(Reuters) – Manchester City had to battle back from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against Premier League newcomers Wolverhampton Wanderers who ruined the champions’ 100 percent record and gave them a real test at Molineux on Saturday.
Last season’s Championship winners showed no inferiority complex as defender Willy Boly put them ahead with a controversial 57th-minute diving header which TV replays showed may have been offside and actually went in off his arm.
City, who had largely controlled proceedings but were vulnerable to Wolves’ bold counter-attacks, equalised with Aymeric Laporte’s first goal for the club, a header from Ilkay Gundogan’s free kick, 12 minutes later.
In a high-quality game, City, who have seven points from three matches, hit the post twice in the first half, through Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, and the in-form Argentine Aguero also struck the bar with a superb free kick in the dying seconds.
Though the champions, who had won their first two games of the season in handsome fashion, will be frustrated at their dominance not being rewarded, Wolves deserved their second league point and never stopped striving for a late winner.
“It was a good game. We created enough chances to win the game but it is a good point,” City manager Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports. “Wolves deserve credit, of course. We play at the same level as we did last season. We tried but we will improve because defensively we were not solid like we normally are.”
On Boly’s handball goal, and whether the introduction of a video assistant referee would have ruled it out, Guardiola shrugged: “It is none of my business. The Premier League will decide when they decide that VAR will be here.”
Wolves had been impressive from the start and midway through the first half, Raul Jimenez’s strike looked to have put them ahead only for the goal to be ruled out for a narrow offside.
That prompted an instant City response, Aguero’s snap shot hitting the post before Sterling’s thunderous effort was tipped at full stretch on to the woodwork by a brilliant Rui Patricio save.
The Wolves goal may have had a fortunate ending but it was set up superbly from Joao Moutinho’s pinpoint cross and City’s response was that of champions.
They could have gone ahead from a point-blank Gabriel Jesus header that again forced fine work from Rui Patricio and felt a foul on David Silva should have drawn a penalty.
“A lot of people are going to drop points here. They deserved the point,” City defender Kyle Walker said.
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo demanded that his players remain “humble” after their excellent result.
“We played in the shape and style we believe in. It’s an identity you want to create,” he said.