Canaries trounced by Tevez triple

Norwich 1 Manchester City 6

Carlos Tevez scored a stunning hat-trick as Manchester City turned
the heat up on league leaders Manchester United with a clinical
hammering of Norwich at Carrow Road.

Starting successive Barclays Premier League games for the first time in 11 months, Tevez blasted home a 20-yard swirling shot to open the scoring before he backheeled to Sergio Aguero, who made it 2-0 with a venomous volley.

Andrew Surman pulled one back just after the break to give the Canaries hope, but a Tevez second-half double, a late strike from Adam Johnson, and a majestic curler from Aguero gave City a hugely impressive victory to cut United's lead to two points.

Tevez, who famously went AWOL in Argentina for six months after refusing to come off the bench against Bayern Munich, is now well and truly back to his best and could yet have a decisive say in this title race with his former employers.

The diminutive striker looked sharp all afternoon, dropping deep and working the channels all game to cause the Canaries all sorts of problems, and his finishing was quite superb.

Having pegged United back to a five-point lead in midweek, the Red Devils now only have a marginal lead ahead of their game against Aston Villa tomorrow, and the Manchester derby on April 30 looks an even more appetising prospect after Tevez's fine display today.

The Argentinean played a big part in City's 4-0 annihilation of West Brom in midweek and it was clear from the start today that the win had clearly raised confidence levels at the Etihad Stadium.

The warning signs of a drubbing were there from the kick-off.

David Silva chipped the Norwich defence looking for Samir Nasri but his touch let him down and John Ruddy came to the rescue.

Norwich hit back on the counter through Anthony Pilkington, who skipped past Pablo Zabaleta and embarrassed Nasri with a clever turn but he curled wide from 10 yards.

Play continued to fly from end to end and Tevez looked a big threat for the visitors.

Ruddy saved well from the Argentina striker before he then went down under a challenge from Ryan Bennett.

The defender clearly caught Tevez's standing leg but Chris Foy flashed a yellow card for diving instead of awarding a penalty.

City were furiously denied another penalty moments later when Pilkington tugged Aguero's shirt but Foy again gave no penalty.

Grant Holt met a looping ball in the box but Joleon Lescott cleared the striker's header under the bar.

After an entertaining spell it seemed inevitable an opener would come and it did in the 18th minute.

Elliott Ward's short pass allowed Silva to find Tevez via Aguero and the former Manchester United man unleashed a 25-yard swerving shot that beat Ruddy at his near post.

Nine minutes later it was 2-0. Tevez and Aguero exchanged passes twice on the break, the second of which was a clever backheel, and Aguero volleyed home from 20 yards.

Norwich went in at half-time firmly on the back foot and the home crowd feared a rout.

The last time City visited Carrow Road in 2005, Canaries owner Delia Smith took to the pitch at half-time to give her toe-curling "let's be havin' you" address to the Norwich faithful.

Thankfully she refrained from doing so today, and whatever Paul Lambert said instead inside the confines of the dressing room worked briefly as Norwich pulled one back through Surman.

The substitute collected the ball from Hart's punch before rifling a 20-yard screamer in to the net.

The goal boosted Norwich, but City held strong.

Tevez broke clear only to be hauled back by Ryan Bennett with a tackle that would not look out of place on a rugby league pitch. The defender rightly entered the referee's book.

Ruddy saved from Pablo Zabaleta with his legs as City looked to restore their two-goal cushion.

Norwich's resistance was broken again in the 73rd minute thanks to Tevez's second.

Ruddy blocked Yaya Toure's powerful drive, the ball flew up in the air, and Tevez beat his marker to nod home in to an empty net.

Less than 90 seconds later City were 4-1 up. This time it was Tevez's compatriot Aguero who struck, curling a wonderful 20-yard effort beyond the out-stretched Ruddy.

Tevez's remarkable afternoon was completed with 10 minutes to go when he beat the offside trip and rounded Ruddy before mimicking a golf-swing in his celebration in front of the travelling fans.

Whether the celebration was a dig at Mancini, who lambasted Tevez for spending his time playing golf while in exile earlier this season or not he was replaced seconds later for Richards.

Johnson, who had earlier come on for Silva, struck the bar in the final minute and Aguero did the same in injury time.

Aguero found Clichy at the back post in the 93rd minute, he squared to Johnson and he made no mistake from six yards to complete the pummelling.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions