Monday, 20 May 2013

Match Reflection: Manchester City 2 - 3 Norwich

Norwich win adds to a miserable week for City

By Aaron Leggott

A compelling final day encounter between Manchester City and Norwich left a bitter taste in the mouth of City fans following a 3-2 defeat at home to the Canaries.

City pegged Norwich back twice during the game before Jonny Howson scored what proved to be the winner on 65 minutes with a superb solo effort.

Jack Rodwell scoring his second goal against Norwich
Official MCFC Facebook

Interim manager Brian Kidd, who made five changes to the team that beat Reading on Tuesday night, expressed his happiness that a difficult week at the club has finally come to an end.

"It's been an emotional week with the events at the club. Full credit to the lads, they've all got stuck in and you can't ask for anymore than that."

And the first game at the Etihad Stadium without Roberto Mancini saw the Blues deservedly lose only their second game in 48 league games - a record stretching back to December 2010.

City were below average in all aspects of the pitch, and were outplayed by a Norwich team who only clinched Premier League survival last weekend after beating West Brom 4-0.

But yesterday's win ensured Chris Hughton's men secured their highest top flight position since 1993 after finishing 11th.

The Canaries have been slated for their lack of firepower going forward but with the weight lifted off their shoulders proved to be a bonus as they threw everything they had at Joe Hart's goal.

With Ryan Bennett having his header cleared off the line, City were looking shaky before the visitors finally took the lead. With Wes Hoolahan looking dangerous, he eventually exploited the gaps in City's defence as he released Anthony Pilkington who fired past Hart.

Their lead didn't last long though, and just three minutes later Jack Rodwell equalised for the hosts after striking from close range.

Howson celebrates scoring the winner
Official Norwich Facebook
The goal didn't de-motivate Norwich though and went close to taking the lead thanks to efforts from Robert Snodgrass, Bradley Johnson and Russell Martin.

Their pressure paid off and they gained an advantage once again just 10 minutes after the break. A superb cross field ball from Howson found Snodgrass free on the edge of the box, as the winger found Grant Holt who made it 2-1 to the Canaries.

Defensively, City were all over the place - as was Norwich's ability to hold a lead. Just five minutes later, Rodwell grabbed his second of the day after his sweet finish finished off a slick counter attack by City.

Howson continued to prove why he is one of the most exciting talents in the Norwich squad though, and his goal to win the game displayed all of his talents in one move. After picking the ball up on the half way line, he evaded the challenges of City's defence before slotting the ball past Hart to finish one of the best individual goals this season.

Norwich were able to hold onto their lead towards the end of the game, and limited City to no chances in the last 20 minutes to secure a historic victory and gloss over a mixed season for Hughton's side.

Below are highlights from the game:


                           City                                                                                        Norwich
                            44%                                   Possession                                      56%
                          14 (5)                              Shots (on target)                                  13 (8)
                             7                                         Corners                                           7
                             8                                           Fouls                                             9

                                                                     Match Stats

What did Kidd say?

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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