Three successive defeats seems unthinkable for a Pep Guardiola side – who were beaten by Southampton and Manchester United last week – but that appeared to be on the cards as Man City headed into half time 2-0 down against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night.
However, the Citizens fought back like true champions, turning the game on its head within the first 12 minutes of the second half courtesy of strikes from Julian Alvarez, Erling Braut Haaland and Riyad Mahrez, before the latter sealed the win with a fourth goal in stoppage time.
Despite the victory, which has moved them to within five points of leaders Arsenal, Guardiola launched a scathing attack on his players and fans after the game, with the Spaniard frustrated by their lack of “passion” and “fire”, and he believes City will drop more points if they fail to perform at the required level.
The Citizens now have three of their next four matches in front of their own supporters, including Sunday’s encounter against a Wolves side whom they have beaten in each of their last five league meetings, scoring 16 goals and conceding just three in the process.
City’s clash with Wolves is a favourable fixture on paper in the short term, with encounters against Arsenal and Spurs again on the horizon, and a victory on Sunday would see them close the gap on the Gunners to just two points before Mikel Arteta’s side lock horns with Man United later that day.
After securing a slender 1-0 victory at home against fellow Premier League strugglers West Ham United last weekend, Wolves were beaten by the same scoreline in front of their own fans against Liverpool in their FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday night.
Julen Lopetegui believes that his side deserved more from their midweek battle with the Reds, but a first-half strike from Harvey Elliott ultimately eliminated the West Midlands outfit at the first hurdle.
While many supporters would have enjoyed a cup run, the defeat could prove to be a blessing in disguise for Wolves as they can now focus fully on their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League, with Lopetegui’s side currently sitting in 16th place and just two points above the bottom three at the halfway stage.
Wolves are still the lowest scorers in the Premier League this season with just 12 goals to their name, but they appear to have turned a corner under Lopetegui as they have picked up seven points from a possible 12 available since his appointment in November.
Although Wolves head into Sunday’s game as underdogs, they will be hoping to match their feat of October 2019 when they secured a 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium – the only win in their last 10 visits to Man City across all competitions.