Pep Guardiola all but conceded defeat in Manchester City’s hopes of catching Liverpool in the Premier League title race after the Citizens dropped yet more points, relinquishing a two-goal lead to lose at Wolves on Friday night. The reigning champions travelled to Molineux looking to jump ahead of Leicester into second and close the gap to the Reds to 11 points.
And things were going swimmingly for City after Raheem Sterling’s brace, although Ederson was sent off for taking down Diogo Jota one-on-one outside his box after just 12 minutes.
But despite a valiant effort with 10 men and a 2-0 lead, City once again succumbed to the irresistible Adama Traore.
As they did in a 2-0 defeat at the Etihad to Wolves, Guardiola’s charges struggled to contain the Spanish winger, who drilled home the hosts’ first goal before supplying a cross to Raul Jimenez for the equaliser.
Matt Doherty then produced an 89th-minute winner to send the Wolves fans into ecstasy and also spark further excitement on the red half of Merseyside.
City trail Liverpool by 14 points having played one match more, with Jurgen Klopp’s leaders having picked up 52 of an available 54 points.
Guardiola and co. have now lost five times this season – one shy of the amount of defeats they suffered in their previous 76 top-flight matches.
They earned a club-record 97-point haul in 2018-19 only for City to accrue 98 points courtesy of a 14-game winning streak to finish the season.
And while Liverpool boast a hearty advantage, Klopp is refusing to get carried away with the Reds taking on Wolves twice, high-flying Sheffield United, Tottenham away and arch-rivals Manchester United in their next five league games.
He said after they thrashed second-placed Leicester 4-0 on Thursday night: “In three days we play Wolves, they are playing an exceptional season. In six days we play Sheffield United, they are playing an exceptional season.
“Then we play Everton who have Carlo Ancelotti on the touchline. Then we play Tottenham and then [Manchester] United. It is really tough schedule.
“Everybody is talking but we are not listening. We are completely focussed on what we have to do.
“I am really good at partying but I don’t want to have a party without a reason.”
Told some people think Liverpool already have one hand on the title, Klopp responded: “I couldn’t be less interested to be honest. I have faced the question already a couple of times.”
Liverpool take on Wolves, who move up to fifth and two points behind Chelsea, on Sunday (4.30pm) with City then taking on Sheffield United an hour-and-a-half later at the Etihad.