Jack Grealish scored his first goal of the season and Erling Haaland extended his record streak as Manchester City cruised to a 3-0 victory over 10-man Wolves on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s side needed just 56 seconds to take the lead at Molineux as Grealish finally enjoyed a day to remember after a tough time since joining City from Aston Villa last year .
Haaland doubled City’s advantage with his 14th goal in 10 games in all competitions after a £51m ($58m) move from Borussia Dortmund already looks like a bargain.
Wolves lost any chance of a fight back when Nathan Collins was sent off for a nasty stomach-high foul on Grealish in the first half.
Phil Foden capped City’s walk in the Midlands sun as the Premier League champions climbed to the top of the table.
Unbeaten City are two points clear of second-placed Arsenal, who would regain pole position if they win at Brentford on Sunday.
“The game started very well for us with the two goals and the red card. After the Champions League to come here at 12:30 with the quality they have, it was an incredible victory,” Guardiola said.
Guardiola said this week that the ‘exceptional’ Haaland was the ‘perfect’ person to deal with as his personality kept him always eager to improve.
Even Guardiola may run out of superlatives to describe the 22-year-old Norwegian if he continues this astonishing run.
Haaland has been named Premier League Player of the Month for August after his blistering start to the season and he is already arguing for the September award.
He has scored in seven consecutive games for City and is the first player to score in his first four Premier League away appearances.
Showing their thirst for the title for the fifth time in six seasons, City are unbeaten in a club-record 22 away league appearances since losing at Tottenham in their opener last season.
– Lethal Haaland –
After a poignant tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, City silenced Molineux with a beautifully crafted opening minute.
Foden’s bold backheel sent Kevin De Bruyne down the right flank and the Belgian’s low cross was perfectly placed for Grealish, who timed his run to home from close range.
It was a much-needed contribution from Grealish, who is making just his second league start this term after struggling to peak form since his record £100million British transfer.
Guardiola could also feel vindicated after defending the England striker following his nameless display against Dortmund on Wednesday, blaming an ankle injury for his woes and telling him to ignore the doubters.
“Jack played very well. He was strong and he scored a good goal,” Guardiola said.
Grealish added: “I’m always going to have people talking about me with the amount I was bought for.
“I owe the manager thanks for sticking with me after I didn’t play well in midweek.”
Haaland doubled City’s lead in the 16th minute with his first goal outside the box for his new club.
His spectacular late winner against Dortmund led Guardiola to compare Haaland’s improvisation to Dutch legend Johan Cruyff.
It was a more prosaic strike, but it was no less effective.
With Wolves defender Max Kilman fatally recoiling outside his own penalty area, Haaland was allowed to drive forward unchecked before slotting a surefire finish into the bottom corner.
It was Haaland’s 100th goal in his last 99 games in all competitions since leaving RB Salzburg for Dortmund in 2020.
Collins’ reckless foul on Grealish, the Wolves defender leaping into the air to kick him in the gut, drew an inevitable red card which effectively ended the fight in the 33rd minute.
Foden added City’s third goal in the 69th minute, coming into the penalty area to fire in De Bruyne’s cross after Haaland’s kick had sent the Belgian in check.