Lambert - Don’t be too quick to award Mancini’s superstars the title
Manchester City's masterclass was still not enough to convince Paul Lambert it is already time to crown the Blues as Premier League champions this season.
Lambert admits Roberto Mancini's star-studded squad are in a dominant position at the top after a five-goal show against the Canaries maintained their five-point advantage over city neighbours United following the latest round of weekend action.
The Blues now face a make-or-break game against Bayern Munich later this week that will decide their Champions League destiny; and Lambert believes fighting on multiple fronts can take its toll.
'Manchester United is a top side. Spurs are doing great. Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool will all have a say,' he said. 'I think five points is retrievable. That is nothing. I'm pretty sure the Manchester City manager knows that. He is trying to juggle some pretty hard games and the Champions League along with your domestic league.'
Mancini was able to introduce multi-million pound reinforcements in the shape of Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson, who both scored in late second half cameos to underline the riches at the Italian's disposal.
'I don't know how much Balotelli cost, but it's true – how do you compete with that?' said Lambert. 'With the lad Adam Johnson as well, it just shows the values are severe but what my group have got is a great willingness to have a go. You hold your hands up. We were beaten by the better side. That is there for everyone to see and I am honest enough to say that, but what I am delighted about is we never folded.'
Norwich's own non-league bred talent Steve Morison continued his own productive seam of goalscoring form with a fourth Premier League strike in the last five briefly raising hopes until Balotelli and Johnson sealed an emphatic victory.
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'If you don't take your chances when you come to a place like this, it's hard because they have a frightening squad,' said Lambert. 'The goal gave us a bit of confidence and the impetus to keep on going.'