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    Manchester City 2-1 Norwich City


    Norwich City fans would have been fearing a fright fest as they travelled to the Etihad Stadium on the back of three league defeats and as the only team in the Premier League yet to keep a clean sheet. They took on a team in Manchester City who were top of the table and scoring goals galore going into the Halloween fixtures.

    Jesus Navas came in for the unfit Raheem Sterling on the City right wing, whilst youngster Kelechi Iheanacho impressed enough during the midweek League Cup victory against Crystal Palace to earn a start. Youssouf Mulumbu made a long awaited league debut for the visitors after recovering from a foot injury, whilst Cameron Jerome came in for the ill Dieumerci Mbokani. Top goalscorer Nathan Redmond and creative force Wes Hoolahan both dropped to the bench as Norwich set their stall out for an away point.


    The hosts started brightly and on the tenth minute striker Wilfried Bony neatly turned Sebastian Bassong on the edge of the box before his driven effort was palmed away by John Ruddy. Bony had another chance midway through the first half, when Iheanacho beat Russell Martin to the ball before playing it to the Ivorian just inside the box, but the former Swansea man could only fire wide. Minutes later Bony found himself in the same position again, after latching onto a pass from Kevin De Bruyne, but his shot resulted in the same outcome as his previous effort. Norwich responded with a chance of their own, as Robbie Brady fed a through ball to Matt Jarvis, only for the midfielder to see his shot turned over by Joe Hart. Kevin De Bruyne won a free-kick for City on 31 minutes, taken by Yaya Toure who saw his curling effort clawed away from the top corner by Ruddy. Norwich were able to contain the visitors for the rest of the half and Alex Neil would have been delighted to see his team go into the break at 0-0.

    Sterling was brought on to replace Iheanacho after the break, but it was the influential De Bruyne who created the first goal of the game midway through the second half, breaking a stubborn Norwich City backline. His drifting corner was met by Nicolas Otamendi, who rose highest to head the ball into the top corner and give City the lead. City have often run away with games after finding the breakthrough, but Norwich remained resolute and found a way back into the game with just eight minutes to go. Joe Hart dropped what should have been a routine cross from Robbie Brady and the ball fell at the feet of Cameron Jerome who had an easy tap in to equalise for the visitors. 


    Manuel Pellegrini would have felt that a 1-1 draw would have literally been two points dropped, but a goalkeeping error at the other end paved the way for the home side to take the lead again. John Ruddy spilled a cross and found himself out of position trying to recover the ball, before Raheem Sterling's goal-bound effort was saved on the line by defender Russell Martin. The Norwich captain was shown a straight red card and City were left with a penalty to restore their lead. Yaya Toure calmly slotted the ball into Ruddy's bottom right corner to save City's blushes.

    The drama was not over yet though as both teams had opportunities to score during injury time. Martin Olsson had a deflected shot saved by Joe Hart who atoned for his earlier mistake, before Robbie Brady brought down Raheem Sterling for another Manchester City penalty. Aleksandar Kolorov stepped up to take this penalty, as Yaya Toure had been replaced, only to drag his effort wide of the post with the last kick of the game. It did not make too much difference to the outcome though, as Manchester City ended up 2-1 winners and remained at the top of the league.


    Manchester City have a Champions League trip to Sevilla on Tuesday night, before visiting bottom of the table Aston Villa on Sunday as they look to stretch their seven game unbeaten run. Norwich have now lost four games in a row for the first time since April 2014, but Alex Neil will feel his team performed well enough to prove their Premier League credentials. They host Swansea City next Saturday. 

    Man of the Match: Kevin De Bruyne
    City's summer signing was the creative force behind the hosts and set up the opening goal of the game. He now has three goals and four assists in seven Premier League appearances.
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    Item Reviewed: Manchester City 2-1 Norwich City Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Chris Lincoln
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