Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has admitted his side faces a tough battle to regain the Premier League title from Liverpool this season.
Pep Guardiola's men managed to hold off a battling Wolves side on Monday night, who were perhaps a little unfortunate not to score more after missing several chances.
De Bruyne won a penalty and dispatched it himself to give his side the lead, before playing in Raheem Sterling who in turn laid it on for Phil Foden to slam in a second before the break.
Man City might have been expected to pile on the pressure but it was the Nuno Espirito Santo's charges who threatened more in the second half as the Manchester club held on. Raul Jiminez eventually headed in from a Daniel Podence cross after the Wolves man nutmegged De Bruyne to create space.
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But Gabriel Jesus wrapped it up for City in added time to give the visitors a 3-1 victory on their first league fixture of the new season.
Commenting on the game afterwards, Kevin De Bruyne was pleased to come through the game against one of their 'bogey sides' as Wolves achieved the double of City last season.
"I think we played really well," he said
"Obviously second half there's going to be stages where it's a little bit difficult because offensively they're really strong, but I think we played secure, we didn't take too many risks.
"And we knew with only two weeks of training it's going to be hard and we played secure. Props to the defensive midfielders because they kept it tight and I think we did really well."
Man City were missing a number of star players from their ranks for their opening fixture including injured Sergio Aguero and Ikay Gundogan, who it was revealed has recently tested positive for COVID-19 and is observing self isolation protocols.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher asked De Bruyne how vital it was for Man City to start their season well to prevent the Reds repeating the 18-point-gap at the top of the table, having already won two games in the Premier League before a ball was kicked at the Etihad.
De Bruyne labelled the new campaign as 'weird' but admitted if the title race turns out to be anything like last year, his club will need to be at their absolute best.
He said: "It's obviously hard, it's a weird season but we know you need to start well.
"Wolves have been a bogey team for us, so to come here and do this performance is encouraging because we're missing a few players. But the team did really well and the only thing we can do is play game-by-game. Thursday is another one and we'll try to do our best.
"We know if the pace is the same as the last three years then it's going to be a hard job but we want to fight against them. We need to fight against them. We make each other better and for me that's what sport is all about."
De Bruyne notched the most assists in the league last year, on the way to being named PFA Player of the Year but the City playmaker has eyes on bigger prizes for his team over personal accolades.
When asked about the chances of breaking Thierry Henry's all time assists record in the league he said: "I would prefer to have five goals, five assists and go away with the title. You can contribute in a lot of ways. I'm a midfielder.
"I know these days it's all about statistics but I try to set myself to play the best I can for the team and obviously if you have good numbers it's going to help myself, it's going to help the team but even if I play badly, then I need to contribute in one way or another and that's what I'm trying to do."