Barclays Premier League
Norwich City 1-6 Manchester City

 

 

Tevez (pictured), who scored in midweek, has now netted four goals in two Premier League starts since coming back into City's first team


 

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor from Carrow Road


Carlos Tevez scored a superb hat-trick as Manchester City destroyed Norwich to move within two points of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.  

The trio of David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Tevez were given free reign by their Italian manager Roberto Mancini - and the visitors reaped the reward from the newly reunited Argentinian partnership, seeing the duo get a five-goal haul between them as well as a late sixth from Adam Johnson.

Norwich, who produced a fantastic performance in their 2-1 victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Monday, named an unchanged side with Aaron Wilbraham continuing in attack alongside captain Grant Holt. Daniel Ayala and Marc Tierney have been ruled out for the rest of the season, giving young Ryan Bennett and veteran Adam Drury a run in the team in defence.

City manager Mancini, aware of the threat the Canaries possessed, picked a full strength side for the game, combining the Argentinian flair of a strike force made up of Aguero and Tevez with the silky passing of Silva. The only change to the team from the 4-0 win over West Brom in midweek came at right-back with Pablo Zabaleta coming in for Micah Richards.

An incisive pass from Gareth Barry created the first clear-cut chance, finding Tevez in the box his first touch was poor but he managed to nudge the ball into the path of Silva, whose shot from eight yards was brilliantly saved by John Ruddy.

Many of City's fans were incensed by Manchester United’s penalty against QPR and they had another reason to be disappointed with officials after Tevez was booked for diving by referee Chris Foy, although replays showed that Bennett made substantial contact with the forward inside the box.

 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

This 6-1 victory for Manchester City was only their fourth away victory in the Premier League since a 6-1 victory at Manchester United in October.

 

Despite the visitors' early dominance, Holt was almost celebrating as he nodded a ball past Hart who was tangling with Wilbraham after a corner, it looked destined to be the first goal of the game but for a headed goal-line clearance courtesy of Joleon Lescott.

Minutes after Lescott’s vital header, Tevez made another massive contribution to his side’s title challenge after his time away; he took advantage of a disorganised Norwich defence after Bennett’s pass was intercepted by Silva to open the scoring.

The Spaniard played in Tevez on the right-hand corner of the box at an improbable angle, the Argentine had no doubt in his ability firing a lightning bolt of a shot towards the top corner before seeing the ball swerve massively to deceive Ruddy and end up in the middle of the goal.

Tevez and Aguero then produced a piece of Argentine magic to further their lead. Aguero played in his compatriot on the edge of the box, before receiving it back thanks to a clever back heel and with his first touch Aguero made no mistake in rifling the ball into the top corner.

The effort rendered Ruddy helpless, with the English keeper at full stretch but still a sizeable distance away from the ball.

Holt again came close to getting on the scoresheet after doing well to get his foot to a cross which was awkwardly behind him, but he still managed to swing his foot around the delivery which drew Hart into a good reaction save.

 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

Norwich City had taken eight points from their previous eight league games before this one.

 

In 2005, Norwich director Delia Smith issued her infamous "Let's be 'aving you" rallying cry during the interval in a Premiership game between these two teams.

But the Canaries - who had won seven of their previous eight home league games - are a different proposition under Lambert, and the Scot settled for a double substitution to rouse his side.

One of the two players brought on - Andrew Surman - gave his side a fighting chance just after the break. Surman took advantage after Hart failed to control his box in an aerial challenge with Wilbraham - from a Drury cross from the left - simply half-volleying the ball into the net.

Zabaleta wasted a golden chance to cancel out Surman’s goal almost immediately after eluding Drury at the back post. The Argentine only had the keeper to beat but he fired it into Ruddy who made himself big to get the block in.

Norwich's hopes of getting anything from the game was, however, short-lived as an inspired push for an equaliser ended in the visitors enhancing their lead.

That man Tevez nodded the ball over Ruddy after the Norwich keeper could not get control of a fiercely drilled shot from Yaya Toure, seeing the ball cannon up into the air to find the head of the Argentine.

The fourth of the visitors’ goals came courtesy of Aguero, taking advantage of an obviously disheartened Norwich side, he took the ball to the left side of the box, before dropping his shoulder and curling a beautiful shot into the bottom corner.

The formally exiled Tevez proved critics wrong again after using his pace to punish Bennett’s shocking back-pass, rounding the keeper before slotting into an empty net to get his third hat-trick for the club. 

The scoreline when the two sides met in November at the Etihad Stadium was also 5-1 with the Canaries going into that game in tenth place - like they did in this one.

But Johnson - who hit the fifth in that match - made it six for City after both he and Aguero had efforts which came back off the woodwork.

