Norwich City 3, Manchester City 2
Manchester City crashed to their first Premier League defeat since January in a massive blow after losing 3-2 at Carrow Road to Norwich City.Embed from Getty Images
It was a shock result that that leaves them five points adrift of Liverpool after just five games, given last season’s tight margins in the title race with the Merseysiders the gap might already be fatal.
The Canaries had conceded the most goals since the start of the season and had come up against the league’s top scorers so far – unbeaten in their last 24 games against newly promoted sides – but managed to upset the odds.
The Canaries had eight senior players missing and named two goalkeepers on the bench but City were missing their most important defender – Aymeric Laporte – who had suffered a serious knee injury.
The French defender was confirmed to be out for over 5 months – and City boss Pep Guardiola also opted to leave in-form Kevin De Bruyne on the bench.
City paid the price for slack defending with John Stones partnering Nicolas Otamendi for only the fourth time under Guardiola since Laporte joined but City, notoriously poor at defending set pieces, only added to the growing list of embarrassments.
After enduring a torrent of City pressure, Norwich’s first corner was converted by Kenny McLean after 18 minutes, with Emiliano Buendia’s set piece looping over the diminutive Raheem Sterling at the near post to find his man unmarked.
Teemu Pukki unselfishly crossed for England Under 21 international Todd Cantwell to have a tap in after Norwich counter attacked with City overloaded upfield.
Sergio Aguero had earlier headed over the bar while Sterling had hit the woodwork with a header before the Argentine hit his 7th goal of the season with a header from Bernardo Silva’s left wing cross to reduce the deficit.
Early in the second half, Pukki had City on notice after some casual defending by John Stones but the Blues didn’t heed the warning and Otamendi was caught dawdling on the ball by Buendia who squared for another tap in by the Finnish striker.
It left a mountain to climb for City and Guardiola threw on De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, and Riyad Mahrez.
Otamendi’s header was tipped away by Tim Krul before Rodri scored his first goal for City after a lay off by Jesus with less than three minutes to go.
The goal proved too little too late with less than three minutes to go but the Canaries held off the final City onslaught for a famous win.