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Wolves 3-2 Manchester City: Traore, Jimenez inspire fightback after Sterling brace as Ederson sees red

Manchester City blew a two-goal lead at Wolves as Raul Jimenez and Matt Doherty netted late on at Molineux to secure a thrilling 3-2 home victory, with the 10-man champions’ hopes of usurping runaway leaders Liverpool taking another huge blow.

City found themselves with an unlikely 2-0 lead just after half-time thanks to a Raheem Sterling brace, the lead remarkable given the 12th-minute dismissal of Ederson, but Wolves fought back spectacularly in the second half – Adama Traore playing a vital role.

Ederson’s early sending off left City in a tricky position, though they initially responded well and went ahead through Sterling – the attacker tapping in a penalty rebound after Rui Patricio had saved two of his spot-kicks, the first ultimately being retaken due to encroachment.

Sterling doubled is tally with a lovely finish early in the second half and it looked as though it would be enough, but the lively Traore pulled one back before then setting up Jimenez in the latter stages following a woeful error from Benjamin Mendy.

There was still time for a stunning winner as Doherty finished off a fine move in style in the 89th minute to clinch the win, leaving City – who hit the crossbar through Sterling in stoppage time – 14 points adrift of Liverpool.

A gripping first half looked to be going Wolves’ way when Ederson was dismissed for catching Diogo Jota after rushing out of his box in the 12th minute, with Sergio Aguero’s return from a month-long injury absence ending prematurely as he was hooked for replacement goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

But Riyad Mahrez was tripped by Leander Dendoncker in the opposing penalty area soon after and, following a lengthy VAR review, the spot-kick was given.

Sterling’s subsequent effort was stopped by Patricio, only for VAR to penalise Wolves following encroachment from Conor Coady. The retake brought about another save, but this time the England forward converted the rebound.

City managed to reach half-time with their lead intact and Sterling got his second just after the interval, racing on to Kevin De Bruyne’s throughball and beating Patricio with a clever chip.

But Sterling gave possession away a few minutes later and Traore capitalised, sending a 25-yard drive crashing in off the left-hand post.

Mendy was the next City player to make a costly error, trying to shepherd the ball out of play only to be out-muscled by Traore, who teed up Jimenez to steer home.

And Doherty completed the turnaround with a left-footed strike from the edge of the box following a clever interchange with Jimenez – Sterling’s last-gasp free-kick causing a brief moment of worry as it clipped the bar.

MATCH RATINGS

Wolves (3-4-3): Rui Patricio 6.5; Dendoncker 6, Coady 5.5, Saiss 6; Doherty 6.5, Neves 6.5, Moutinho 7, Jonny 6 (Vinagre 73), Traore 8, Jimenez 7.5, Jota 7 (Neto 79).

Subs not used: Ruddy, Vallejo, Bennett, Cutrone, Kilman.

Scorers: Traore 55, Jimenez 82, Doherty 89

Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo 7

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson 4; Walker 5.5, Fernandinho 6.5, Otamendi 7, Mendy 5.5; De Bruyne 6.5 (Gundogan 67, 6), Rodri 6.5, Bernardo 6; Mahrez 6.5 (Garcia 46, 7) Aguero 6 (Bravo 14, 6), Sterling 6.5. 

Subs not used: Zinchenko, Angelino, Cancelo, Foden.

Scorers: Sterling 25, 50

Booked: Otamendi

Sent off: Ederson

Manager: Pep Guardiola 5.5

Referee: Martin Atkinson 5

Attendance: 31,737.

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