Quinn 53, Rosler 62
Norwich City . . . . .0
POSITIVE intentions reaped their reward at Maine Road as Manchester City's commendably adventurous response to their midweek embarrassment at Barnet brought them their decisive second-half goals.
Brian Horton got Barnet out of his hair by dropping four players and solved the conundrum of what to do about his three competing front men by playing all of them against Norwich.
With Paul Walsh lurking behind Niall Quinn and Uwe Rosler, supported by two naturally wide-ranging midfielders and two attack-minded, overlapping full-backs, it was a system made to exert pressure and did just that from the start.
The problem lay in converting that pressure into goals - endless incursions into Norwich's penalty area in the first half produced an equally endless series of corners. The most spectacular and most deserving effort was an acrobatic overhead kick by Rosler, perfectly read and covered by Bryan Gunn.
Norwich gave warning that behind every story of unrewarded domination there is a miscarriage of justice waiting to happen, when Ian Crook shot just wide after their signing from City, Mike Sheron, had pulled the ball back into his path. Almost immediately, Terry Phelan overlapped outside Peter Beagrie and his cross came over at the ideal height for Quinn to bend his neck and head powerfully past Gunn.
City's second was a classic: Beagrie won back a ball that he had given away with a careless pass, shimmied past a tackle and hit a long early cross beyond the far post.
There was Quinn to guide his header for Rosler to sweep home on the volley. It should have been three when Beagrie hit a penalty at a convenient height for Gunn to dive to his left and save after Mike Milligan had brought down Rosler, and Walsh and Quinn went close to adding to the tally in injury time.
But City had done enough to exorcise the ghosts of Underhill, and in doing so Horton may have found a system that will serve him well against more obviously threatening opposition.Reuse content