It was not quite as comfortable as the scoreline suggested, but Manchester City’s 4-1 victory over Wolves on Tuesday evening still added fuel to the argument that Pep Guardiola’s are good enough to win a quadruple this season.
For the first hour of the contest, City were as dominant as they have ever been. It was not just the sheer amount of possession – they finished the first half on 75% – nor their 93% passing accuracy that was so impressive.
From front to back, the Cityzens played like a squad that had, well, won 20 games on the spin prior to Nuno Espirito Santo’s low block enthusiasts coming to town. This was perhaps best demonstrated on the half hour mark.
By that time, City were already 1-0 up, courtesy on a Riyad Mahrez cross which was put into the Wolves net by Leander Dendoncker. The visitors, meanwhile, had not even managed to muster a shot, nor a touch, inside the opposition box.
Despite their almost comical dominance, there was not the vaguest whiff of complacency in the City ranks, and when Pedro Neto received an out ball on the half turn, no less than three sky blue shirts swarmed around him, pushing him all the way back into his own back three.
This sort of merciless, borderline psychopathic pressing was exhibited by the home side throughout the first half, with Wolves reduced to spectators in a match in which they were taking part in.
After this one sided first half, the contest was briefly turned on its head when Conor Coady managed to force home Joao Moutinho’s precisely weighted free kick on the hour mark. Incredibly, it was Wolves’ first shot of the entire game.
City responded in typically rampant fashion. Not becoming disheartened after some miscued efforts, they eventually scored three second half goals. Their movement was fluid and creativity was abundant, meaning even though their finishing was wayward, the sheer volume of chances created got them over line.
Aside from the quite obviously gutsy display, a quick look at the City bench against Wolves further strengthens their quadruple credentials. The fact is they managed to put four goals past a solid Premier League defence, yet still managed to leave the likes of Phil Foden, John Stones, Ferran Torres, Ilkay Gundogan and Sergio Aguero watching on from the sidelines.
While their rivals deal with a seemingly never ending list of injuries, City have the luxury of leaving millions of pounds of worth of talent saved up for a rainy day.
What this says about the state of footballing financial disparity is a whole separate argument. However, there can be no denying that in a season as congested as this one, City’s crazy depth, combined with the sort of ruthlessness they displayed against Wolves, means that right now they are better placed than any team in recent history to scoop four trophies in a single season.