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Asia Trophy Final: Wolves 0 Manchester City 0 (3-2 on pens) - Report and pictures

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Rui Patricio was Wolves' hero as they won the Premier League Asia Trophy on penalties against Manchester City.

Raheem Sterling had blazed a penalty over the bar in a first-half that City largely dominated.

Wolves created half chances for Morgan Gibbs-White, Joao Moutinho and Diogo Jota and then Patricio brilliantly saved from a David Silva free-kick.

The game finished 0-0 and went to penalties. Patrico saved City's first two efforts and then their fifth from Lukas Nmecha – Ryan Bennett, Taylor Perry and Ruben Vinagre netted for Wolves who triumphed 3-2.

Analysis

Two games played against Premier League opposition, no goals conceded, some great football played – and a trophy in the bag.

On and off the field it's been a very successful first ever trip to China for Wolverhampton Wanderers, writes Tim Spiers at the Hongkou Stadium.

In the stifling Shanghai heat they weathered the inevitable Manchester City storm (Pep Guardiola's team were walking through them in the early stages and spurned five chances before missing a penalty) and gave the Premier League champions a couple of scares before seeing out a hard-earned draw, showing plenty of flashes of quality along the way.

During their thrashing of Newcastle on Wednesday, Wolves displayed excellent creativity, movement and clinical finishing.

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This encounter was more about resilience, shape and good defending, displayed expertly by all three of their centre halves, backed up by a fine performance from Rui Patricio who made a couple of very good saves and then a top-drawer one to deny David Silva.

Adama Traore suggested again that he can back-up Matt Doherty at right wing-back and Morgan Gibbs-White was lively, albeit he and Diogo Jota didn't get the joy they'd had against Newcastle.

What with more minutes for youngsters including the impressive Dion Sanderson, who was in the thick of the action and produced some lovely moments, Terry Taylor, Taylor Perry, Niall Ennis, Hong Wan and Max Kilman, it was a productive evening in the rowdy and packed 33,000 Hongkou Stadium.

Regardless of the outcome of the shoot-out it had a been a great cake – but Patricio's outstanding display ensured some icing on the cake in Fosun's backyard.

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Same again next year?

Match report

Nuno stuck with the same XI which started the 4-0 victory over Newcastle on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola named the likes of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Kevin De Bruyne and new boy Rodri in his line-up, with Bernardo and David Silva on the bench. Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho weren't in China owing to their late return from the Copa America.

With Wolves (sporting their new black away kit) having selected such a strong side there were hopes they could give City a good game – but the opening 20 minutes suggested the opposite.

City – and in particular Sterling – were all over Wolves and created a succession of chances as Wolves struggled to stem the flow with City showing their quality.

In the first few minutes Sterling wriggled through the defence before shooting low at Rui Patricio, youngster Adrian Bernabe fired across goal, Sterling just missed a right-wing cross, Aymeric Laporte's effort from a corner was well blocked and then Patricio did brilliantly to get a hand to the ball as Sterling tried to round him.

Unfortunately for the keeper he took a nasty kick to the face in the process and the game was stopped for almost 10 minutes as he received treatment to a nasty cut on his cheek. Thankfully he was OK to continue.

A few seconds after the restart City had the ideal opportunity to take a deserved lead when Sterling when down in the box under a Traore challenge. The same player stepped up to take the spot kick – but blazed his effort miles over the crossbar.

Thereafter the game evened up, with that stoppage having quelled City's momentum.

Wolves, after some stern instructions from Nuno, began to exert some control and get their foot on the ball, aiming for Traore as an outlet over the top on the right.

That nearly yielded a spot kick of Wolves' own but referee Martin Atkinson said no when Traore went down.

Wolves created a few half chances – a Conor Coady ball over the top was cushioned beautifully by Leander Dendoncker to Gibbs-White whose shot was blocked, while Traore almost got on the end of a Gibbs-White through ball in the box and Joao Moutinho volleyed over from a good position as Wolves began to ask City a few questions, but the half ended goalless.

City began the second half with the same intention they had in the first. Substitute Bernardo Silva saw a menacing effort deflected wide and then Ryan Bennett threw his head at a mis-hit Ilkay Gundogan effort in front of Patricio.

Wolves almost fashioned a couple of good opportunities, firstly when Traore embarked on a fantastic run down the right before chipping nicely towards Gibbs-White but he couldn't bring the ball down, then Jota found space 25 yards out and drove goalwards but Danilo deflected it wide.

Just after the hour mark Nuno made the same four substitutions as he had at the same time against Newcastle,with Dion Sanderson, Ruben Vinagre, Taylor Perry and Niall Ennis replacing Traore, Otto, Gibbs-White and Ennis.

Seconds later Sanderson was in a great position on the right from Dendoncker's pass but couldn't get a cross over. From the resulting corner he and Bennett both saw efforts blocked.

With a raft of substitutions made the game's quality suffered but then Patricio produced one of the moments of the match to stunningly push a corner-bound David Silva free kick past the post.

Nuno changed his entire midfield with Hong Wan, Luke Cundle and Terry Taylor on for Moutinho, Neves and Dendoncker, while Max Kilman replaced Willy Boly in defence.

The last 10 minutes yielded no chances so a penalty shoot-out was needed to decide the winner of the Asia Trophy and Wolves triumphed thanks to Patricio's heroics.

Teams

Wolves (3-5-2): Patricio; Bennett, Coady (c), Boly (Kilman, 80); Traore (Sanderson, 63), Moutinho (Hong, 80), Neves (Taylor, 80), Dendoncker (Cundle, 80), Otto (Vinagre, 63); Gibbs-White (Perry, 63), Jota (Ennis, 63). Subs: Ruddy, Norris, Francis, Marques, Miranda, Samuels.

Man City (4-3-3): Bravo; Danilo, Stones (Walker, 45), Laporte (Harwood-Bellis, 63), Zinchenko (Angelino, 63); Bernabe (David Silva, 45), De Bruyne (c), Rodri (Nmecha, 63) (Gundogan, 45); Poveda, Sterling (Bernardo Silva, 45), Sane (Garcia, 63).

Penalties

Wolves 1 – Coady missed (saved by Bravo)

Man City 1 – Gundogan missed (saved by Patricio)

Wolves 2 – Bennett scored

Man City 2 – David Silva missed (saved by Patricio)

Wolves 3 – Kilman missed (wide)

Man City 3 – Danilo scored

Wolves 4 – Perry scored

Man City 4 – Garcia scored

Wolves 5 – Vinagre scored

Man City 5 – Nmecha missed (saved by Patricio)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Next up

Wolves play their first fixture in a European competition for 39 years on Thursday when they host Northern Irish side Crusaders in the second qualifying round of the Europa League, kick off 7.45pm.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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