The Warm Down: Second half fightback not enough for Wolves as City take three points
Raul Jimenez's second goal in as many Premier League games was not enough to save Wolves from defeat against Manchester City. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Wolves suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season on Monday night as Manchester City started their campaign with a deserved three points at Molineux.

City were totally dominant in the first half and perhaps deserved more than their 2-0 interval lead, as a Kevin de Bruyne penalty and a Phil Foden finish put the visitors in the ascendency. 

Nuno's men came out stronger in the second half and wasted multiple golden chances through Ruben Neves, Daniel Podence and Raul Jimenez, before the Mexican finally found the net with 12 minutes to play.

The four-time Premier League champions withstood the late Wolves onslaught and sealed the win with the last kick of the game as Gabriel Jesus' effort found the net via a Conor Coady deflection. 

Poor first half costs Wolves yet again

Embed from Getty Images

Despite scoring twice in the opening six minutes at Bramall Lane last week, Wolves' first half performance returned to the sort that fans have become accustomed to seeing from Nuno's men. 

Notoriously slow out of the blocks, Jimenez's opener in the Steel City was the first time Wolves had scored in the opening eight minutes in 75 matches, since Matt Doherty's second-minute opener in an FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury in 2019. 

Their usual sluggishness was evident at Molineux, with the men in gold unable to get close to their star-studded counterparts for most of the opening 45 minutes. Nuno's side had just a third of the ball and two attempts on goal in the first half, neither of them on target. 

With last week's quick start being proved the exception rather than the rule, playing as well in the first half as the second will be crucial if Wolves are to improve on last season's seventh-place finish. 

Boly's struggles compound poor defensive display

Despite an almost flawless three seasons at Molineux, Willy Boly has not started this campaign in the fashion he would've liked. 

The 29-year-old was part of a back five that looked vulnerable every time City ventured forward. Foden and Jesus' strikes came from positional errors by Boly, while de Bruyne's penalty was a result of a poorly executed Romain Saiss tackle. 

Embed from Getty Images

Another defensive worry came in the shape of an injury for new signing Marcal, who was taken off after just eight minutes and replaced by Ruben Vinagre

Adama Traore also struggled for the second straight game at right-wing back, but Sunday's trip to West Ham should see him moved up to his more comfortable right-wing position. Ki-Jana Hoever's signing has already been announced but the Dutchman was not registered in time to play against the 2018-19 champions, while Nelson Semedo's transfer should be announced tomorrow, according to The Athletic. 

If Wolves' back line is to improve for a relatively routine set of upcoming fixtures, swapping Saiss and Boly to ensure the Frenchman plays on his more comfortable side seems a sensible move. 

Chance conversion must improve to beat big boys again

Despite a woeful first-half showing and a 2-0 deficit, it's no exaggeration to say Wolves could, and should, have got something from the game. 

Four big chances went begging midway through the second period as Podence fired wide on the turn and misjudged a chip over Ederson, Neves scuffed an effort from the edge of the area and Jimenez somehow fired wide from inside the area.

Embed from Getty Images

Wolves finally got their goal when Podence nutmegged de Bruyne before sending in a delicious cross that Jimenez headed home, but it seemed that their best chances had already gone. 

With 23 2019-20 goals departing with Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota, Nuno can ill-afford his team to miss this many clear cut chances. 

VAVEL Logo