Manchester city cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League to four points with a 3-0 win over Wolves at the Etihad.
Pep Guardiola’s men show no sign of backing down in the fight for their title and after seeing the Reds win at Brighton on Saturday, hit back on home soil with a comfortable win over Nuno’s side.
Gabriel Jesus, in red-hot form, opened the scoring inside 10 minutes, turning home Leroy Sane’s low centre.
And Wolves task was made much more difficult after 19 minutes, when Willy Boly was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Bernardo Silva.
Jesus added a second from the penalty spot before the break – after Ryan Bennett had brought down Raheem Sterling – before substitute Kevin de Bruyne saw his cross flick into the net off Conor Coady 13 minutes from time.
Here are five talking points from the Etihad…
1. Home comforts have Jesus thriving in the New Year
Gabriel Jesus had his mother, Vera Lucia. stay during the Christmas and New Year period, something that had been pinpointed as a major reason for his seven goals in four game spell.
She returned to the family home in Sao Paulo this week, and there had been some worries at the Etihad that her exit could lead to a downturn in performance from the Brazil striker.
But the 21-year-old, preferred to Sergio Aguero, simply picked up where he left off against Wolves , taking less than 10 minutes to net.
He coolly added a penalty before the break, sending Patricio the wrong way, to take his recent record to a scarcely believable nine in five.
Aguero may have to bide his time before getting his starting spot back.
2. Doherty pays the price
One of the stars on Wolves return to the Premier League has been Republic of Ireland international Matt Doherty.
The wing-back has been one of the major beneficiaries of Nuno’s arrival at Molineux, thriving on the right flank since Wolves switch to a back three 18 months ago.
He starred last term and has come up with key goals and assists this term.
But just shy of the 10 minute mark at the Etihad he switched off for a moment, less than half a second, and lost sight of Leroy Sane. With his body position all wrong, Doherty was caught out and Sane duly squared for Jesus’ opener.
It was a reminder to he and his teammates that, against such elite opposition, you can’t lose focus at all.
3. Laporte the playmaker
A few eyebrows were raised when City made Aymeric Laporte their club record signing last season (a mantle since taken on by Riyad Mahrez).
The only raised eyebrows where Laporte is concerned these days is when Didier Deschamps leaves him out of another France squad and City chiefs laugh and wonder what the World Cup winner is thinking.
Because Laporte has been outstanding for City, taking his game to a new level under Guardiola and bringing a potent mixture of physicality and finesse to the City defence.
His role in the opening goal can’t be underestimated here, coming out with the ball before firing a fine through pass that took out the entire Wolves team, springing Sane; it was magnificent.
While Guardiola has chopped and changed his defence this season, Laporte has been a mainstay. He’s started all but one of their Premier League matches, and played every minute in the Champions League.
4. De Bruyne desperate to impress
Kevin De Bruyne has missed a big part of this season due to injury.
But coming off the bench at the Etihad, it was clear the Belgian is out to inspire his side in their title defence.
At 2-0 and against 10 men, it would have been easy for De Bruyne to ease himself through it, perhaps even going through.
Instead, he was at the centre of everything, dictating play, driving his side on and imploring for more from his teammate.
With Bernardo Silva so impressive this term and David Silva being, well, David Silva, he knows his place isn’t certain unless he’s at 100% every single minute he’s out there.
5. Willy Boly’s red card
Virgil van Dijk only saw yellow in a crucial Champions League match for a tackle on Dries Mertens that wasn’t too dissimilar.
Vincent Kompany only got yellow for cleaning out Mo Salah with his follow through after winning the ball in City’s 2-1 win over Liverpool for a challenge that was reminiscent.
Wolves defender Boly instead saw red for catching Bernardo Silva with his studs after winning the ball initially.
It’s one of those that, one week is red, the next is yellow.
It’s just, seemingly, it tends to be the bigger clubs, at home, where its yellow, and the smaller clubs, away, where it’s red