Belfast Telegraph

Classy City crush Canaries

Manchester City powered on at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a crushing 5-1 defeat of Norwich at the Etihad Stadium.

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.

Edin Dzeko dragged an early shot wide for City and Wales striker Morison also missed the target from long range, before racing clear only to be kept out by Joe Hart and Kolo Toure.

Aguero spurned a glorious chance when he volleyed over from seven yards and Dzeko beat Russell Martin and charged goalwards but Marc Tierney deflected his shot wide.

City's opener came in the 32nd minute. Micah Richards pulled back for Aguero, who showed nimble footwork to turn past Leon Barnett and poke the ball through a crowded goal area for his 13th of the season.

Aguero again fired over but Norwich had a chance to equalise two minutes into the second half, as Elliott Bennett rounded Hart but took the ball too wide and shot over.

Norwich paid the price as Nasri fortuitously doubled the home side's advantage after 51 minutes, floating a free-kick into the box which John Ruddy allowed to creep in at the far post.

Ruddy made a fine double save from David Silva and Aguero but City's third came in the 68th minute as Silva and Nasri played a short corner and the Spaniard fed Yaya Toure to curl inside the far post. City let their clean sheet slip as Morison rose at the back post to head past Hart from a corner.

But it was 4-1 two minutes from time as Johnson squared for Balotelli and, though Ruddy palmed the Italian's initial effort up in the air, he calmly nudged it over the line with his shoulder. City added a more emphatic gloss to the scoreline in injury time as Johnson placed a low shot past Ruddy.


From Belfast Telegraph