An abnormally short preseason and a long list of absentees connected with injury and coronavirus did not stop Manchester City from getting off to a quick start in Monday’s English Premier League.
Before weathering a Wolverhampton fightback in a 3-1 victory at Molineux, City scored by Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden in the first half.
To prevent an early slip-up City was under pressure after beginning the season late due to its participation in the latter stages of the Champions League in August with Liverpool, its largest competitor for the title, already on two wins from two games.
Three players, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez, and most recently Ilkay Gundogan, contracted the virus, 37 days after the humbling defeat to Lyon in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Against Wolves, only Mahrez was available, and he never made it off the substitutes’ bench.
However, City’s players soon slipped into their groove and won the game against an adversary who did the home-and-away double over them last season with their outstanding first-half showing.
In the 20th minute De Bruyne converted a penalty after being brought down by Romain Saiss just inside the field and was then the architect of the second goal by slipping in Raheem Sterling, who cut the ball back for Foden to score in the 33rd.
In the 78th with a header Raul Jimenez pulled a goal back for Wolves, but Gabriel Jesus made the game safe with a deflected third for City in the fifth minute of injury time.
Wolves 1 – 3 Manchester City
Goals: 0-1 De Bruyne 20′, 0-2 Foden 33′, 1-2 Jimenez 78′, 1-3 Jesus 90+5′
Yellow cards: Jesus (C), Mendy (C), Rodri (C)
Wolves: Patricio; Boly, Coady (c), Saiss; Traore, Neves, Moutinho (Dendoncker, 77), Neto (Silva, 77), Marcal (Vinagre, 7); Jimenez, Podence
City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Ake, Mendy; Fernandinho (c), Rodri, De Bruyne; Foden, Jesus, Sterling (Torres, 82)