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    5. Wolves end Manchester City's perfect league season as Rodri's absence ..


    Wolves end Manchester City's perfect league season as Rodri's absence becomes apparent

    Hwang Hee-Chan (left) and Neto (center) scored the Wolves goals' goals against the champions Photo: PA/Nick Potts Match summary: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City

    As Pep Guardiola endured a harrowing day sitting high in the Billy Wright Stand at Molineux, Rodri's absence will seem even more important.< /p>

    Rodri's suspension can't end soon enough for Manchester City as their unbeaten Premier League record ended against a Wolves side brimming with excitement and energy.

    While Kevin De Bruyne's injury is certainly a major blow for Guardiola, a second defeat in a week only underlines Rodri's enormous importance to this winning machine.

    Rodri is the leader, the glue that holds the treble winners together, and with him the missing wolves were brilliant. on counterattacking, identifying gaps and using space.

    Without the injured John Stones, City's defense also looked strangely vulnerable without the protection of the Spanish defense in front of them. Guardiola admitted he was “angry” last weekend after the midfielder was shown a red card against Nottingham Forest, and his mood is set to sour here.

    The City manager was serving his own ban after that as he was shown his third yellow card of the season in the League Cup defeat to Newcastle, and it was a dour day.

    It was also a miserable £53m return to Wolves for midfielder Matheus Nunez, every touch who was jeered by the home support before being mercilessly sent off at half-time.

    Guardiola said: “We didn't do it.” We didn't win because of ourselves, because of what happened in the last game with the red card against Nottingham Forest. Rodri is suspended and we will have to overcome the problems we have. He's an important player, we can't count on him and you'll have to replace the other [player playing there].”

    On the decision to replace Nunez, Guardiola said: “I needed someone more dynamic and I wanted a little more creativity in small spaces. It wasn't because he didn't play well, I thought Oscar [Bobb, who came on as a substitute] could have given us something different.”

    What a result for Wolves and manager Gary O'Neill , who fully deserved their first home league win of the season. While much of the focus was on Nunez, it was another Portugal international, Pedro Neto, who put in an impressive performance in the afternoon.

    Craig Dawson's experience was also crucial as Erling Haaland had one of those games where he was on the periphery, with striker Matheus Cunha driving the line superbly and tirelessly.

    Haaland was barely allowed The Wolverhampton defense has room to breathe. Photo: PA/Nick Potts

    It was the perfect response to a poor performance at Luton last weekend and Championship Cup exit Ipswich on Tuesday night.

    O'Neill said: “I think this is the best result I've had since I've been in the team.” Manager, if you beat one of the best teams, then it's obviously a good team. It's a different team without Rodri as a pivot and his absence has been a big plus for us, he makes them play a lot better. We worked diligently on the plan for three days, and the players diligently executed it.”

    Neto was a constant threat down the left flank and it was a moment of individual brilliance that put Wolves ahead. Picking up the ball in his own half, Neto burst down the right flank, eluding Phil Foden and Nathan Ake, and advanced into the penalty area, his cross taking a strong deflection from Ruben Dias and beating Ederson.

    It was the fourth time in a row. five matches in which City were the first to go behind, perhaps indicating some flaw despite their formidable start.

    However, there were warning signs for Wolves, who dominated Liverpool for 45 minutes in their last match at Molineux but still lost. City equalized 13 minutes into the second half after a controversial moment when Joao Gomes was punished harshly for a foul on Oscar Bobb on the edge of the area.

    Julian Alvarez sent a terrible free-kick into the area. top corner, followed by several rounds of applause from Guardiola.

    Wolves called for Dawson to clear Foden's line, but moments later they took the lead again after chaos in the City penalty area. Nelson Semedo's cross caused panic, and although Hee Chang-hwan's first shot was blocked by Diaz, Cunha intelligently sent the ball back into his path and he crashed home.

    “Nunez, what's the score?” – chanted the Wolverhampton fans at the end of a turbulent but exciting encounter.

    Flanked by director of football Txiki Begiristan and Manel Estiarte, with his arms crossed over his chest for most of the match, Guardiola admitted he had a “perfect view”. “.

    His vision for City will be incomplete without Rodri, who is undoubtedly their most valuable player.

    Line-ups: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City.

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