Manchester City's loss to Norwich City at Carrow Road can be described as a rare, sluggish outing for Pep Guardiola’s men. The Blues didn’t look at their best and were outdone by the determination and grit of the Canaries.
Pep started the outing by springing surprises in the starting XI and what followed was tiring but certainly an incredible match for both Manchester City and their fans. Today was one of learning for the Cityzens, where they looked slightly complacent at the start of the match and paid for their mistakes as Norwich City bagged a deserving 3-2 win.
Here are the five things we learned from the match between Norwich City and Manchester City at Carrow Road...
Unpredictable Pep Guardiola – as always!
Who would have thought that Pep would bench Manchester City’s most in-form player for this clash, but he did! The Belgian maestro has been assisting goals for fun – both for the blues and Belgium – but to everyone’s surprise, KDB was not a starter in the game. Not many managers would dare bench their most productive midfielder when they have already dropped points this season.
Front post corner defending woes continue
Manchester City just can’t seem to get the hang of defending corners the attacked at their front-post. The defensive woes were once again visible when Kenny McLean was left unmarked and the Scotland international leapt highest to head past a stranded Ederson. The Canaries exploited the frailties and were rewarded for their tenacity and determination.
Kyle Walker – a powerhouse with brain-fade moments
The build-up to the second Norwich goal had Walker’s footprints all over it. The right-back not only played Cantwell and Pukki onside, but also gave Norwich the confidence to play a free-flowing game after having a lead of 2-0. The England international didn’t necessarily have a bad game, but was extremely careless with his decision making throughout . And yes, his crossing still hasn’t improved.
Laporte’s absence - MASSIVE!
John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi started as the centre-back pairing and the calmness which Laporte usually brings to the defensive line was missing from the very first minute. To start, Stones was coming back from a recent injury and it was inevitable he will take some time to get to 100 per cent. However, Otamendi, who has been one of the best servants in recent months, gave away all hope of City getting at least a point from the encounter. Both Stones and Otamendi have to step-up in the next five/six months as the Blues are again at that point where they can’t lose a single point with Liverpool showing signs of putting together an incredible run of form.
A lot of slacking but keep calm!
Okay, enough of the criticism for Pep Guardiola’s men. City are five points behind Liverpool, but never forget the last season when we were seven points behind during the Christmas period. That has to be the team’s motivation for the next matches.
This was one of those games where nothing went our way, despite the sluggish and lethargic showing for the most part of the game. We all know the boys are fighters and will learn every bit from the outing at the Carrow Road. Till then, let the other fanbases enjoy their time after two seasons of hammering but a friendly warning to them – never count us out.
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