Norwich City 3, Manchester City 4

Russell Martin scores Norwich City's second goal. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Russell Martin scores Norwich City's second goal. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Saturday, December 29, 2012
5:17 PM

A storming fightback by Norwich City was not enough to rescue a point from a seven-goal thriller against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City at Carrow Road.

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The Canaries ended 2012 with a cracking contest for another full house but were always playing catch-up after going two goals down in a disastrous first five minutes, and in the end slipped to their third successive defeat in eight days.

The recalled Edin Dzeko struck twice for the Blues right at the start while Chris Hughton’s men were struggling to find their feet, although the contest looked a more even one by half-time thanks to Anthony Pilkington’s 15th-minute free-kick, his fourth goal of the season, and a red card for Samir Nasri one minute before the interval for a head butt on Sebastien Bassong.

Sergio Aguero made it 3-1 to the 10-man Blues five minutes after the break, but captain for the day Russell Martin headed the Canaries back into the contest on 63 minutes, only for Dzeko to strike for a third time four minutes later – officially credited as an own goal by keeper Mark Bunn as the shot ricocheted in at the near post.

Martin hooked in his second with 15 minutes to go to set up a barnstorming finish, but the champions held on by the odd goal in seven.

Skipper Grant Holt was missing for the second time in three matches, sidelined again after returning from a hamstring injury in the 1-0 home defeat against Chelsea on Boxing Day. Steve Morison replaced him in attack and on-loan striker Harry Kane was drafted in on the bench, but Kane was on before half-time as Morison hobbled off holding his thigh.

Manchester City showed four changes after the 1-0 defeat at Sunderland with recalls for Gael Clichy, Gareth Barry, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko in place of Kolo Toure, Javi Garcia, James Milner and Carlos Tevez, all of whom were on the substitutes’ bench.

Russell Martin was given the captain’s armband for the Canaries, who were defending the Barclay goal in the opening half, but not very effectively as Manchester City took less than two minutes to move ahead with a splendidly worked goal.

Aguero was the provider with a cross from the right after a knock-down by Dzeko, Silva met the centre first time with a perfectly-weighted pass and Dzeko rolled the ball home.

A Norwich attack broke down when Hoolahan failed to find Tettey, and with just over four minutes played, it was 2-0.

Kompany challenged Johnson strongly on halfway and sent Aguero clear and though Bunn raced out to try to gather, he came off second best and Aguero crossed for Dzeko to score a simple second.

Johnson was unhappy with referee Jones for allowing play to continue, as were the home crowd, but it was a disastrous start for the Canaries.

Rain was now sweeping in, making conditions similar to the Boxing Day game, but this time Norwich were to find the net.

A foul by Kompany on Snodgrass gave Norwich a free-kick just outside the Blues’ area and with 15 minutes gone, they reduced the arrears through Pilkington. Snodgrass dummied the kick and Pilkington drove it low, right-footed where it appeared to brush Clichy’s leg as it flew in the middle of the goal, while Hart moved initially to his left and could not readjust.

It was Pilkington’s fourth goal of the season, all of them at Carrow Road.

The Blues thought they might have had a penalty as Aguero tumbled over Bassong’s challenge but referee Jones was unimpressed.

Clichy was booked after 18 minutes for a foul on Snodgrass, who moments later curled a left-foot shot just past the angle of post and crossbar.

Garrido almost scored a spectacular own goal against his former club midway through the half when his attempt to lob the ball clear was dropping under the bar, requiring Bunn to tip it over for a corner.

Garrido did better with an important clearance from a cross by Zabaleta, then Snodgrass blocked a header from Kompany with his chest as Nasri swung in the resulting corner from the right.

Five minutes before the break, Yaya Toure thundered a shot inches past the post that would have given Bunn no chance.

There was drama just before the interval when the visitors were reduced to 10 men by the sending-off of Nasri.

Nasri reacted angrily to a foul by Bassong, which earned the Norwich man a yellow card, and as they squared up he ducked his head into Bassong’s face. Blues skipper Kompany tried to push Nasri away but before the Norwich players had finished protesting, referee Jones produced the red card for Nasri, who spent some time complaining before reluctantly trudging off.

In the final minute of the half, Morison, who had been holding his thigh, made way for substitute Kane.

