2 years ago
An outstanding performance from the Canaries saw City beat Premier League champions 3-2 in a wonderful game at Carrow Road.
Kenny McLean opened the scoring for City from a corner after 18 minutes and Todd Cantwell doubled Norwich's lead with a brilliantly-worked move 10 minutes later. Sergio Ageuro pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time but Teemu Pukki restored the Canaries' two goal cushion shortly after the break after a huge mix-up in the visitors' defence. Rodrigo fired in from distance from 88 minutes to set up a franatic last five minutes but Norwich held firm to pick up a stunning second win of the season.
Daniel Farke reacted to his sobering injury list by making four changes to City’s last Premier League outing at the London Stadium. Ibrahim Amadou made his first league start for the Canaries, playing at centre-back alongside Ben Godfrey, who had shaken off a groin strain picked up on England U21 duty. Sam Byram was awarded his first Premier League start since March 2018 at the expense of the injured Max Aarons, who suffered ankle problems making a goal-saving tackle for England Under-21. In the middle of the park, Alex Tettey – named as captain – was brought in for his first start of the season (and his 73rd Premier League appearance) alongside Kenny McLean, replacing the injured Tom Trybull and Moritz Leitner. Mario Vrancic had also been ruled out with injury.
Farke was forced to name two goalkeepers on the bench. Among the seven was Adam Idah, who took his place on the bench for the first time, and a returning Grant Hanley.
Pep Guardiola reacted to Aymeric Laporte’s long-term injury by bringing in John Stones into the hear of defence. Elsewhere, Kevin de Bryune was rotated to the bench, but Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero all started.
Manchester City, in a 4-3-3, forced an early corner that tall midfielder Rodrigo looped straight at Tim Krul.
The first 10 minutes saw the visitors see plenty of the ball, as expected, with Norwich looking to attack quickly towards the River End. Marco Stiepermann showed a sudden burst of pace on hallway to skip away from two men and slide Teemu Pukki through, but the Finn couldn’t gather.
Norwich started playing with more confidence and moved the ball around well, with Emi Buendia and Stiepermann causing problems. On 18 minutes a slick move from left to right resulted in a Tettey cross being deflected behind for a corner.
Buendia’s delivery was pinpoint to the near post and McLean crashed home a header into the top corner to put City 1-0 up against the champions.
The visitors hit back strongly, but Norwich’s were defending their box well. Sterling chanced his arm with a curling effort that went well wide, before he picked out Aguero at the back post but he headed a tricky chance over the bar.
Aguero was made to pay a minute later when Cantwell doubled City’s lead. Buendia showed outrageous ability to flick the ball over his man before setting Stiepermann away. He slid through Pukki, who showed great pace to get ahead of Nicolas Otamendi before unselfishly squaring it to Cantwell, who rolled the ball home.
Two minutes later City’s lead was almost halved when Sterling, left unmarked, headed a good chance against the post.
On 35 minutes, City were adamant they should have had a penalty when Stones handballed from a corner. However he had very little time to react from a deflection, and it was deemed accidental.
Manchester City were camped around Norwich’s box for the final 10 minutes, and although they weren’t creating chances, Aguero took advantage of their one clear-cut opening on the stroke of half-time. Ilkay Gundogan swung in a cross from the left and Aguero found space between Godfrey and Amadou to head past Krul, who had no chance.
A minute later referee Kevin Friend blew for the end of a frantic first-half.
Manchester City started the second half on the front foot but it was Norwich who had the first chance, on 49 minutes. Pukki closed sown Otamendi on halfway and the ball rebounded to Stiepermann who played a first-time pass back to Pukki. He raced through on the left but sent his shot wide of Ederson’s far post.
The visitors’ backline didn’t learn from that however, and a minute later Otamendi was dawdling on the ball in his own area from a goalkick. Buendia sensed the opportunity, robbed him on the blindside and rolled the ball across the area for Pukki to stab high into the net to send the Norwich fans wild.
On 59 minutes Guardiola rolled the dice with a double substitution. De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus entered the fray, replacing David Silva and Gundogan. It seemed to make an immediate difference, as Manchester City camped in Norwich’s half. But the Canaries here holding form as De Bruyne whipped in first-time cross after first-time cross. One of his corners on 68 minutes found the head of Otamendi but he headed straight at Krul.
As City looked to have weathered a 15-minute storm, Guardiola made his final substitution, bringing on Riyad Mahrez for Silva.
With Norwich seeing more possession, Manchester City hit the hosts on the break and almost pulled one back with 12 minutes to go. Sterling chipped a cross into the middle from the left, and Aguero looped his header over the bar when he should have done better.
With eight minutes remaining Norwich made their first chance, with Josip Drmic replacing the outstanding Buendia.
Just two minutes remained when Rodrigo struck a sweet drive into the bottom corner from 20 minutes to set up a nervy last five minutes. The Premier League champions threw everything forward, but Krul made three good saves from shots straight at him and City held firm to pull off a brilliant victory.
Norwich: Krul, Byram, Godfrey, Lewis, Cantwell, Buendia (Drmic, 83), Stiepermann (Srbeny, 89), Pukki, McLean, Amadou, Tettey (c)
Subs not used: Fährmann (GK), McGovern (GK), Hanley, Heise, Idah
Goals: McLean (18), Cantwell (28), Pukki (50)
Bookings: Byram (45+2), McLean (64), Cantwell (87)
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Sterling, Gundogan (De Bruyne, 57), Aguero, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Bernardo Silva (Mahrez, 73), David Silva (Jesus, 57), Otamendi
Subs not used: Bravo, Fernandinho, Cancelo, Foden
Goals: Aguero (45), Rodrigo (88)
Bookings: Bernardo Silva (69)
Referee: Kevin Friend
Kick-off time: 5.30pm
Venue: Carrow Road