Manchester City recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at the City of Manchester Stadium courtesy of a first-half Emmanuel Adebayor goal.
After the break, Wolves came out guns blazing in search of an equaliser. Andy Keogh was the man who almost put them level, his shot beating Given but not the crossbar.
Playing in front of a record opening day crowd at Eastlands, City started brightly under a rare spell of Manchester sun.
New signing Carlos Tevez, given his first start of the season, was quickly in the thick of things as he chased down a couple of back-passes which kept the Wolves keeper on his toes.
His footballing quality was soon bringing the crowd to its feet as the Argentine played a wonderful ball through to team-mate Adebayor, who swiveled round, hitting a low strike past Hennessey at the near post.
The Togo international has now scored two in two as he reaffirms the faith showed in him by Mark Hughes.
Adebayor could (and arguably should) have increased his goal tally moments later after good play from Shaun Wright-Phillips, this time the powerful strikers shot was straight at the Wolves keeper.
City continued to press on, Mick McCarthy’s newly promoted side content to put 10 men behind the ball and play on the break.
Brilliant Brazilian Robinho was also making his mark on the game, producing a couple of good opportunities only to be denied by Hennessey as Manchester City pressed their advantage looking to put the game beyond Wolves’ reach.
Against the run of play, Wolves nearly had an opportunity to silence the stadium and grab an equaliser six-minutes before half-time.
Kolo Toure and Richard Dunne were both beaten by Wolves midfielder Jarvis who unleashed a thunderbolt towards the top-right corner, Given producing a magnificent save to palm the ball over the crossbar and keep City’s fragile lead in tact.
City responded well as the first half drew to a close, Tevez almost doubling his sides lead after heading inches wide from Gareth Barry’s supurb cross, a relieved Hennessey glued to the spot.
Half-time: Manchester City 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
After the break City continued where they left off, dominating possession for large spells and having the better of the chances.
The first real opportunity for City fell for Stephen Ireland, who after his clinical finish last Saturday will be wondering just quite how he missed.
Clever interplay between the youth academy product and record signing Robinho saw the Irishman one-on-one with the Wolves keeper, his shot hit with the outside of his boot going well wide.
In the 66th minute, Adebayor almost bettered Ireland’s chance after rounding the keeper.
Unfortunately, his first touch was far too strong, forcing City’s £25m signing into shooting from a tight angle, his shot rifling into the side-netting when a back-heel to support may have proved more fruitful.
A minute later, Robinho finally had the ball in the back of the net as City looked for that elusive goal to kill the game off, his effort however, was ruled out for off-side.
The bumper crowd was in full voice as they spurred their team on, ever hopeful of witnessing another goal that would see their side through as comfortable victors. As it was, City just couldn’t take their chances, and against better opposition the balance of the game could have shifted in favour of the opposing team.
In the 69th minute, City’s failure to score almost proved costly when Andy Keogh shrugged aside defensive duo Richard Dunne and Kolo Toure and struck a powerful effort against the crossbar.
It was Wolves’ best chance of the game and Hughes moved quickly to steady the ship, bringing on Bellamy and Nigel de Jong.
Mark Hughes’ side rode out the rest of the game in relative ease, Bellamy uncharacteristically wasting a few fantastic opportunities.
Mark Hughes will be disappointed that his side couldn’t capitalise on a plethora of chances that were created by his multi-million pound strike force, but a clean sheet and another three points will be an immense contribution to City’s top four ambitions.
Full-time: Manchester City 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Goals: Emmanuel Adebayor 17′ (Manchester City)
Manchester City: Given, Richards, Dunne, Toure, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry, Robinho, Tevez, Adebayor.
Subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Zabaleta, De Jong, Weiss, Petrov, Bellamy.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Hennessey, Stearman, Craddock, Ward, Mancienne, Edwards, Henry, Halford, Jarvis, Milijas, Keogh.
Subs: Hahnemann, Elokobi, Berra, Surman, Jones, Vokes, Doyle.
Referee: Lee Mason