England forward Raheem Sterling’s 100th Premier League goal was enough to earn leaders Manchester City a 1-0 win over 10-man Wolverhampton Wanderers Saturday.
Wolves were doing a fine job of frustrating City in the opening period before striker Raul Jimenez’s dismissal for two yellow cards in quick succession in first-half stoppage time changed the complexion of the game.
City dominated the second half as a result, edging in front through Sterling’s penalty – a decision that required a lengthy Video Assistant Referee check – in the 66th minute.
The Premier League, often referred to as the English Premier League or the EPL (legal name: The Football Association Premier League Limited), is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL). Seasons run from August to May with each team playing 38 matches (playing all 19 other teams both home and away). Most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
The competition was founded as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from the Football League, founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights sale to Sky.
From 2019-20, the league’s accumulated television rights deals were worth around £3.1 billion a year, with Sky and BT Group securing the domestic rights to broadcast 128 and 32 games respectively. The Premier League is a corporation where chief executive Richard Masters is responsible for its management, whilst the member clubs act as shareholders. Clubs were apportioned central payment revenues of £2.4 billion in 2016–17, with a further £343 million in solidarity payments to English Football League (EFL) clubs.
The Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. For the 2018–19 season, the average Premier League match attendance was at 38,181, second to the German Bundesliga’s 43,500, while aggregated attendance across all matches is the highest of any association football league at 14,508,981.
Most stadium occupancies are near capacity. The Premier League ranks first in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons as of 2021. The English top-flight has produced the second-highest number of UEFA Champions League/European Cup titles, with five English clubs having won fourteen European trophies in total.
The home side had plenty of chances to make the result more comfortable, with Jack Grealish’s struggles since becoming the British record transfer in the close season continuing as he missed from close range.
However, one goal proved enough for City who picked up their sixth successive league win to move four points clear of Liverpool, who host Aston Villa later Saturday, at the top of the standing.
Wolves, who battled hard as decisions went against them at Etihad Stadium, stay eighth on 21 from 16 games.