Unbeaten Man City power on at top of table

Manchester City 5 Norwich 1

Unbeaten Manchester City powered on at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a crushing defeat of Norwich at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon.

Sergio Aguero gave Roberto Mancini's men a half-time lead before Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure made certain and substitutes Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson completed the rout.

Norwich were outplayed for most of the game but did claim a consolation 10 minutes from time with a Steve Morison header.

It was a quick return to winning ways for City after last week's draw at Liverpool and took their impressive league goalscoring tally to 48 after 14 games.

Mancini made eight changes after their midweek Carling Cup quarter-final win at Arsenal but defender Kolo Toure was surprisingly retained ahead of Joleon Lescott.

Nasri, making his third successive start, also kept his place and responded with an influential display, linking well with Aguero and David Silva throughout.

Edin Dzeko, the third City player to stay in the side after Tuesday, had the game's first opportunity after two minutes when he dragged a shot across goal from distance.

Wales striker Morison had a chance for Norwich early on when the ball bounced kindly for him on the left but he also missed the target.

He failed to make the most of another opening when he raced clear in the 10th minute as Joe Hart came out to force him wide and Kolo Toure got back to clear.

After that scare, City began to step up the pressure with Dzeko getting in another attempt but having to settle for a corner.

Aguero, who had earlier shot at Ruddy, then spurned a glorious chance when he volleyed over from seven yards from a Nasri cut-back.

Dzeko again had Norwich back-tracking when he nutmegged Russell Martin 40 yards out and charged to the edge of the box but Marc Tierney deflected his shot wide.

City's opener eventually came in the 32nd minute after Anthony Pilkington failed to cut out another Richards break.

Micah Richards closed in on goal and then pulled back for Aguero, who showed nimble footwork to turn past Leon Barnett and poke the ball through a crowded goal area to score his 13th of the season from six yards.

Aguero could have had a second moments later after Yaya Toure won the ball in midfield and set up Nasri to cross but the former Atletico Madrid man again fired over.

Despite that home superiority, Norwich had a chance to equalise two minutes into the second half as Elliott Bennett chased a long ball.

Bennett had chance to shoot but opted to go round the advancing Hart and took the ball too far wide, from where he could only shoot over.

Norwich paid the price for that miss as the impressive Nasri doubled the home side's advantage after 51 minutes, although it is doubtful the Frenchman meant it.

Nasri got lucky when he floated a free-kick into the box from the left and the Norwich defence left it to run through to Ruddy.

The goalkeeper was slow to react and was unable to claw it out as it bounced in front of him and crept in at the far post.

City immediately threatened a third as Silva cut in from the right but Ruddy made a fine double to keep out his shot and Aguero's attempt on the rebound.

The resulting corner found its way to Gareth Barry but the England midfielder could not keep his shot down.

City's third came in the 68th minute as Nasri came short to play a one-two with Silva at a corner and the Spaniard fed Yaya Toure on the edge of the box.

The midfielder nonchalantly allowed the ball to come across his body and curled in a low shot at the far post.

Nasri was removed moments later as Johnson was sent on and Mancini also decided to withdraw Aguero soon after. Balotelli, who was sent off against Liverpool, took his place.

Victory was all but a formality but City, having conceded in their previous six league games, were again unable to keep a clean sheet as Norwich replied.

Morison was the man on target, rising at the back post to plant a firm header past Hart from a corner.

The hosts restored a three-goal advantage two minutes from time as Yaya Toure played in Johnson, who turned to square for Balotelli in front of goal.

Ruddy palmed out the Italian's initial effort but it looped up into the air and the striker calmly nudged it over the line with his shoulder.

There was still more to come and City added a more emphatic gloss to the scoreline in injury time as Johnson placed a low shot past Ruddy.

PA

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
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
and  

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

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'