Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City deserved controversial Wolves win
Pep Guardiola brushed aside the controversy by saluting his Manchester City side’s 1-0 victory over Wolves at 10 on Saturday.
Raheem Sterling settled a moody match at the Etihad Stadium by scoring his 100th Premier League goal from a controversial second-half penalty.
It came after Wolves forward Raul Jimenez was sent off in the later stages of the first half after collecting two warnings in quick succession.
“We were better with 11 players and we were better with 10 players,” said City manager Guardiola.
“It’s difficult to play against a team that doesn’t want to play. They defend so well and we knew how difficult it would be, but we didn’t lose our patience.
“They want you to destroy and they can punish you but we were good and it was a good result for us.
“We only conceded one chance after 93 or 94 minutes.”
Guardiola had no firm opinion on the shootout decision but had no doubts about Jimenez’s sacking.
The decisive moment of the game came 66 minutes after Joao Moutinho was on trial for blocking a Bernardo Silva cross with his arm. Wolves were furious, claiming the ball hit the Portuguese midfielder’s armpit, but the decision came after a VAR review.
Jimenez had received a first yellow card earlier for a foul on Rodri, then was again immediately cautioned for blocking the resulting free kick.
“The first yellow card was the same as the yellow cards we gave to Rodri and Ruben Dias,” Guardiola said. “The second yellow card was absolutely right.
“The penalty I saw on the pitch but I haven’t seen it on TV. People say it’s half and half.
Sterling’s historic goal was his fifth goal in eight appearances, underlining his recent return to form after an indifferent start to the season.
Guardiola said: “That’s a lot. At his age, 100 goals is a lot. Congratulations to him and ditto to Ederson for his 100th clean sheet.
“Raheem has always been important, but players need to understand that there are ups and downs in a career.
“I am unfair sometimes because they perform well and they don’t play and I have no other excuse than to say, ‘I’m sorry’.
“But sometimes if they don’t perform well I have to play another one. Of course he’s been scoring goals lately, important goals, and the way he’s played is really good.
Wolves boss Bruno Lage was not happy with decisions going against his side.
Lage said: “These are two very difficult decisions and they have cost us dearly.
“It wasn’t a penalty for me. It’s very strange, the referee’s decision and the VAR’s decision.
Regarding Jimenez’s sacking, this was precisely the first yellow card that Lage had a problem with.
He said: “He didn’t hit the man and we had 10 men behind the ball.”
Of the second booking, however, he said, “He knows he can’t do this.”
Lage preferred to watch the positive aspects of the game.
He said: “I think our team came to play our game. We knew they would have more ball but we defended really well and when we had the ball we tried to create chances.
“For 45 minutes we were very happy, but the second half was different. We still did our best and had two chances in the end.
“We tried to earn points and I’m proud of the players.”
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