Norwich Shock City with Emphatic Win

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Teemu Pukki scored one and made another as Norwich inflicted a shock first defeat of the season on Man City, who went down 3-2 at Carrow Road.

City looked like their normal selves early on, dominating possession and penning Norwich in but from the hosts’ first attack they were left stunned. Sam Byram’s cross was blocked behind and Buendia’s delivery exposed their Achilles heel at the near post, where McLean rose above Rodri to leave Ederson with no chance.

The hosts’ dogged defending held up to the renewed scrutiny after that goal but their back four could breathe easier once they doubled their lead. Buendia flicked the ball over Rodri, released Pukki with the retreating Walker stuck in two minds, and once he reached the area he squared to Cantwell who sent the home fans into delirium.

Sergio Aguero totally changed the half-time complexion when he glanced in Bernardo Silva’s cross moments before the interval, but another defensive lapse saw Buendia rob Nicolas Otamendi on the edge of the City box before squaring for Pukki to restore the hosts’ two-goal lead within five minutes of the restart.

Aguero nodded over from a tight angle from a Raheem Sterling cross as City tried desperately to find a way back, and soon Guardiola swapped the England winger’s position with Bernardo Silva to present Norwich a different challenge.

It paid off within minutes, when the Portuguese’s trusty left foot found Aguero – and this time he made a solid connection, glancing beyond Krul 29 seconds before the break to finally give City a foothold.

But it would last all of five minutes. Stones had already given Norwich a chance to run at the visiting defence with a wayward pass moments after the restart, but that was nothing on Otamendi’s howler which saw Buendia catch him on the edge of his own box before squaring for Pukki, who was never going to miss from eight yards.

Guardiola had said he wanted to give Kevin De Bruyne “20 or 25 minutes” after the international break but felt compelled to make an early double change in the wake of that goal, introducing him alongside Gabriel Jesus, and the pressure again rose on Norwich’s increasingly overworked back-line.

Aguero headed another glorious chance over and Otamendi was twice denied by Krul, but the Dutch goalkeeper was finally beaten two minutes from time when Rodri’s low effort squirmed past his palms.

However, City’s continuing onslaught on the Norwich goal, registering some 16 shots in the second 45 minutes, was not enough – and Carrow Road rose as one at the full-time whistle to celebrate a famous win, which may already dent Manchester City’s hopes of lifting the Premier League trophy for a third season in a row.

Samson Oyedeyi

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