If this was the reaction Roberto Mancini expected after last weekends defeat to Arsenal then something isn`t quite right in the blue camp.
After performing so admirably and battling for every breath against Arsenal, City responded terribly with a toothless performance. This time Mancini`s men came unstuck against a plucky Wolves side that deserved their 2-1 victory.
City began the game brightly and took the lead with an Adebayor penalty, but with a second half portraying similar nightmares to Halloween, we were rightly disposed of.
Without Carlos Tevez- who was recovering from a thigh injury- City had the chance to eradicate all the criticism about a one man team. However, devoid of creativity, lacking tenacity and with a backline looking shakier than “The Pepsi Max” on a winter day, we frustrated ourselves.
Tevez`s direct replacement, Emmanuel Adebayor had the chance to prove his worth though and after an explosive start from the visitors- especially due to the inclusion of Ballotelli- the Togolese striker grabbed City a crucial opener.
Jerome Boateng started the move and after a bright ball to David Silva, the Spanish maestro was up to his old tricks. With the Wolves defence predicting a cross, Silva dragged the ball back spectacularly only to be brought down by a despairing lunge from Stearman. Referee Mike Dean awarded the penalty which Ade dispatched effortlessly.
From then on City would have hoped to keep asserting their presence, but the dogged fight back that ensued took The Blues by surprise.
Edwards`s physical stature was proving a handful for City`s centre back`s and when the striker latched on to two headers the equaliser was on the cards. First the defender produced a fingertip save from Hart and from the resulting corner witnessed another of his headers crash against the post.
After a fantastic response from the away side City left unscathed. If City really wanted to prove they have title ambitions then the 60 minutes that followed surely need to feature in “what not to do”.
The grit and determination that is so vital when competing against sides like Wolves, Blackburn and Stoke etc was quickly fading. With Wolves not winning since the opening day confidence would have been short, something we needed to capitalise on.
Unfortunately, the passion displayed was lifeless. This wasn`t the sign of a team fighting for their shirt, the pride, the club. We were timid, afraid to put our bodies on the line, this side was a pale shadow of the one who climbed into second so powerfully.
Everything City were lacking Wolves were lapping up. The home side snatched the equaliser moments later and were looking far the better team. Milijas began the fightback after his sweetly struck shot from 18 yards beat Hart.
Chances were few and far between, but when given the chance it was the side bottom of the division who grasped their opening. After Kolo Toure failed to clear twice Edwards was on hand to clinch the eventual winner.
Despite the inclusion of Adam Johnson- something City fans were hoping to see from the first minute- we couldn`t scrape ourselves back into the game.
After scoring earlier Adebayor had the best of City`s chances when a lung busting run from Yaya Toure found Johnson who switched to Ade leaving only the striker to smash home.
As Wolves condemned us to our 3rd defeat of the season, the bright start to the campaign now looks a distant memory.
Could do very little with either goals and made the one good save.
Powerful and quick one of City’s better players.
Performed nothing like he did before his injury. Rushed back too soon?
Perhaps his weakest performance of the season. His solid partnership with Toure was disrupted- something they need to get back on track.
Great pass to Silva for the goal, but still doesn’t look the player i expected.
Followed up his poor display against Arsenal with another one.
One brilliant run. Other than that still yet to convince.
Hasn’t performed up to the required standard since his debut.
Was often quiet due to little support. Only player who looked like making something happen.
Started brilliantly, but faded.
Again he started well and got his goal. Missed a great chance. Shouldn’t have been replaced for Zaba.
Not his fault, but a very bizarre sub.
Couldn’t make an impact.
I do feel he performs better when coming off the bench, but it is becoming more and more frustrating that other players are starting before him.