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Grealish thanks Guardiola for his support after Wolves goal

Jack Grealish has thanked Pep Guardiola for backing him after scoring in the first minute of Manchester City’s comfortable 3-0 win over Wolves at 10.

City’s record £100million hit after just 53 seconds in Saturday’s Premier League opener at Molineux.

It was a perfect response from Grealish, who came under fire after an indifferent display against Borussia Dortmund in midweek after suffering a frustrating start to his second season at City.

Grealish told BT Sport: “People rightly asked questions, I should score more and get more assists.

“I will always have people talking about me with the money that has been spent on me, but in my whole career I haven’t scored enough goals. I want to add that to my game.

“It’s good when Pep defends me. He was brilliant with me. I probably have to thank him because he gave me the opportunity today after my performance on Wednesday because it probably wasn’t the best.”

City manager Guardiola publicly defended Grealish ahead of the game and reiterated his confidence in the midfielder’s abilities.

The boss said, “They don’t have to say thank you. I told them several times that they are here because I trust them all unconditionally. Jack is no exception.

“He scored a goal and it was a good performance. Of course I’m happy for him, for the win.”

Grealish’s opener was followed by another goal from the prolific Erling Haaland 15 minutes later, his 14th in just his 10th appearance for City.

Wolves’ frustration was then compounded by the dismissal of Nathan Collins for a poor challenge on Grealish but, despite a spirited second-half display from the hosts, Phil Foden claimed victory after 69 minutes.

Guardiola was delighted to see the goalscoring load shared with Haaland.

He said: “Always when we get up there the players have permission to open the door and enter the box. No one is allowed to do that there.

“Erling continues to score goals, it’s great. Julian (Alvarez) had his chance, it’s great. But the others must also have the desire, the hunger and the mentality to score goals.

Scoring is proving a problem for Wolves, who have scored just three times in seven games.

Forwards Sasa Kalajdzic and Raul Jimenez are both injured while new signing Diego Costa has not been deemed fit for the game.

Coach Bruno Lage said: “When you don’t score goals it’s a worry and that’s why we have these three forwards. Unfortunately, no one is available to play.

“Even Manchester City and a manager like Pep Guardiola understand that you need a reference inside the box to score goals, especially in the Premier League.”

Lage was nonetheless pleased with his side’s performance in the second half.

He said: “I don’t think there are too many teams in the world that can do what we did against this top team with 10 men.

“The players were brave and confident. They made a few mistakes but there were times when we were very good.

Lage didn’t complain about the red card.

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