Erling Haaland on target again as Manchester City destroy 10-man Wolves

Norwegian striker has 14 goals in ten appearances for his new club

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Erling Haaland helped fire Manchester City to the top of the Premier League as the striker continued his red-hot form at Wolves.

The Norway international plundered a 14th goal in 10 appearances in a ruthless 3-0 win at Molineux.

Jack Grealish also sent a message to his critics, scoring dominant City’s first-minute opener, with Phil Foden adding a third.

City moved above Arsenal, before the Gunners’ Sunday trip to Brentford, in clinical fashion but were helped by Nathan Collins’ reckless challenge on Grealish, which saw the defender dismissed before half-time.

Goalscorer Grealish told BT Sport: "It was a long time coming and nice to get off the mark. Rightly so people have been asking questions, I should be scoring more and getting more assists.

"I am always going to have people talking about me with the money that was spent on me, but all my career I haven’t scored enough goals. I do want to add that to my game.

"It is nice when Pep [Guardiola] defends me. He has been brilliant with me. I probably have to thank him because he gave me the opportunity today after my performance on Wednesday because it probably wasn’t the best. I am thankful to him."

Guardiola added: "The game started really well for us with the two goals and the red card.

"Jack played really good. He was strong and he a made good goal coming in. Hopefully he can make a good international performance and come back fit.

"Fingers crossed all the players come back fit but it is important for them ahead of the World Cup but hopefully they come back good, ready for the derby."

Wolves, with just one win this season, did not crumble – especially after playing an hour with 10 men – but were outclassed and fell behind after just 53 seconds.

Foden’s backheel freed Kevin De Bruyne on the right and, while his low ball was missed by Haaland, Grealish outmuscled Jonny to fire in his first goal of the season off a post from five yards.

Guardiola had defended the midfielder before the game and it was only the £100 million man’s fourth Premier League strike for City, amid growing criticism of his output.

Wolves responded and Ederson saved from Goncalo Guedes but City always had control even during frantic moments of a hectic opening.

That was underlined when Haaland doubled their lead after 16 minutes.

Wolves were left wide open when the striker collected Bernardo Silva’s pass and drove at the defence from 30 yards.

There was a hesitancy about Wolves and, with Max Kilman backtracking, Haaland’s bobbling shot found the bottom corner from 20 yards. It was his 100th goal in 99 games in all competitions since 2020.

The hosts had come back from 2-0 down, albeit against 10 men, to beat City 3-2 in 2019 but there was no way back this time.

Pedro Neto steered wide yet industrious City swarmed over them with purpose, De Bruyne at his combative best and Grealish causing Wolves constant problems.

It was that threat which saw Collins lose his head to see red 12 minutes before the break.

The defender went to contest a bouncing ball on the left with Grealish but only succeeded in a dangerous studs-high challenge into the England man’s midriff.

Collins pleaded his innocence but it was wild and left Wolves in even more jeopardy.

To their credit, Bruno Lage’s side – unable to call on new signing Diego Costa as he builds his fitness – refused to go quietly and at least began the second half in bullish fashion.

City had also taken their foot off the pedal, allowing Wolves to find some momentum, and Guedes missed his kick from 12 yards after an hour.

The visitors appeared happy with their lead but, after Jose Sa saved from Haaland, quickly moved through the gears to score a third with 21 minutes left.

Again, Haaland was at the centre of things as waited for De Bruyne to advance on the right and the midfielder found Foden to flick in across Sa from six yards to settle the game.

Updated: September 17, 2022, 2:01 PM