Molineux Match Zone: Roberto calm before it kicks off
21:31 GMT, 22 April 2012
If Roberto Mancini was caught up in mind games, he wasn’t about to show his hand prior to kick-off.
One pre-match interviewer tried to hype the importance of Sunday's match but the Italian simply replied: ‘There was a five-point difference. Now it is six.’ You can bet the dark arts will be taken to another level during the course of the next week.
Keeping cool Roberto Mancini tried to underplay the importance of Sunday's match
… and his team didn't bottle it
It was a measure of just how worried Mancini was when David Silva was substituted shortly before the hour. Nigel de Jong was introduced in his place to protect the one-goal lead. And if he wasn’t feeling the pressure, Manchester City’s boss had a funny way of showing it.
A water bottle was hurled to the ground after just six minutes in frustration that an early chance had gone begging.
Wolves fans have not been slow to show their anger in recent weeks, particularly at the worst home run in the club’s history.
But they resorted to good old gallows humour as the final whistle approached singing: ‘Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, we’re going to Barnsley…’
Away days: Wolves will have a few less glamorous trips to make next season
Wolves did win after all
The half-time pitch announcer clearly had a sense of humour. After informing the stadium of the interval score at Anfield he asked for the crowd’s attention, saying: ‘There was an important match at lunchtime today’ and then proceeded to say that Wolves’ women had won the League Cup by beating Stoke City 2-0.
Joe Hart is known as one of the game’s good guys. And he was caught applauding and mouthing the words ‘great save’ when Wolves substitute Christophe Berra almost fired the ball past his own keeper Dorus de Vries in the closing stages.
Doris De Vries
The Dutch keeper had already conceded five against City in the Carling Cup this season. His last league match — for Swansea — saw him promoted to the top flight. This one saw him relegated from it.
He is fondly remembered at Molineux for his part in Wolves’ first Premier League campaign and got a warm reception.
He has not been a prominent figure but Mancini was grateful for his contribution as it was his superb pass that set up Aguero and his quick free-kick that led to the second goal.