• Half-time: Norwich City 1, Manchester City 2

Pilkington had a shot blocked by Zabaleta as the Canaries began the second period on the attack but after 50 minutes, the 10-man Blues restored their two-goal advantage.

Yaya Toure’s through-ball found Aguero, who left Bassong in his wake and flicked the ball over the advancing Bunn.

Toure then blazed over from an Aguero pass, with the help of a deflection, as the Blues looked to finish the game off.

With 57 minutes gone, both sides made changes as Milner replaced Silva for Manchester City, and the Canaries sent on Howson for Tettey.

A slip by Russell Martin enabled Aguero to get another shot in but a deflection took it harmlessly into Bunn’s hands.

Howson tested Hart with a low drive that the keeper pushed out for a corner – and it led to the goal that brought the Canaries back into the game on 63 minutes.

It was taken short and Snodgrass crossed to the far post, where Bassong headed it back and skipper for the day Martin jumped to beat Hart with a glancing header.

Just four minutes later, however, it was 4-2 as Dzeko appeared to complete his hat-trick – though the goal was officially credited as a Bunn own goal.

Play seemed to freeze as Dzeko latched on to Clichy’s through-ball but there was no offside flag as the big striker advanced and struck a powerful shot that went in via Bunn and the woodwork.

With 15 minutes left, Norwich replaced Hoolahan with Jackson as they waited to take a corner and immediately they reduced the arrears, Russell Martin scoring again.

Hart failed to gather the corner from Snodgrass, Kane had a shot blocked, Johnson miskicked as he followed up and Martin hooked the ball in left footed as Hart could only get his head to the shot.

The Blues made another change with nine minutes left as Lescott replaced Dzeko.

Bunn saved well from Aguero as he attempted to make it 5-3, and Pilkington was booked for berating the linesman for the lack of an offside flag.

Kompany was guilty of fouls on Kane and Jackson as the minutes ticked away and Turner struck the side netting following a free-kick.

Nastasic was being treated on the pitch after a tackle by Martin as the game entered stoppage time and when play resumed he fouled Snodgrass, but the winger’s free-kick was a waste.

Bunn saved again from Aguero, who trudged off very slowly to be replaced by Garcia.

A lucky rebound fell to Hart as a Snodgrass cross signalled Norwich’s last assault.

Norwich City: Bunn; Russell Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido; Tettey (Howson, 57), Johnson; Snodgrass, Hoolahan (Jackson, 75), Pilkington; Morison (Kane, 45). Subs (not used): Rudd, Ryan Bennett, Barnett, Elliott Bennett.

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Nasri, Yaya Toure, Barry, Silva (Milner, 57); Aguero (Garcia, 90), Dzeko (Lescott, 81). Subs (not used): Pantilimon, Kolo Toure, Sinclair, Tevez.

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Attendance: 26,827

Goals: Norwich: Pilkington (15), Russell Martin (63, 75). Manchester City: Dzeko (2, 5), Aguero (50), Bunn og (67)

Red card: Manchester City: Nasri (44)

Bookings: Norwich: Bassong (43), Johnson (52), Pilkington (83). Manchester City: Clichy (18)

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25 comments

  • We are all entitled to our opinions... I also agree that Bunn is not a great goalkeeper. He has had plenty of opportunities now - we cannot afford to keep leaking goals and he was at fault for two of them against Man City... It really is time we started with Declan Rudd, who is a very good goalkeeper.

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    Mel Lacey

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • My earlier comment about Bunn doesn't mean that I am disloyal,should be supporting another team or expect us to win every week.I am a die hard supporter of NCFC like Mad Brewer and the rest of us (trolls apart) in my case since Boxing Day 1946.Bunn is probably a smashing lad and has been doing his best but every team needs a good spine starting with the Keeper.Yes he can be a good shot stopper but you don't become a professional Keeper if you can't make good saves.A good keeper though is consistent in his work and his decision making and above all commands his area.For me,Bunn is not doing this and is costing us points and as we all know in this league every point is priceless.My confidence in Hoots is now high and I'm sure he has the answer.I read that Paul Robinson wants to play in the Premier.

