Ruddy helpless as hosts win 3-1JOHN RUDDY was helpless to prevent Norwich City’s Under-21s falling to a 3-1 defeat against a good Manchester City outfit at Ewan Fields on Friday afternoon.
City’s stopper played his third match as he continues his recovery from a serious thigh injury, but a rampant first-half from the hosts earned them the three points.
Goals from Emyr Huws, John Guidetti and Denis Suarez in the opening 45 set the Citizens well on their way, but Norwich responded well after the break, even though Sam Kelly’s clever finish proved to be just a consolation.
Coach Scott Marshall said after the game: “The first-half was disappointing and we certainly let them know that at half-time. It’s not happened very often this season, but the second-half was much better.
“They got themselves in better position to put a foot in and they made it more difficult for them. We won the second-half 1-0!
“John (Ruddy)’s getting stronger all the time. He’s been great to have in the group and he’s a great professional.”
In front of Ruddy, Norwich fielded three trialists in an experimental line-up, while the home team named John Guidetti, who scored two when the clubs met earlier this year, while former City trainee and son of Bryan, Angus Gunn, was named amongst their substitutes.
The Canaries started well, with Jamar Loza having a shot blocked from inside the area within a couple of minutes and Ramil Sheriff heading a Michael Clunan corner wide.
Manchester City started to assert their authority, though, and took the lead on 22 minutes when Suarez’s corner from the left was met by captain Huws, who finished tidily into the corner.
They doubled their lead five minutes later – Greg Leigh crossed into the box, and after Guidetti’s initial skewed shot fell to Ewan McNeil, the City left-back’s clearance was misplaced straight back to the Swedish forward, who lashed home.
The confidence continued to spread through the Citizens and it warranted their third on 40 minutes when the impressive Suarez played a one-two with Guidetti, before cutting into the box and finish past Ruddy.
HALF-TIME: Manchester City Under-21s 3-0 Norwich City Under-21s
The second-half started off on more of an even keel, although Guidetti did test Ruddy’s handling with a fierce shot on 54 minutes.
Five minutes on, City got a goal that gave them hope of forcing a result – Kelly finished exquisitely, chipping over Ian Lawlor after being found by the tireless Loza.
Marshall’s side were much more organised as the second-half progressed, but Manchester City never really looked in danger of losing their advantage, even after Lawlor was forced into an acrobatic save from Michael Clunan’s set-piece.
The last third of the game was bereft of real chances, and the hosts held on for their third consecutive victory.
FULL-TIME: Manchester City Under-21s 3-1 Norwich City Under-21s
Goals: Manchester City – Huws (22), Guidetti (27), Suarez (40) Norwich City – Kelly (59)
Teams - Manchester City Under-21s: Lawlor; Wabara, Plummer, Boyata, Leigh; Fofana, Ntcham (Facey 86), Huws (c), Suarez, Razak (Mancini 70); Guidetti (Glendon 58). Subs not used: Marin, Gunn (GK).
Norwich City Under-21s: Ruddy; Carroll, Sheriff (c), Gafaiti, McNeil; Clunan, Nkumu (Grant 88), Kelly, Ashton (Heath 74); Loza, St Louis (Simpson 65). Subs not used: Steer (GK), N Fox.