2020-21 English Premier League
  • Raúl Jiménez (78')
  • Kevin De Bruyne (20' PEN)
  • Phil Foden (32')
  • Gabriel Jesus (90'+5')

Manchester City start campaign in style with win over Wolves

Manchester City got their Premier League campaign off to a winning start, beating Wolves 3-1 at Molineux on Monday night.

Last year's Premier League runners-up had their Sept. 12 match against Aston Villa postponed so that Pep Guardiola's side could have an extra week to recover from their Champions League campaign last term.

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First-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne from the penalty spot and a Phil Foden strike after a well-worked team move saw Man City take a 2-0 lead into half-time.

"It's obviously hard. It's a weird season. We know we need to start well," said De Bruyne. "Wolves have been a bit of a bogey team for us in the last few seasons. So it's encouraging to play well."

Wolves were by far the livelier side in the second half and their efforts were rewarded just before the 80-minute mark when Daniel Podence beat De Bruyne and played an enticing cross into the area that Raul Jimenez headed home to make it 2-1.

The hosts pushed hard for an equaliser, but none came and Gabriel Jesus added a third for Man City in second-half stoppage time as they picked up all three points to start the 2020-21 campaign.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo highlighted his team's failure to take their chances.

"We always have to give credit to our opponents because of the talent and the quality they have, but we should do better," he said.

Next up for Manchester City is a Carabao Cup match against Bournemouth on Sept. 24 (stream live on ESPN+ in the U.S.), while Wolves play next away to West Ham in the Premier League on Sept. 27.

And Guardiola said after the win over Wolves that their Championship opponents can expect to see mostly academy players in the third-round tie.

"Against Bournemouth we will play most players from the academy and try to keep energy in the Premier League. With the lack of preparation and seven players out, we have to keep the players who played today as fresh as possible," Guardiola said.

"We won the Carabao [League] Cup three times in a row and we would like to continue but we don't have the players, in this period, to play every three days."

The result means there has not been a single drawn match in the opening two rounds of Premier League fixtures and the 44 goals over a single game week is a record for the 20-team era.

English Premier League Standings

1 Chelsea 14 +27 33
2 Manchester City 14 +21 32
3 Liverpool 14 +31 31
4 West Ham United 14 +8 24
5 Arsenal 14 -3 23
6 Tottenham Hotspur 13 -4 22
7 Manchester United 14 0 21
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14 0 21
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 14 -2 19
10 Leicester City 14 -3 19
11 Crystal Palace 14 -1 16
12 Brentford 14 -2 16
13 Aston Villa 14 -4 16
14 Everton 14 -7 15
15 Leeds United 14 -7 15
16 Southampton 14 -7 15
17 Watford 14 -7 13
18 Burnley 13 -6 10
19 Norwich City 14 -20 10
20 Newcastle United 14 -14 7