Football: Manchester City 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 - City are thrown to the Wolves

ROBBIE KEANE made it a frustrating return to the First Division for City who, despite a siege lasting most of the second-half, could not find a way to wipe out his decisive goal.

Keane, a player most Wolves supporters feared would have moved onwards and upwards by now, struck on the half-hour, meeting Carl Robinson's flick- on and hammering a right-footed shot from a difficult angle between Nicky Weaver and his near post. For all the effort expended and the pressure exerted, it was not a finish you could visualise any of City's strikers matching.

Defeat was a poor reward for a performance that did not lack enterprise. From the start, City's priority was to get the ball to their wingers, Terry Cooke and the summer signing from Wimbledon, Mark Kennedy.

It was reminiscent of some of Joe Royle's buccaneering and highly successful Oldham sides, but an important side of the equation went missing when Danny Granville, on loan for three months from Leeds, went off after 14 minutes with a hamstring injury.

Even in his absence, and despite Haavard Flo hitting the post with a header, City continued to make the running. Gerard Wiekens almost forced in a Cooke free-kick, Mike Stowell made a flying one-handed save from Andy Morrison's header and Kennedy put a low cross right through the six- yard box.

Keane's beautifully taken goal jolted them out of their stride and, even when they tore into Wolves after the break, there was more quantity and quality about their attacks.

Amid a string of corners and a couple of frantic goalmouth scrambles, Wiekens had a header cleared off the line and Morrison put one just wide. A Wolves defence expertly marshalled by the 35-year-old former City captain Keith Curle and the equally impressive Neil Emblen was never seriously inconvenienced.

Even in the six minutes, generously added on by way of a last chance to retrieve the situation, City could not fashion the clear-cut opportunities they needed, although Gareth Taylor put a header over the bar.

"I don't think we've been at our best, but it's been a bit of a smash and grab from their point of view," Royle said.

The Wolves manager, Colin Lee, joked when a mobile phone rang during his press conference that the caller might be John Gregory, who has already had a pounds 5m bid on behalf of Aston Villa for Keane turned down.

Royle said before the game that the calibre of the opposition in their first half-dozen games would tell City much about the job that lies ahead in this division. Considering that Wolves are in one of their quieter phases and not widely expected to be battering the Premiership door down, this result will be a sobering start for City's ever expectant fans.

Manchester City (4-4-2): Weaver; Edghill, Wiekens, Morrison, Granville (Crooks, 14; Taylor, 69); Cooke, Whitley, Horlock, Kennedy; Goater, Dickov. Substitutes not used: Bishop, Allsopp, Wright (gk).

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Stowell; Muscat, Emblen, Curle, Naylor; Bazeley, Robinson, Osborn (Sedgley, 70), Sinton; (Simpson, 75) Flo, Keane (Corica, 81). Substitutes not used: Mautone (gk), Green.

Referee: T Heilbron (Newton Aycliffe).

Man of the match: Emblen.

Attendance: 31,755.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
people
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Programme Planner

£30000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Messaging Support Consultant

£40000 - £45000 per annum + bonus + bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Messa...

Supply Chain Manager

Not Specified: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's most progressive and innova...

Senior SAP FICO Consultant, £60,000 - £65,000, Manchester

£55000 - £65000 per annum: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP FICO Consultant...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor