Raheem Sterling’s second-half penalty earned Manchester City a sixth Premier League win in a row and kept the reigning champions roaring along at the summit as they saw off 10-man Wolves 1-0.
City climbed to top spot for the first time this season last weekend and took full advantage of playing before Liverpool and Chelsea on Saturday with a hard-fought – if somewhat controversial – win at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s men were given a huge helping hand by Raul Jimenez’s silly sending-off in first-half stoppage time for two bookable offences in the space of 31 seconds.
Wolves again felt hard done by when referee Jonathan Moss adjudged that Bernardo Silva’s cross hit Joao Moutinho on the arm, giving Sterling the opportunity to convert the resulting penalty with 66 minutes played for his 100th Premier League goal, which proved enough for a slender victory.
Wolves were only undone by a last-gasp goal in last week’s loss to Liverpool, and they managed to contain City in a first half that saw the hosts register just two attempts on target.
However, the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Jimenez was booked for a foul on Rodri and again penalised almost straight after for failing to retreat when the free-kick was taken.
Ilkay Gundogan had a header blocked on the line by Conor Coady and City’s pressure eventually told when Sterling calmly converted the match-winning penalty, which Wolves’ players argued should never have been given as Silva’s cross appeared to hit Moutinho on the armpit, rather than his arm.
Jack Grealish blasted over a great opportunity soon after, while Silva and Sterling had attempts saved by Jose Sa, but Wolves struggled to pose a sustained threat at the other end as they went a fourth game without scoring.