5-star City crush Norwich - Manchester City 5-0 Norwich Review
That's more like it. After a poor start to the season, which saw Manchester City lose to Leicester City in the Community Shield and Spurs in their first Premier League game of the season, Guardiola's side got their season started at the Etihad with how they ended the last one - a 5-0 win.
For the first time in over 18 months, fans were back at the Etihad and they certainly had plenty to cheer and celebrate. Newly promoted side Norwich City travelled up to the North-West of England in search of their first points of the season, after Liverpool beat them 3-0 on the opening day of the season.
City went into the game in poor form. The Sky Blues had lost their last three games before today - Pep Guardiola has never lost 4 in a row before in his career.
The visitors started the game kicking from right to left in their vibrant yellow and green strip, this was most of their early action with City taking control of the game from the very start. Jack Grealish started high and wide and the left, just like he did for Aston Villa last year, and impressed straight away. Despite being dubbed as a No.9. Gabriel Jesus played out on the right-hand side, with Ferran Torres down the middle. Jesus caused problems from minute 1 and got his first reward in the sixth minute. Rodri played the ball over the Canaries' defence to Jesus, he drilled it across the box into the danger zone and the ball ended up into the back of the net off Tim Krul. 1-0 City.
The next goal came from Ferran Torres. Bernardo Silva, who wants to leave City this summer, won the ball high up the pitch, it fell to Jesus who played it into Ferran. The Spaniard confidently finished past Tim Krul but the goal was harshly ruled out due to a foul from Bernardo in the build-up.
Guardiola's team dusted the disallowed goal off and went onto get their actual second just seven minutes later. Kyle Walker, who was excellent all game, played a great ball through to Gabriel Jesus who, just like on the first, smashed the ball across goal and it finds itself on the thigh of Jack Grealish for his first Manchester City goal. What a moment, and there was no VAR to ruin this one.
The Cityzens dominated the rest of the half but with no goal. Nevertheless, they looked comfortable at both ends of the pitch even without Kevin De Bruyne who was rested. Half-time 2-0 to the hosts.
Guardiola clearly told the players 'more of the same at half-time' but they never gave him that. They gave him even better. City suffocated Norwich all the way through the second half and recycled possession exquisitely, something Guardiola publicly criticised them for not doing last week against Spurs.
Raheem Sterling came on for Ferran Torres in the 59th minute, he took up the central role with Jesus staying wide. That could be something we will see more often this season, especially if City's drawn-out pursuit of Harry Kane ends in nothing.
Aymeric Laporte added a third to City's tally not long after Sterling came on. Not usually a threat from corners, Gundogan whipped it in, it bounced around and found it's who to Laporte who finished like the striker Guardiola and his team have been looking for.
In the 70th minute came City's penultimate goal. A trademark Pep Guardiola team goal. Walker threaded the ball through to Jesus who squared it to Sterling for his second assist of the game. Sterling slotted into an empty net. No Lyon flashbacks today.
The final goal of the day came from Algeria's Riyad Mahrez. Mahrez had to come off the bench after being dropped for Jesus but when he came on he made claim to start the next one. Ruben Dias floated the ball over the unusually high Norwich defence, Mahrez glared down on goal and finished off the post into the bottom left corner. A goal that pretty much summed up City's performance, 5 star.
The final whistle was blown and City triumphed after a great win in which Pep Guardiola described as a 'big performance' and one that Manchester City 'needed.'
More of the same next week, lads.
Player ratings: Ederson (7) Cancelo (7) Dias (8) Laporte (8) Walker (8) Rodri (7) Gundogan (7) Bernardo Silva (7) Grealish (8.5) Ferran Torres (6.5) Jesus (8.5)
Substitutes: Sterling (7.5) Palmer (6) Mahrez (7.5)
Man of the Match: Gabriel Jesus
It may have only been Norwich, no disrespect, and tougher tests will come for Manchester City and Pep Guardiola, but today showed that Jack Grealish is up for the task and his price tag really doesn't seem to have affected his performance.
As for Gabriel Jesus, it's been reported that he wants to leave and many fans feel the same way, yet if he can perform like he did today more often he might just have a future at the Etihad.
Written by: @Tom72ii
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