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    irongloves

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • A week ago I hoped for maybe one point from the two matches, Man City and Chelsea but feared the sort of damage to our goal difference that Aston Villa have suffered in recent games. Realistically had both matches been four nil losses this would be a fair reflection of the difference in resources available to Norwich and the top four PL clubs. (That Premier League not the other PL). So well done Norwich and Hoots. You should be pleased with how the season has gone so far and be preparing for the challenges ahead. Onwards and upwards and give Declan a chance soon.

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    waclor

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • was morison injured or just coudnt be bothered?he would be a good buy for a championship side but he is not a premier league player!Im sure if holt had been playing, even not on his best form ,we would at least got a draw.Take away the goals from set pieces and where would we be?Ive said before we need a good striker,not one from the championship but a proven goalscorer at the highest level.come on delia have some ambition and splash the cash!

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Monday, December 31, 2012

  • You see Bunn's mistake but forget he made a awesome save in the second half from aguero who was clean through. And do so much better against a Man City team who have players worth more than our whole squad. 10 Men or not they are no easy opposition.

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    Ben Broom

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Hi Timbo! ;-). Agree with Mel, Dec is worth a start. He has the advantage of height over Bunn and, in his few opportunities, he`s not let the team down. It really is a shame that, just as Ruddy was becoming a class act, he picked up an injury. End of March return is nearly end of Season. I wish I was able to get to more games. :-(

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • Hoots was right to sign a 4th keeper because of the inexperience of the 2 lads..The problem is the keeper he signed..Bunn resembles to me a gorilla tied to each goalpost .He has already cost us 3 points and put us under pressure in the win over Sunderland.Another keeper is a priority.How good though to see young Kane put in more effort than seen from Morison all season.

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    irongloves

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Where is the boundary between "moaning" and reasoned comment though? A bit of reasoned criticism of our team by well meaning fans draws the teeth from the spiteful offerings of the troll brigade. Yellow & Green specs are fine, but I prefer an untainted view. That does not make me any less a fan of NCFC! That was a cracking game and, in Hootsese, had we shown more quality in the final third (particularly crossing) we would`ve got a point at least - and a deserved one. Thank goodness for Cafu`s contribution on the day. I`ve supported NCFC since Third Division (South) days! OTBC

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • Great effort but just shows what millions will buy,they looked like scoring with every player.If ever a game proved Morrison,Jackson,Martin etc are just not good enough then this was it.Not a moan in any way,just a fact of life.A quick powerful striker is a must.

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    woodfarm canary

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Morison should get man of the match, as him going off improved the whole side. OTBC

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    stewie57

    Monday, December 31, 2012

  • Pity we didn't win the last three games - we would be 5th on 34 Points by now ! Anyway, we lost three games - but the positive is we were always in with a shout and only lost by a single goal against three teams in the Top Seven - so no disgrace or cause for alarm. At the beginning of the season we'd have taken 25 Points from 20 games and be placed 11th by New Year. Five more wins from the next 18 games and we can start planning for our third PL season with an ever increasing and experienced squad. City will soon be able to deal with luxury issues, like pushing Carrow Road capacity up to 36,000 +. Happy New Year to All. OTBC ...PS: Archant please find a way to eliminate all the trolls who pollute these comments !!

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • 10 men yes, what a 10. i´am for one very proud of my team. so so easy to find fault

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    spanishcanary

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Agree tonyb ref striker quality. But we can`t expect Delia to splash out more of her personal cash, can we? I wonder what`s in the kitty, allowing for possible departures too? The "Ruddy to be cashed in" scenario dead in the water `cos of his injury? Who else in the possible exit queue is worth a substantial fee? Shalom, Timbo! Happy Rosh Hashana.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, December 31, 2012

  • if you want to win every game can i suggest you are supporting the wrong team, get real, we are NCFC and we are a top top club on a budget, so proud

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    spanishcanary

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • All the so called fans moaning about the goalkeeper quality and wanting this and wanting that should remember the size of our gates compared with more successful clubs who also merchandice all over the world. Spanish canary has got it about right when he suggests certain people are supporting the wrong club. Except for the first 4 minutes I thought the team put on a very hard working display which I found very entertaining and considering the "Superstars" in the Man C. team did a very good job. Remember where we were 3 years ago!

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    goldie

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • What a shame that we gave away 2 school playground goals in the first 5 minutes....giving ourselves an almost impossible mountain to climb. AND.....we almost did.............. We definitely need a powerful striker, and a tall goalkeeper in January Bunn has done some brilliant things.....but he has also cost us goals that Ruddy never would have.

