LONDON, August 26 (TNS): Defending Premier League champions Manchester City’s scintillating start to the Premier League season came to a halt on Saturday as newly-promoted Wolves held Pep Guardiola’s men 1-1 at Molineux.
The hosts thoroughly deserved their point having taken the game to City in a fashion very few sides did last season, during which the Manchester club walked to the title, and the visitors were forced to dig deep to get anything out of the game.
However, the promoted side also had luck in their side when Willy Boly’s opener was allowed to stand despite the final touch clearly coming off the defender’s hand.
City struck back through an unlikely source as Aymeric Laporte grabbed his first goal for the club with a thumping header from a right-hand cross, and only the woodwork denied the visitors all three points when Sergio Aguero’s free-kick came back off the bar in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
When asked about the contentious Wolves goal, and whether the Premier League should adopt the controversial Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, Guardiola remained coy and praised Wolves’ spirit.
“Of course, Wolves deserve compliments. It’s none of my business (whether Boly’s goal should bring in VAR). “The Premier League will decide, and when they make the decision, VAR will be here. When I spoke to the referee, I was just making a compliment about their job.”
The Premier League decided against having VAR present this season and Manchester City might not be the last club to rue its absence.
Instead, Guardiola was left to ponder a number of issues and a rare disappointment for his all-conquering side, who looked to lack a cutting edge for much of the game.
But the Catalan saw the result as a point gained, rather than two lost.
“It was a good game. We conceded too many counter-attacks. We missed simple passes. We created enough chances to win the game but it is a good point.
“We played at the same level as we did last season. People can imagine how difficult it is to play against a good team with nine players behind (the ball). “We tried but we will improve because defensively we were not solid like we normally are. Every game we play, we learn for the next one.”
Guardiola’s opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo had nothing but praise for his Wolves players. “We are happy. It was a good game. This is the way we must play, improving each week, let’s do it again next week.