Pep Guardiola took a much kinder approach with Manchester City’s support after the 3-0 mauling of Wolves at The Etihad on Sunday, while also providing an update on Phil Foden’s injury that kept him out of the game.
Erling Haaland hit his fourth hat-trick of the season as the reigning Premier League champions maintained their title hopes with a comfortable victory over Wolves.
The prolific Norwegian’s treble took his goal tally for the season to 31 in all competitions and carried City to successive league victories for the first time since the World Cup.
After a scrappy opening, Haaland headed City in front five minutes before the interval and doubled the lead from the penalty spot after 50 minutes.
He claimed a third four minutes later and then, with his job done, left the field just after the hour.
City’s victory, coming after Thursday’s dramatic fightback against Tottenham, kept City firmly in the title picture and further eased concerns about their form after indifferent results earlier in the month.
And speaking after the game, Guardiola was happier with what he saw from the fans on Sunday, telling BBC’s Match of the Day: “I prefer they boo and criticise than be silent.
“I want my fans to demand the maximum when we don’t play good, I think that when they are with this energy the players feel it.
“The players feel it, I feel it, everyone feel it. They come here to have fun, I think the last years have been fun. So it was just a question of come on and let’s do it again.”
Pep hails timing of City goals
As for the games itself, Guardiola added: “Very pleased. We played two days and a half ago. Happy with the team for everything, recovery. Of course Wolves are not high in the table but we saw it in the second half, the quality they have.
“We competed really well and we scored the goals in the right moments in the second half. We had chances in the first half. In the second half they pushed us a little bit more. Another victory after our victory over Tottenham – it was important to continue in this way.
“We were patient and you know they will play long balls against you. They have the quality to do it with Ruben Neves, Mateus Nunes, Mario Lemina, all the players. They have quality. After the first half especially, with the pace of Adama [Traore], they were always a threat. We were serious and we make a fantastic game.
Guardiola also confirmed Phil Foden missed Sunday’s game with a foot injury he initially picked up in the Manchester derby defeat at Old Trafford last week.
The City boss added: “He jumped with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and had a problem with his foot. It has been a bit up and down and is a little bit uncomfortable so we decided with the doctors to rest it.
“See if he arrives against Arsenal [City face the Gunners in the FA Cup on Friday night].”
Stones praises fast City start
John Stones, speaking to Sky Sports, also praised City’s patience: “Really good, we always have a difficult game against Wolves. They are very organised and athletic. We had to be patient to get that goal today and break them down. I thought we did so well after the other day. Especially in the first half we weren’t at it and the manager made that clear.
“We knew today we had to hit the ground running and get off to a good start, playing with tempo and that set the game.
“I didn’t see the comments from Pep. But I knew what he said to us at half-time and what he wants from us and what he knows we can do and us as players when you are not playing as well as you can and in the second half we came out and showed it but it was too late but we got the win.
“Today we knew that we had to do that from the off and we did. The patience and desire was there and we were scoring goals and creating chances. Obviously a clean sheet is massive now.
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