Guardiola reaches career possession low in Man City defeat at Wolves

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The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss saw his side starved of the ball as they played the majority of the match with 10 men

Manchester City recorded the lowest possession number of Pep Guardiola’s managerial career in their 3-2 defeat to Wolves on Friday night.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is renowned for building teams that rarely give the ball away and has regularly enjoyed the lion’s share of possession with City in the Premier League.

However, goalkeeper Ederson was sent off just 12 minutes into the reigning league champions’ match against Wolves, enabling Nuno Espirito Santo’s side to dominate the ball.

They restricted City to just 37.8% possession at Molineux – the lowest figure recorded by a side managed by Guardiola in top-flight history.

That number was significantly less than the second-lowest figure in Guardiola’s career, the 46.7% possession City had in their 2-1 victory over Chelsea in November.

Despite being a man down early on, City found themselves 2-0 up after 50 minutes, with Raheem Sterling converting the rebound of his retaken penalty in the first half and scoring again early in the second.

Their lead was not to last, however, and City allowed their two-goal advantage to slip as Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and Matt Doherty all netted to hand Wolves their first league double over City since the 1999-00 season in the second tier, and for the first time in the top flight since the 1960-61 campaign.

Wolves also become just the second team in history to complete a league double against a Guardiola side after Antonio Conte’s Chelsea first managed the feat in their title-winning 2016-17 season – Guardiola’s first in English football.

It was the first time City had lost a Premier League game having led by two or more goals since their 3-2 loss in April 2018 against Manchester United. In that game, the Red Devils came back from a 2-0 deficit at half-time to prevent their local rivals officially securing their status as champions in the Manchester derby.

Additionally, the loss to Wolves means Guardiola’s side have shipped 23 goals in their 19 league games so far this term – as many as they had conceded in the entirety of their last campaign.

If league leaders Liverpool win their game in hand against Wolves on Sunday, they could extend the 14-point gap between themselves and City to a seemingly unassailable 17 points.