Wright-Phillips rises above the panic

Manchester City 3 Wolves 3

It is probably a good thing that Kevin Keegan missed this match. The Manchester City manager's injured frame might have been able to withstand it, but whether his nerves are that robust is a moot point as his team would reduce James Bond to running round shouting: "Don't panic!"

They survived but how is a wonder because Wolves did everything but record their first away Premiership win. They led 2-0 and 3-2, missed a penalty and hit a post but City, half-hearted and nervous, hung on, Shaun Wright-Phillips getting a late equaliser.

Wolves now look doomed, but City? Who knows? Probably not even Keegan, whose bad back invites comments about bad forwards and midfielders too. They are now two points clear of the drop zone and the sooner he returns the better. "It's exciting but it's not good for your health," Arthur Cox, Keegan's stand-in, said with a nod to his manager's incapacity. "For the first time I sensed some nervousness in the dressing room because of our League position."

Wolves established their superiority immediately and their first goal, after 14 minutes, was not a surprise even if its manner was. Camara's corner was insipid but after Michael Tarnat cleared with unnecessary haste, Kennedy lashed it into the top corner with the outside of his left foot. A former City player, he celebrated by standing in front of the home bench pointing to the name on his shirt.

If the writing was on the old gold then, it appeared to be etched on the wall for City after 23 minutes when their defence collapsed again to let Wolves go 2-0 ahead. Lee Naylor crossed, the ball bounced off a combination of Cort and Tarnat, and after David James had saved from Camara, Cort followed up.

City and predictability are not natural bedfellows and with an embarrassing defeat looming - Camara also hit a post in a breathless first half - they dragged themselves to parity. Their first goal, after 24 minutes, was a classic striker's goal, Anelka sprinting to beat his marker to meet Tarnat's cross at he near post, and their second, 15 minutes later, also came from Tarnat's accuracy from the flanks when Sibierski's determination got the better of Paul Butler.

If Butler was ponderous then, City's Richard Dunne made him look like a greyhound in comparison in the 64th minute, and, when he was caught out by Camara's speed for the umpteenth time, he upended the Senegalese sriker. Colin Cameron's penalty was to James' right but the England goalkeeper guessed right.

James had saved City but such was the ineptitude in front of him it was inevitable Wolves would strike again and they did so with 12 minutes to go. Paul Ince was fouled by Joey Barton and, when Kennedy's shot was saved by James, Camara and Dunne raced for the rebound. Needless to say, Camara won.

Had Wolves? With the game in stoppage time Tarnat's free-kick was cleared by Kennedy to Wright-Phillips who was faced by an area so crowded it could have been the nearby M60. With admirable cool he kept his shot low and it skidded through the congestion into the far corner.

"Football can be cruel sometimes," was the Wolves' manager Dave Jones' critique. City may yet find that out for themselves.

Manchester City 3
Anelka 24, Sibierski 39, Wright-Phillips 90

Wolves 3
Kennedy 14, Cort 23, Camara 78

Half-time: 2-2 Attendance: 47,248

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence