Sport Soccer

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Bravo saves City's blushes as Wolves halt Aguero's bid

Manchester City 0 Wolves 0 (City win 4-1 on pens, aet)

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and his manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Reuters
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and his manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Reuters

Luke Edwards

Claudio Bravo was Manchester City's hero as he made two penalty saves to break Wolves resistance in the shoot-out after 120 minutes failed to break the deadlock at the Etihad Stadium.

The home fans had come to witness Sergio Aguero breaking Manchester City's goalscoring record, but when it came to scoring the goal that would break Eric Brook's record, the Argentinian fluffed his lines, seven chances coming and going without the net bulging. Wolves, though, were superb and fully deserved to take City into extra time.

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne takes a free kick. Photo: Getty Images
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne takes a free kick. Photo: Getty Images

Indeed, the Championship leaders had the chances to knock Pep Guardiola's side out of the League Cup, as their young striker Bright Enobakahare was sent in on goal three times only to be denied on each occasion by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Aguero played like a man with a record to break, his usual eye for a goal became tunnel vision, his desperation to get things over and done with evident from the moment he tried his luck from just outside the area with a shot that was comfortably saved by a diving Will Norris.

A few minutes later and the Etihad prepared to rise in adulation of their hero. Raheem Sterling slipped a low ball through a crowded area to find Aguero, unmarked, running in to strike a shot from the penalty spot. Aguero's finish was too nonchalant and with half of the goal to aim at he dragged the shot wide.

City were dominant, but they were also frustrated. Wolves really were enjoying themselves. Without Kevin De Bruyne to spot the gaps, City rapidly ran out of ideas about how to unlock a packed defence and it was the Championship side who went closest when Ryan Bennett's header was plucked out of the air by Bravo.

Wolves players wait together before the penalty shoot-out. Photo: Getty Images
Wolves players wait together before the penalty shoot-out. Photo: Getty Images

The final word in the first half belonged to Wolves as Enobakhare hustled a mistake out of the shaky Eliaquim Mangala to run in on goal, but Bravo read his intention and saved with his feet.

After the break Bravo once again enhancing his battered reputation by spreading himself well to deny Helder Costa from close range. Aguero had another chance to give them what they wanted, but having been gifted the ball by a terrible clearing kick from Norris, the goalkeeper made amends, diving at the feet of the striker as he tried to dribble around him.

This was not his night and Wolves should have made it theirs with nine minutes remaining after yet another mistake from Mangala, who tripped and fell and let Enobakhare in on goal again. He could have written the headlines, but he took too long and Tosin Adarabioyo got back to make a vital tackle. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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Telegraph.co.uk

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