Pep Guardiola praised Kevin De Bruyne after he starred in Manchester City’s victory at Wolves.
The midfielder’s penalty and goals from Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus gave City a deserved 3-1 win at Molineux.
They outclassed Wolves before the hosts hit back in the second half, with Raul Jimenez pulling a goal back only for Jesus to end their comeback hopes in stoppage time.
Confident City opened their Premier League campaign with victory and De Bruyne, the reigning PFA Player of the Year, starting where he left off last term.
City boss Guardiola said: “Since we came back with the national teams, every training session I feel his commitment and right now he’s an important player for us – always will be.
“In the situation we’re in now he is important for us. His penalty was strong, he played really well like all the team.
“He likes to play football, he doesn’t feel the pressure and likes to compete at a high standard.”
City dominated for long spells before Wolves recovered after the break and Guardiola was happy with his side’s display.
He added: “I’m very pleased with the performance and the way we played. All the team were really good, especially in the first half.
“The period that we are in and the situation we’ve had in these last two weeks, I expect in some moments we would suffer, but in general we controlled the game.”
De Bruyne opened the scoring from the spot in the 20th minute after Romain Saiss brought him down.
Foden doubled the lead 12 minutes later when he finished off a flowing move from Raheem Sterling’s cutback.
City were dominant but Wolves fought back in the second half and Daniel Podence chipped over after going clean through.
Jimenez fired wide but did make it 2-1 in the 78th minute, heading in Podence’s cross to spark a nervy finish.
But Jesus calmed City with a crucial third in injury time, firing in via a deflection off Conor Coady.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who is close to signing Barcelona defender Nelson Semedo, said: “It’s clear we performed better in the second half.
“We adjusted better, we created chances and moments. We scored late and we knew one goal would change everything.
“There are always positives but we were bad defensively in our box and in the second half we should have been more clinical.
“We should do better, especially defensively. The result cannot stop us from going in this direction. I take the positives but to play well we must defend better.”
Asked about further arrivals before the end of the transfer window, Nuno added: “It is important we straighten and balance the squad. We saw today we had problems, we need more solutions which always make us competitive.”