Liverpool were hoping for a favour from Wolves when they travelled to Manchester City on Monday night but Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were unable to take any points away from the Etihad Stadium.
The visitors fell to a 3-0 defeat, Gabriel Jesus’ brace and Conor Coady’s own goal helping Man City eat into Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table.
Wolves’ task of getting anything out of the game became significantly tougher when, already trailing by a goal to nil, defender Willy Boly was sent off in the 19th minute.
Referee Craig Pawson flashed his red card after the Frenchman lunged in on Bernardo Silva with his studs raised.
Silva confirmed after the match that Boly apologised to him and Espirito Santo himself had no complaints about the decision.
“I haven't seen the images but I've spoken with the fourth official,” the 44-year-old told Sky Sports.
“It was a red card, no doubt about it.”
Mark Clattenburg weighs in
Espirito Santo will be interested to hear that former top flight official Mark Clattenburg doesn’t believe Boly deserved a red card.
Boly’s foot was low and according to Clattenburg, his challenge only warranted a yellow card.
“Willy Boly was unfortunate to be sent off for his challenge on Bernardo Silva,” Clattenburg told the Daily Mail.
“You must first consider that the Wolves defender won the ball before catching the Manchester City midfielder. That does not mean it is not a red card, of course.
“But Boly’s foot was low and he caught Silva on the ankle, not on the shin or higher.
“With instances such as this where the player wins the ball and his follow-through catches the opponent, we are advised that above the ankle is red, below is yellow.
“Consider this: if Silva hurdles the challenge then Boly’s tackle is probably applauded. As it is, Silva gets there after the defender and is caught. But where can Boly put his foot after he wins the ball?
“Yes, Boly leaves himself open to more than a yellow because of the force, but for me this would have been a free-kick and a caution.”
Wolves can probably feel hard done by, then.
Teams need the rub of the green when they play at the Etihad but Wolves’ gameplan was ruined before they knew it.