Raheem Sterling scored his 100th Premier League purpose as the Manchester City The forward’s penalty goal gave the leaders a 1-0 win over 10-man Wolves on Saturday. Sterling took the bat in the second half at the Etihad Stadium to clinch City’s sixth consecutive league victory. City’s case was aided by an unnecessary first-half red card for Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, who was sacked for failing to pull back the required 10 yards from a free-kick he had received seconds before. Sterling’s landmark goal ensured City took advantage of Jimenez’s mistake as they survived an average performance to get back on track after the midweek Champions League defeat at Leipzig.
After occasionally struggling this season to get into Guardiola’s starting line-up amid talk of a possible transfer, Sterling is finally showing signs of regaining the dazzling form that has made him such a dangerous force.
Pep Guardiola’s side are four points ahead of second-placed Liverpool, who could close the gap if they beat Aston Villa at Anfield later on Saturday.
Kyle Walker was put on the bench after City’s right-back was criticized by Guardiola after his red card in Leipzig.
Guardiola made eight changes from the Leipzig match, with Phil Foden, who was troubled by a single problem, and Kevin De Bruyne, who recovered from the coronavirus, who were named as replacements.
Bernardo Silva has scored six goals in his previous eight league appearances and the City game creator was inches away from adding to that total when he bent a curl just over the bar in the opening minutes.
Joao Cancelo’s long-bars break from right back was a constant threat in the first half and he progressed again for a low hit that Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa tested.
The wolf duo Max Kilman and Ruben Neves needed long treatment after a nasty head-on collision that left Kilman with blood flowing from a cut.
Jimenez, the victim of a skull fracture in a clash with David Luiz at Arsenal last season, was quick to look at his teammates, who could both keep playing.
It was Jimenez who did not make it to the break, as the Mexican saw red unnecessarily.
Booked for a while on Rodri, Jimenez stupidly stuck out a foot to block the resulting free kick without pulling back 10 yards, earning his second yellow card 48 seconds after the first.
Jimenez ripped off his protective headband and swung it around in frustration, but he could have no complaints about his self-inflicted exit.
With the numerical advantage, City monopolized possession after the break.
Ilkay Gundogan met Cancelo’s crossing point with a loop kick that Conor Coady nodded off the line.
Silva and Sterling got in the way when they failed to round off Oleksandr Zinchenko’s crossing.
City’s pressure finally paid off in the 66th minute.
Joao Moutinho blocked Silva’s cross with a raised arm and, although the ball seemed to hit the midfielder’s armpit, VAR confirmed Jon Moss’ decision after a check.
Sterling stroked the spot in the middle for his fifth goal in his last eight City appearances.
Jack Grealish stabbed wide from close range and Jesus was denied by Sa in the closing stages.
City did just enough, but Ederson had to tilt Kilman’s header before the points were secured.
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