Norwich City 0-0 Manchester City – Match Review
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on March 13, 2016
I could come up with so many words to describe how disappointing that performance was. Lethargic, effortless or even lacklustre. Certainly not the words you would expect to be describing a side who are meant to be challenging for the league title.
After one step forward last weekend, it’s another step back for the Citizens as they came away from Carrow Road with just a single point. A lack of intensity was evident from a side who looked like they were far too focused on the upcoming Champions League antics. The performance on the whole seemed far too possession based rather than showing any signs of actually going for the full three points. Certain individuals continued to fail to live up to any expectations they may have had from the City faithful – Bony and David Silva in particular.
In all fairness, the game started very brightly, with Manchester City dominating the opening 20 minutes. Having over 70% of ball possession and preventing Norwich from coming out of their own half, was the sort of performance that was showing signs of the REAL Manchester City. But no clear cut chances came from this continuous pressure. Only Sergio Agüero tested Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy with a low drive across goal, forcing the shot stopper to parry the ball away.
But very quickly, the tides turned, and it was the Canaries who started to dictate play. A spell of around 15 minutes of solid Norwich pressure put Manchester City in real danger. The most frustrating thing about this, was the fact that the Manchester City midfielders and defenders were making no attempt at regaining possession. Instead, it became a game of tennis – Norwich losing the ball in the final third but Manchester City just handing possession back via poor clearances! Patrick Bamford came the closest for the Canaries as he saw an exquisite 26 yard half volley rattle the woodwork! A sign of desperation from the sky blues but they held on until the break with the scoreline being 0-0.
The second half was virtually a repeat of the first. Manchester City starting very brightly but failing to create any clear cut chances. Manuel Pellegrini had made it clear that they needed to up the tempo, and they did, but Norwich’s resilient defence continued to hold firm. The Citizens only seemed to have one plan of breaking down the Norwich defence – overlapping runs from Navas and Sagna down the right hand side of the pitch. It became all so predictable, and the moment City tried to break through the middle, the best chance of the game for the Blues arrived. A neat pass threaded through the Norwich defence from David Silva found Fernandinho. The Brazilian broke into the penalty area, squared the ball to Argentine Sergio Aguero, but in the end, they overplayed, and the chance had gone! Timm Klose also seemed a different player for Norwich City and was bossing the defence for the full 90 minutes.
As the final whistle went, signalling the 0-0 draw, a real sign of defeat was evident from the City players. It now seems far too much to do in order to win the Premier League title. Despite all the encouraging interviews pre-match from the likes of Fernandinho, it now seems as if it’s just going to be a walk in the park for Leicester City. Manuel Pellegrini still believes however, with him reiterating the fact that it is still ‘mathematically possible’ for Manchester City to win the Premier League. Attentions now turn to the midweek game at the Etihad against Dynamo Kyiv. A real chance to make Manchester City history by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time ever is a real possibility following the 1st leg triumph in Ukraine.
Joe Hart – 6
Bacary Sagna – 5
Vincent Kompany – 8
Nicolas Otamendi – 5
Gael Clichy – 5
Jesus Navas – 5
Fernandinho – 6
Fernando – 6
David Silva – 6
Wilfried Bony – 4
Sergio Aguero – 7
Raheem Sterling – 6
Kelechi Iheanacho – 5
Pablo Zabaleta – N/A