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Match Reports

Norwich City v Manchester City

9 January 2016


NORWICH City were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup by a Manchester City side who eased to a 3-0 victory at Carrow Road.

Sergio Aguero and Kelechi Iheanacho put the visitors firmly in command at half-time with a goal apiece, reward for an impressive first half display from the pair in tandem.

The second half started out with both sides having opportunities, but when substitute Kevin De Bruyne scored with 12 minutes left on the clock, the tie was over.

Norwich's focus will now turn to a busy week ahead as they face trips to Stoke City on Wednesday and then Bournemouth on Saturday in the Barclays Premier League.

Seven changes were made from the 1-0 league win over Southampton as Alex Neil returned to the 3-4-3 system that he employed against the Citizens back in October.

John Ruddy started in goal, with Andre Wisdom slotting into right wing-back. Missing out on the matchday squad were usual regulars Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan and Alex Tettey, with back-to-back Premier League coming next week.

The visitors fielded a strong eleven that included starts for Nicolas Otamendi, Raheem Sterling and marksman Aguero.

City's supporters gave a warm reception to new recruit Ivo Pinto, who had completed a move from Dinamo Zagreb the day before, as he was introduced prior to kick-off.

The Canaries started confidently but Man City created the first chance of the match as young striker Iheanacho forced John Ruddy into a smart stop when he advanced into the area.

Aleksandar Kolarov then tested Ruddy from long-range as Manuel Pellegrini's team steadily took control of the contest, and on 16 minutes they earned the lead.

Sterling's backheel was picked up Aguero, who confidently strode beyond two challenges before poking the ball home beyond Ruddy - a goal that had been coming.

Cameron Jerome's persistance was troubling Man City's defence whenever he got the ball, and his work created an opening for Graham Dorrans on 26 minutes, who hit a well-struck effort at Caballero 20 yards out.

Ruddy denied Aguero up the other end after the Argentine had played a swift one-two with Iheanacho, but the two combined for the visitors' second just after the half hour mark.

Aguero was the provider, skipping a tackle before nudging a pass to Iheanacho, who guided the ball calmly into the back of the net.

Norwich were struggling to get the ball off their opponents, even though Jonny Howson did have a firm shot blocked by Otamendi as they finished it with some momentum.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 0-2 Manchester City

Neil elected not to make changes at the break and it was Man City who fashioned the first opportunity when Aguero and Iheanacho combined once again, with the latter curling an effort straight at Ruddy.

Jerome finished smartly when he was played in by Howson on 57 minutes, but unfortunately the tireless striker had drifted into an offside position.

Up the other end, Ryan Bennett made a well-timed challenge to deny Iheanacho who looked certain to score at the front post, with the game flowing end to end more than in the opening period.

Neil brought on Nathan Redmond and Gary O'Neil to try and push to get back in the game, while Pellegrini brought off the influential Aguero for defender Gael Clichy.

Jesus Navas struck the woodwork with a blistering strike for the Citizens, and Ruddy was alert when De Bruyne attempted to guide home the rebound.

De Bruyne got his goal on 78 minutes, however, and his team's third - the Belgian turned Bennett inside out before finishing from the angle, despite Ruddy's best attempts to keep it out.

City didn't cave in, though, as Dorrans drove a decent left-footed effort at goal before substitute Kyle Lafferty aimed a header - but both attempts were kept out by Willy Caballero.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 0-3 Manchester City

GOALS: Citizens: Sergio Aguero (16), Kelechi Iheanacho (31), Kevin De Bruyne (78)

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Bennett, Martin (c), Bassong (Lafferty 72); Wisdom, Dorrans, Mulumbu (O'Neil 64), Olsson; Howson (Redmond 63), Odjidja, Jerome. Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Whittaker, Mbokani, Andreu.

MANCHESTER CITY: Caballero; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Otamendi, Kolarov (c); Delph, Fernando; Navas, Iheanacho (Celina 85), Sterling (De Bruyne 61); Aguero (Clichy 70). Subs not used: Hart (GK), Sagna, Horsfield, Humphreys.

REFEREE: Mike Dean


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