MAN CITY 2, NORWICH CITY 3
Manager-less Manchester City played like a ship without a rudder as they were beaten at home by Norwich City in their final Barclays Premier League match of the season.
It was the visiting fans who were imitating the hosts as they celebrated each goal Poznan style as City, who on Monday had sacked manager Roberto Mancini, slipped to only their second home league defeat of the campaign.
Already assured of second spot City, who had Brian Kidd in temporary charge, had nothing to play for as did their opponents who were assured of Premier League survival the previous week.
Norwich set out to enjoy their day as they registered only their second away league victory with goals from Anthony Pilkington, Grant Holt and Jonny Howson.
City’s only cheer came as Jack Rodwell, whose debut season has been beset through injury troubles, scored his first goals for the club.
City made a tentative start and it was no surprise when they fell behind in the 26th minute.
The ball broke kindly off City’s Yaya Toure to Pilkington who beat Micah Richards to shoot left to the left of keeper Joe Hart.
City were lucky to still be on level terms after the visitors, free from the threat of relegation, played with freedom.
Grant Holt’s superb turn left Joleon Lescott for dead, but the Canaries’ striker proceeded to pull his shot wide.
Ryan Bennett’s header from a corner looped over Hart only for Joleon Lescott to head off the line while there were two shouts for a penalty from Norwich, one of which was a clear handball from Richards.
The goal jolted City, who had been lacklustre until that point, into life and they were on level terms within three minutes.
Edin Dzeko’s neat lay off from Samir Nasri’s pass fell invitingly for Rodwell to fire low past keeper John Ruddy for his first goal for City.
Norwich twice came close to regaining the lead soon after when Hart was forced to tip a free kick over the crossbar from Robert Snodgrass who shortly before the break shot narrowly wide from the left of the box.
And the Canaries continued where they left off almost adding a second goal soon after the restart when Hart had to be alert to keep out a header from Bradley Johnson.
It was no surprise when Norwich retook the lead in the 54th minute when Snodgrass’s low cross from the right found the unmarked Holt at the far post to fire home his eighth goal of the season.
City were back on level terms five minutes later when Yaya Toure released Rodwell on the half-way line and he outpaced right back Steven Whittaker before cutting in and shooting low to the left of Ruddy.
Norwich took the lead for a third time midway through the half when Howson broke from his own half and breezed past Lescott, Richards and Pablo Zabaleta before slotting the ball low past Hart.
And in stoppage time, Norwich almost added a fourth goal when substitute Andrew Tettey breezed past Lescott and, with only Hart to beat, fired wide.