Aguero swung in a cross to Gael Clichy at the back post, who played the ball first-time into Johnson unmarked in the box for an easy tap-in into the roof of the net.


ANALYSIS
Adam Higgins
The Football Site- Chief Football Editor
 

"Manchester City took off the defensive shackles in the second period to make the goal difference as high as they could. Norwich were caught out by some exhibition football of the highest order from Mancini's men. Ryan Bennett was a poor performer for the home side on the day in defence and can count his lucky stars that he didn't give away a penalty but the two front players Tevez and Aguero were world class all day long. Their interchange and link-up play was sensational and makes you wonder what would have happened if the pair had been playing together for the whole season. It kranks up the pressure on Manchester United for sure." 



Saturday 14th April 2012

Barclays Premier League

Carrow Road

 

Norwich City 1-6 Manchester City                          KO 12:45pm            (HT 0-2)

Surman 51         Tevez 18, 73, 80
                       Aguero 27, 75
                       Johnson 90

 

Norwich:  1 Ruddy- 6/10, 2 R Martin- 6/10, 22 Ward- 6/10, 33 R Bennett- 4.5/10, 3 Drury- 6/10, 17 E Bennett- 6.5/10, 4 Johnson- 5.5/10 (Hoolahan 45- 6/10), 24 Howson- 6/10, 12 Pilkington- 5.5/10 (Surman 45- 6/10), 9 Holt (C)- 6/10, 21 Wilbraham- 6/10 (Morison 68- 3/10).

Subs not used:  31 Steer, 25 Naughton, 15 Fox, 10 Jackson

Booked:      R Bennett (59)

 

Manchester City:  25 Hart- 6.5/10, 5 Zabaleta- 7.5/10, 4 Kompany (C)- 7.5/10, 6 Lescott- 8/10, 22 Clichy- 7.5/10, 21 Silva- 8.5/10 (Johnson 75- 3/10), 18 Barry- 7/10, 34 De Jong- 7/10, 19 Nasri- 7/10 (Yaya Toure 63- 4/10), 16 Aguero- 8.5/10, 32 Tevez- 9/10 (Richards 81- 2.5/10).

Subs not used:  30 Pantilimon, 13 Kolarov, 7 Milner, 10 Dzeko

Booked:      Tevez (9), Nasri (42)

 

My Man of the Match:     Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)- Rating 9/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:     Ryan Bennett (Norwich City)- Rating 4.5/10  

 

 

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)- 8.5/10
Attendance: 26,812 

 

 

Match Facts

Possession: Norwich- 43%            Manchester City- 57%

Shots: Norwich- 16                Manchester City- 22

Shots on target: Norwich- 8             Manchester City- 17

Shots off target: Norwich- 8            Manchester City- 5

Corners: Norwich- 3                 Manchester City- 5

Fouls: Norwich- 10                Manchester City- 5

Offside: Norwich- 0                 Manchester City- 4

Assists: Norwich- None           Manchester City- Silva, Tevez, Yaya Toure (2), Clichy

 

 


Norwich City manager Paul Lambert

"I would say that the scoreline was very harsh indeed on us today. We were in the game for seventy minutes. We looked really good at 2-1 and it was a poor period of seven second-half minutes that undid us conceding three goals which was incredible really. The effort from our players was there in abundance as usual and I cannot fault the lads. We were behind at half-time to two really good goals and we deserved to get back into the game and did so at the right time just after the interval. After that I thought we were going to make a game of it. We were playing against a quality side who are still chasing the title so we know how hard it is- we cannot gift goals to them like that. The calibre of strikeforce that they have is phenomenal- Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero are world class players and they showed that with five goals between them. I am confident we will learn from this defeat- for some of our newer and younger players like Ryan (Bennett) it will be a learning curve for them for sure."

Click here for the full thoughts of Canaries boss Paul Lambert after the match

 

 


Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini

"It was a fantastic performance from the lads against a good side like Norwich who are in good form. We have struggled away from home recently but today we just played with a flow and freedom. It was still a difficult game despite the scoreline. I am pleased with the players but I think we can improve still. When we have a chance to win football matches and league titles, I think we need to be stronger. Carlos (Tevez) was excellent and he is strange how he can play two games in the space of a couple of days and be fit and ready. He has got his scoring touch back- one against West Brom when he started in midweek and a hat-trick today. I am happy for the fans in bringing back Carlos (Tevez) and we are seeing his best form and hopefully in the next few games we can see more. We were good in the first half- the first fifteen minutes of the second half was a bit sloppy but we went onto score more and I am very happy with the 6-1 result."

Click here for the full thoughts of City boss Roberto Mancini after the match


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