Manchester City 7 Norwich City 0 match report: City run amok against pitiful opposition

Norwich left in tatters as they contribute to their own downfall with hopeless defensive display

Etihad Stadium

Ultimately, it did not matter who kept goal for Manchester City. Joe Hart could have done it, Joe Corrigan could have done it. The club could in a gesture of goodwill have offered an oversized green shirt to Joseph Blatter and asked the doddery leader of world football to keep Norwich at bay for an hour and a half. He would still have had a single shot to save.

You couldn’t quite say the same of Hart’s principal rival as England’s goalkeeper. There was little reason for Roy Hodgson to have attended this game – Manchester City did not start with a single Englishman. However, he would have seen John Ruddy endure a tortured, tortuous afternoon.

Some might think that a hard, Machiavellian side of Hart might have enjoyed seeing Ruddy concede seven times but the stories of a goalkeeper’s union are not part of a sepia era of the Daily Sketch and the News Chronicle. When Tim Howard scored straight from a goal-kick for Everton against Bolton, he issued a heartfelt apology to Adam Bogdan. He understood the humiliation instinctively.

Manuel Pellegrini, the man who had dropped him, was generous in his assessment of Hart’s prospects, suggesting he might expect to return before the end of the month when Costel Pantilimon’s form would have been rather more sternly tested.

Ruddy did make a couple of smart saves from Jesus Navas and Martin Demichelis but the big electronic scoreboard was already showing 6‑0 and there was a turn and shot from Edin Dzeko to come that would make this Manchester City’s biggest win in the Premier League. Not since a 10-1 win over Huddersfield in 1987 have they enjoyed a wider margin of victory. In a single afternoon Norwich conceded more goals than they have scored all season.

Ruddy was sometimes given pitiful protection. For Manchester City’s sixth, David Silva, who was as inventive here as he had been at Newcastle in the League Cup, delivered a low cross. To explain the commitment of Sebastien Bassong’s clearance you would have to imagine the defender with his hands in his pockets. Sergio Aguero devoured the ball as it dribbled towards him.

It is hard to imagine how Chris Hughton can survive much more of this. At the end, the Norwich manager stood in the rain applauding those who for the second time in a week had the long return from Manchester to Norfolk in front of them.

The last time Norwich had come here they celebrated survival with a 3-2 win over a Manchester City side that had just lost the FA Cup final, just sacked their manager, Roberto Mancini, and looked a mess. Yesterday, the roles were reversed.

“We have all let the club down and I include myself in that because I pick the side and determine the tactics of the team,” Hughton said. “I have not been on the end of a defeat like that before. I have always had confidence in my ability but I and the players in that changing room need to address this very quickly because we have a game on Saturday against West Ham that becomes a bigger game because of this defeat and the manner of it. We have to prove we were good enough. We were nowhere near that today.”

The blows rained in early. The only one Hughton did not consider Norwich at fault for was Yaya Touré’s free-kick that curled artfully and powerfully into the top corner.

The first looped slowly over the goalkeeper from a combination of the boots of Russell Martin and Bradley Johnson. Then came a long ball from Samir Nasri that found Aguero on the left. He stopped. Bassong expected a cross but the Argentine, pulled the ball back for Silva.

Then came a corner from Nasri that Matija Nastasic headed against Martin’s shoulder and past Ruddy. Then came a low cross from Aguero that Alvaro Negredo met before the sliding boots of Michael Turner. Then came Norwich’s one shot in anger. Then came half-time of a game that had long ago finished. As a contest it was as even as a badger cull and sometimes almost as joyless.


Manchester City (4-3-3): Pantilimon; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Nastasic, Clichy; Toure, Fernandinho Silva (Navas, 73); Nasri (Milner, 70), Aguero, Negredo (Dzeko, h-t).

Norwich City (4-1-4-1): Ruddy; Martin, Turner, Bassong, Olsson; Whittaker (Murphy, h-t); Fer, Johnson, Pilkington, Howson; Hooper (Elmander, h-t).

Referee: Phil Dowd

Man of the match: David Silva (Manchester City)

Match rating: 6/10

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower