Ruthless Adebayor cannot hide City limits

Manchester City 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0

Whatever the bookies may have thought – by their estimation Manchester City were 1-4 to win their first home game of the season – it was never going to be easy for the hosts. It never is.

But after nearly £100 million expenditure on new players this summer their fans had a right to hope, if not expect, that their side would win with a little bit more in hand than this against newly-promoted opposition.

In fact, this was exactly how City used to win home matches before all the Arab money came along. The fans had reason to think they had been short-changed, but they did not show their displeasure. After all, a win is a win.

Mark Hughes reckons the rest of the country is waiting for his side to fall flat on their face and on the evidence of this match they may not have long to wait. Wolves could consider themselves a little unfortunate not to come away with a point to go with the three they got at Wigan in midweek. And had they been a little less in awe of old moneybags and gone 4-4-2 a little earlier than after half-time, they might have got it.

Privately, Mick McCarthy may have thought so, but the Wolves manager is far too magnanimous to say so. "No, we didn't deserve a point," he said, "but I thought we nearly had a point – there's a big difference. I'd be barmy if I said we deserved one."

Be that as it may, City hearts were firmly in their mouths in the 69th minute when a long goal kick from Wayne Hennessey saw Kolo Touré head the ball straight to the feet of Andrew Keogh, Wolves' midweek match-winner. His shot was good enough to beat Shay Given but it rebounded back into play off the bar.

Of course, had Stephen Ireland scored as he should have done 11 minutes earlier when the excellent Robinho played him in with a return pass with just Hennessey to beat, City would have been smoking a cigar. And how Craig Bellamy, who came on for Carlos Tevez in the second half, missed a cross from the Brazilian with 10 minutes remaining, only he will know. But there was no getting away from the fact that for an attack-minded side it was not particularly impressive. Then again, City are a work in progress.

It is not often that the City manager finds himself taking succour from clean sheets (Blackburn, Barcelona and yesterday), as he did afterwards. "On chances created we should have put the game to bed quite early on," he said, "but I'd be more concerned if we weren't creating chances."

Reports that Emmanuel Adebayor and Robinho were doubtful proved about as well-founded as Merseyside theories that Everton will continue to resist City's stringent overtures with regards to Joleon Lescott. On the latter subject, according to Hughes, the two clubs were "speaking, which is a positive sign". It was just as well for City that the pair were fit to play.

Adebayor will no doubt get the lion's share of the plaudits for his second goal in two games for his new club, but it was the Brazilian's outrageous left-wing trickery that really did for Wolves in the first half. So concerned were they about the little man's skills that Wolves usually detailed two men to watch him. All that did, of course, was free up the space for others.

Robinho's handiwork was at the root of City's goal after 17 minutes, although by the time the ball reached Adebayor's feet, courtesy of Wayne Bridge's cross and Tevez's first-time pass, it was probably long forgotten. Even so, it was a fine contribution from the man from Togo who turned to beat Hennessey at his near post. If the Wolves keeper is any kind of perfectionist he probably would not have been too happy with his part in it.

It was just the kind of goal, coming at just the kind of time, to help dispel any first-night nerves on the part of City in front of their hugely expectant fans. Had they followed up quickly with a second, as they could have done through Adebayor again and Robinho, they may have turned on the style. As it was, they were gripped by a developing panic, that was probably kick-started by Matthew Jarvis when he forced Given into a full-length save. It almost did for them.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?