 million for the 23-year-old from Spain in 2018.

Klopp, who concedes Traore has long been on his radar, said, “He finally found his manager who found a position for him. At Middlesbrough he was exceptional, but somebody had to give him the right information.

“He is really dangerous. In a big space Jamie Vardy is difficult to defend, but I would say Traore is even more difficult to defend because his speed is exceptional.”

Hailing the work of Nuno as “incredible”, Klopp must now plot a way past a team he considers as “very dangerous” as Liverpool aims to keep its 35-match unbeaten league run going against Wolves.




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