Manchester City’s bandwagon rolled on to a sixth successive victory when they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers for the second time in four days to stay five points clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday.
After blasting five past Wolves in the League Cup at Molineux on Wednesday, City beat them 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium with second-half goals from Edin Dzeko, Aleksandar Kolarov and Adam Johnson securing another three points.
City finished with 10 men after skipper Vincent Kompany was sent off 15 minutes from time for holding back Kevin Doyle as the two players chased a rebound spilt by City keeper Joe Hart.
That led to a Wolves penalty which Stephen Hunt converted but they never really threatened again.
Although they were back in the game at 2-1, the visitors’ hopes of an unlikely point were finally dashed when Johnson, who came on for Dzeko midway through the second half, curled a wonderful shot past Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey in the first minute of stoppage time.
The result meant City have won their last six games in the Premier League, League Cup and Champions League, scoring 24 goals and conceding just six and have now won nine of their opening 10 league matches and drawn the other.
“I am very proud of the way we played, we played very well,” manager Roberto Mancini, whose side had beaten Wolves 5-2 midweek, told Sky Sports.
“They made it difficult for us after we went down to 10 men, at eleven v eleven, I thought, OK, we are doing well, but I am very pleased with the way we finished.”
He admitted his side had not reached the heights of last weekend’s 6-1 win at Manchester United, and Wolves, having not won in the league for seven matches since beating Fulham in August, were able to frustrate them throughout the first half.
Hennessey made three fine saves in the opening period, but the initiative swung City’s way when he dawdled on the ball after 52 minutes, allowing Sergio Aguero to block his attempted clearance and the ball bounced to Dzeko who stroked it home.
Hennessey failed to hold a shot from David Silva after 67 minutes with the ball falling to Kolarov who volleyed home.
Although Hunt sent Hart the wrong way from the penalty spot, Wolves have now dropped to 17th, one place and two points above the relegation zone, while City held their nerve to prepare themselves in the best possible way for Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Villarreal.