A sensational performance from Rui Patricio saw Wolves beat Manchester City 3-2 on penalties to win the Premier League Asia Trophy.
A sensational performance from Rui Patricio saw Wolves beat Manchester City 3-2 on penalties to win the Premier League Asia Trophy, according to Sky Sports.
City had dominated the first half and were awarded a penalty in the 20th minute after Adama Traore fouled Leroy Sane. However, Raheem Sterling sent his effort flying over the crossbar.
Wolves looked better in the second period but could not force a winner in normal time, taking the game to a stuttering penalty shootout, with Patricio saving Lukas Nmecha’s final effort to see Wolves win the competition ahead of their first Europa League qualifier next week.
How Patricio won it for Wolves
City started the game brightly and could have taken the lead inside eight minutes. Kevin De Bruyne played a sensational ball into the area and it was almost inch-perfect for the incoming Sterling. However, he appeared to slow his run as Patricio also came to deal with the cross, seeing the ball fly wide of the goal.
Patricio was Wolves’ saviour not long after as he made two saves in quick succession. New boy Rodri flicked on a De Bruyne corner at the near post with Aymeric Laporte sending the ball goalwards, but Patricio got low to see it away with his legs.
He then got down again to swipe the ball from the path of Sterling – who was found by another super De Bruyne pass – but picked up a nasty cut to the face which saw play stopped for around seven minutes.
Just after play restarted in the 20th minute, City were awarded a penalty. Sane managed to get ahead of Traore, with the Wolves wing-back pulling at him before the pair tangled feet, sending Sane to the floor. Sterling lined it up but drove his powerful effort well wide of the top corner.
The second half was a much quieter affair with Wolves just edging the chances. The Midlands side produced a lovely move on the hour mark, with Diogo Jota driving into the area and sending Danilo the wrong way to have a clear sight of goal. However, the defender got himself across in time to see Jota’s fierce drive behind for a corner.
City’s best chance of the second period came in the 77th minute as David Silva produced a wonderful free kick, curling the ball over the wall. It looked to be sneaking into the corner but Patricio made a sensational, leaping save to keep him out.
With neither side able to force a winner, the game went straight to penalties, and the goalkeepers took their chance to shine. Three of the first five penalties were saved – two by Patricio and one by Claudio Bravo – while Ryan Bennett was the only player to score in the sequence.
The following four were scored by each side before Nmecha stepped up for Man City’s fifth, needing to score to take the game to sudden death. But Patricio was across to keep him out and seal a first Premier League Asia Trophy win for Wolves.
Nuno Espirito Santo: “We did a fantastic job and all week, our idea was to prepare ourselves for the competition. Today, the boys worked really hard and City are a fantastic team. When they missed a penalty, that moment gave us hope to keep on working and keep the unit together but nothing has changed.
“It was a good week of preparation and we are still inside the ideas for the season and we are better now than when we arrived. We survived these tough conditions and we will come home healthy so it is perfect.
“The boys gave it everything they had but they still have much more to improve because we are starting the third year together. We have come from the Championship, last season it was the Premier League and now we have to keep improving because the challenges ahead of us are more difficult.”
Pep Guardiola: “The manager has to look at the performance. With the result, we would have preferred to win, to lift the trophy but congratulations to Wolves because they deserved it. But at the end, I have to look at the performance – how we were with and without the ball, how quick we played, there was an incredible performance from Danilo and everybody.
“But it’s good to know what is going to happen when we play in the Premier League against them, we are going to review that game and learn from here and it’s good for us.
“Now, we have two more games in Hong Kong and Japan before the Community Shield and we have to prepare step-by-step, but it’s good not to win games because that’s when everybody takes the reality of how difficult it is to always win. But today, I am so satisfied with the performance and what we have done.”