Manchester City have arguably lost the race to their third consecutive Premier League title in a row. Now the whispers have been around for a while. However, their latest 3-2 loss to the Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday have pretty much sealed the deal for Liverpool. The Reds lead the Manchester giants by 14 points with a game in hand. And on their current form, one would fancy Jurgen Klopp’s men to turn it into a 17 point lead when they face Wolves on Sunday.
While the Cityzens would have hoped it to be a far more comfortable affair. However, a 10-men Manchester City’s encounter with the Wolves was an entertaining one for the neutral. It had everything you would hope from a blockbuster Premier League fixture. It had a red card, goals, blistering runs, controversial VAR decisions, and angry substitution reactions. While the Wolves aren’t amongst the traditional “Big Six”, though Nuno Esprito Santos‘s men have made a reputation of being a team which puts in a fight every time they take the field.
While some might call Ederson’s tackle/save a tactical one. There is still a case for it to be regarded as idiotic and careless. He came out for a ball he was never going to reach and took Diogo Jota out to earn a deserved red card. He might have been better off trying to come out when Jota was closer to the box.
Inspite of being short on numbers, the Premier League champions continued to show their class and were leading 2-0 after Sterling’s double which included a retaken penalty by the English international. Though the Wolves never stopped to hunt. They knew it was already a fragile defense which was now being guarded by fewer men. Manchester City were like an easy prey and Nuno’s men didn’t disappoint. Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and Matthew Doherty scored in 55th, 82nd and 89th minute respectively to drown a woeful Manchester City defense.
Pep Guardiola was no short of criticism for his men as he was quoted saying, “We cannot prioritise the cup competitions because if so next season we might not be in Europe.
“We are used to being at the top and now we are far away so we have to adjust mentally to that. I said many times it is unrealistic to think about Liverpool; we need to think about Leicester. Now it is about trying to catch the second one. We had the chance to return to second but we remain third.”
With Pep himself defying City’s challenge for the title, is the Premier League title race already over or does the Spanish tactician have a surprise or two up his sleeve?