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Norwich City v Manchester City – Last Time at Carrow Road

Revisiting A Disastrous Day for Pep’s Men

FBL-ENG-PR-NORWICH-MAN CITY Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

14th September 2019

Manchester City last visited Carrow Road in September 2019 to face newly promoted Norwich City. The champions had started the season strongly, winning three of their opening four matches and sat two points behind Liverpool, who had a 100% record so far.

By comparison, Norwich had won one and lost three of their first four matches, and with ten goals conceded, the Canaries already had the worst defensive record in the Premier League. Norwich were missing eight first team players as they took to the field, and the travelling faithful had no idea of the horror to come from their side.

Manager Pep Guardiola fielded John Stones alongside Nicolas Otamendi in the heart of City’s defence due to an injury to Aymeric Laporte, and the club’s failure to replace the outgoing Vincent Kompany came back to haunt them in dramatic style.

Kenny McLean was allowed space to meet a corner in the 18th minute to thump Norwich into the lead. No one picked up the run from McLean and his header beat Ederson at his near post. And things got worse for City when Teemu Pukki was released and, with the City defence stretched, played the ball across goal to Todd Cantwell who slotted home and give the home side a 2-0 lead after just 28 minutes.

Raheem Sterling hit the post with a header as City tried to respond but, despite dominating possession, it was already starting to look like being one of those days for the blues. City did get on the scoresheet to give the travelling army a glimmer of hope on the stroke of half-time.

Bernardo Silva’s cross into the box was met by the head of Sergio Aguero, who diverted the ball past Tim Krul in the Norwich goal. The Argentine striker was completely unmarked as Silva’s cross came in and City’s all-time record goalscorer was not going to miss from there.

If the City fans though that was the start of a dramatic comeback that would see us take the three points, they were about to be disappointed. In the first few moments of the second half, City gave the ball away in their own half, but Pukki was unable to capitalise. It was a warning that the blues defenders didn’t heed and within five minutes of the second half, Norwich went 3-1 up.

Nobody quite knew what Otamendi was thinking as he dallied on the ball on the edge of the penalty area. With his back to play, he seemed to have no idea that Emiliano Buendia was closing him down and the Norwich man nicked the ball of the Argentine, before passing to Pukki. The chance seemed to have gone as the Finnish striker looked to get the ball caught under his feet, but he managed to untangle himself and fire home to send the home crowd wild.

City pushed to get back into the game but found Aguero off target, the Norwich defence resolute and Krul in great form as the home side kept the blues at bay.

City did pull a goal back with two minutes remaining through Rodri to give the fans hope of scrambling a draw. The Spaniard received the ball just outside the penalty and unleashed a vicious shot that flew through the defence and left Krull finally beaten. It was his first goal in a City shirt which and it was a finish that sparked City to life again.

And Aguero almost rescued a point in the last moments of normal time, but saw his shot saved by the keeper. De Bruyne played the ball in, and the Argentine danced his way into he penalty area, but Krul was equal to the low shot and saved comfortably.

With the home fans baying for the final whistle, Gabriel Jesus and Sterling both saw shots saved by Krul as Norwich clung on for only their second win of the season and condemn City to a first league defeat since January.

Final Score: Norwich City 3-2 Manchester City