12172017

Bravo stars as Man City beat Wolves in shootout

Manchester City v Wolves

Manchester City are unbeaten in 14 matches this season

Claudio Bravo was Manchester City’s hero as they beat Wolves on penalties to reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Bravo, who made three key saves against the Championship leaders in normal time, continued his heroics to deny Alfred N’Diaye and Conor Coady in the shootout after the game finished goalless.

City scored all four of their spot-kicks, with Sergio Aguero coolly sealing their victory with a Panenka penalty.

Defeat was harsh on a Wolves side who had become the first team to stop the Premier League pacesetters from scoring this season.

Roared on by more than 6,000 travelling fans, the visitors had not only frustrated City for long periods, they created the best chances in open play too.

But the much-maligned Bravo came to his side’s rescue on three occasions in one-on-one situations, denying Helder Costa in between two saves from Bright Enobakhare.

“Last season was not easy for Bravo, but he is a goalkeeper of a high level. He deserved that performance,” said City boss Pep Guardiola.

Not Aguero’s night – until the end

After equalling Eric Brook’s club record of 177 goals with his penalty against Burnley on Saturday, the stage appeared set for Aguero to take the record outright when he was named in Guardiola’s starting line-up and made skipper for the night too.

It was not to be. Aguero peppered Will Norris’ goal with shots in the first half but was mostly off target and his finishing did not get any better after the break.

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Just before the tie got under way, a squirrel was spotted on the pitch

Norris gifted the Argentina striker a golden opportunity to score with a weak clearance early in the second half, but then redeemed himself by diving at his feet to save as Aguero tried to take the ball around him.

It was not Aguero’s night in terms of his attempt to break the record, but he still had the final word with his penalty in the shootout that sent City through.

“Sooner or later Aguero is going to score,” added Guardiola afterwards. “Relax, he is going to break the record. The situation is going to happen.”

Guardiola also suggested that Aguero would have scored but for the ball used during the game.

“The ball was a different ball,” added the Spaniard. “If we played with a different ball he would break the record. To score with that ball is a miracle. It is impossible.

“The ball is not acceptable to play with at this level. It is not a serious ball for a professional game. I can say that after we win. If we don’t win and I say that it is an excuse.

“We get one day or two days [to use it in training] but if a ball is bad it is bad two days, one week, one month, one year, two years. If it is bad, it is bad.”

Wolves the first team to shut out City

Wolves, who are two points clear at the top of the Championship table, have impressed with their own brand of free-flowing passing football, but much of their success has been built from the back.

Before arriving at Etihad Stadium, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had conceded only 13 goals in 16 games this season and they demonstrated why with a brilliantly organised defensive display.

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Wolves are the first team to stop Manchester City scoring in 90 minutes this season

The default position for Wolves on a wet night in Manchester was to have all their players in their own half and behind the ball but, when they broke forward, they did so with menace.

Despite City’s dominance, Wolves had the best chance of the first half when Enobakhare barged Eliaquim Mangala off the ball and made for goal, only to see Bravo save his shot with his legs.

Bravo had to rush from his line again to deny Costa after the break but made his best save in injury time at the end of the 90 minutes, when Enobakhare galloped clear but again failed to beat him.

“I am proud of the team and proud of the fans,” said Nuno. “There were 6,200 singing and shouting for Wolves all night long.

“The boys worked so hard and stuck to the plan. We had chances to win the game and came into it more in the second half.”

The win could yet prove costly for City.

Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan completed the 120 minutes but Guardiola revealed afterwards the German had “finished with some problems”.

“I don’t know how serious – we’ll see tomorrow,” he added.

Gundogan, 27, only returned to action last month after tearing cruciate knee ligaments last December.

What next?

City are at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (15:00 BST) looking to maintain their impressive start to the Premier League season. Wolves are also on the road in the Championship, playing QPR at Loftus Road at the same time on the same day.

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 0(4), Wolverhampton Wanderers 0(1).

Penalty Shootout ends, Manchester City 0(4), Wolverhampton Wanderers 0(1).

Goal! Manchester City 0(4), Wolverhampton Wanderers 0(1). Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

Goal! Manchester City 0(3), Wolverhampton Wanderers 0(1). Leroy Sané (Manchester City) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the top left corner.

Penalty saved! Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

Penalty saved! Alfred N’Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Goal! Manchester City 0(2), Wolverhampton Wanderers 0(1). Yaya Touré (Manchester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Goal! Manchester City 0(1), Wolverhampton Wanderers 0(1). Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Goal! Manchester City 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0(1). Léo Bonatini (Wolverhampton Wanderers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty Shootout begins Manchester City 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

Second Half Extra Time ends, Manchester City 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alfred N’Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Kevin De Bruyne.

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Eliaquim Mangala.

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Ryan Bennett.

Attempt blocked. Leroy Sané (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alfred N’Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Hand ball by Ivan Cavaleiro (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Second Half Extra Time begins Manchester City 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

First Half Extra Time ends, Manchester City 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

Substitution, Manchester City. Kyle Walker replaces Danilo.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

Alfred N’Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jack Price.

Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Ivan Cavaleiro (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution, Manchester City. Leroy Sané replaces Bernardo Silva.

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alfred N’Diaye (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

What Next?

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