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    Algarve Canary

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Goldie, I agree that the team put in a great performance. It's just a shame that the performance was seriously undermined by at least one dreadful goalkeeping error. We can't do anything about the shocking refereeing but we can do something about the goalkeeping.

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    DocOhNo

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • I think Bunn has been awful..his positioning is terrible..makes some eratic decisions and i think our defenders have had enough of him judging by their reactions. Should have Rudd in goal..cant do any worse. Hopefully Morisons inclusion was to attract attention for potential buyers

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    AC Canary

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • Hear, hear! on the trollery issue, Dubai. I am sure Ar-chant could banish much of it at a stroke - by calling a staff meeting and outlawing it, on pain of dismissal........ I think we are doing about as well as we might expect at this stage. If these 3 successive defeats had been mixed evenly into the unbeaten run of 10 it`d look like steady points-accumulation. More worrying is that we`re leaking early goals and too many of them (not in Aston Villa`s class, though). Not being a Bunn-basher BUT he lacks the authority, height and decision-making qualities of Ruddy. It again renders the defence shakier than it might be. That OG was unlucky; I can remember the Legendary Kevin Keelan doing similar `way back. Glad the ref adjudged Garrido`s lob a failed clearance rather than a c**p back-pass! Now we have injuries & suspensions, we might yet see Foxy in action? Or even Lapps? I`ll stick with 49 points & 10th place! OTBC. IHWT.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • Lets be honest tho, Bunn seems to drop a clanger every other game. The odd brilliant save doesn't make up for the simple stuff done badly. I still think we need cover. All in all a good display but as we've always said on this board, Ruddy + Holt need understudies. Just a slight lack of quality front + back, has cost us 3 draws in the last 3 games + landed us with 3 losses instead. Overall, I'd still have taken this position by New Year @ the start of the season. PS: " Oh Mr.Lambert, what are you going to do..? You'll end up managing Birmingham or maybe even Crewe "...

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    Timbo

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Oi Vey Brewer :-) ! Happy 2013 when it comes ( already). I defended Bunn in his 1st couple of games as it's hard to come off the bench + replace a class act like Ruddy. However it's now becoming more obvious with each passing match that Bunn is a Championship keeper not a Premiership one. He's looking a bit out of his depth + I wouldn't use him as cover for anything more than the odd game. He certainly isn't up to deputising for 3 whole months. Let's give Rudd a chance.

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    Timbo

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • Where is the boundary between "moaning" and reasoned comment though? A bit of reasoned criticism of our team by well meaning fans draws the teeth from the spiteful offerings of the troll brigade. Yellow & Green specs are fine, but I prefer an untainted view. That does not make me any less a fan of NCFC! That was a cracking game and, in Hootsese, had we shown more quality in the final third (particularly crossing) we would`ve got a point at least - and a deserved one. Thank goodness for Cafu`s contribution on the day. I`ve supported NCFC since Third Division (South) days! OTBC

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • Well said Brewer. I've supported City since 1969 (despite living in Manchester all my life surrounded by Reds + Blues) so I don't take any sarcastic cr*p about "supporting the wrong team" from anyone. If you took some people's opinions to their logical conclusion, you wouldn't dare criticise the team till we fell into the Blue Square Premier, for fear of being accused of disloyalty. We should be giving Declan Rudd ( a faithful City servant) his chance, rather than sticking with a gaffer like Bunn. It's that simple. Otherwise, we are doing superbly. Unlike certain East Anglian teams we could mention but we're "Knott" going to !

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    Timbo

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

  • Before we all start saying, hard luck and you tried hard, just look at how many times we actually made a good chance against 10 men, how many times did our midfield have the ball just waiting for someone to make a break, how many times did it look like we had a man over. OK it was only just one goal, but we lost. I'm sure CH realises our limitations and he has plans. We could be so much better.

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    Lobbo

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Let us not forget who we were playing against, the most expensive team in the country, and but for a "freak" goal it could have been a draw. It was nice to see the manager give Jackson a bit of a run out, I know theres competition for spots but you might get a little more effort if the bench warmers get a run occaisionally, they did all help get City where they are... Oh yea... maybe Villa will want to double the payment to City to take Lambert back. Eh!

    Report this comment

    canuk

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

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