Sunday, 4 December 2011


December 3rd and after a week that has seen us into the Semi finals of the league cup to play Liverpool and United get knocked out at home 2-1 by Crystal palace we face Norwich at home. Norwich had been handling themselves quite well in the premier league but i have to admit i went to this game feeling quite confident. I saw a lot of Tweets and Facebook status's saying it was going to be easy and I've got to admit i didn't think it was going to be as easy as some fans obviously thought it was going to be, but I was confident we could win this one at home. Joe Hart was returned to goal, Richards and Clichy were the full backs and Kolo Toure kept his place from midweek to join Kompany in the centre of defence seeing Lescott drop to the bench, Maybe with Bayern Munich in mind. Barry and Yaya were the centre of midfield with Nasri and Siva the Attacking midfielders. Aguero and Dzeko started up front. Before the game, the sold out crowd paid a fitting tribute to Premier League legend Gary Speed, who had taken his life this week, a sad loss.

The first half was like watching Attack vs Defence as Norwich quite obviously parked the bus, and 25 minutes into the game the 73% possession statistic that flashed up on the screen demonstrated that perfectly. We did nearly get caught when Kompany and Kolo got left for dead by the Morrison, but luckily a heavy touch allowed Hart to come out and save us, but apart from that, in the first half, Norwich may as well not even bothered turning up. All the pressure on the Norwich goal didn't seem to be paying off at first with Aguero firing over the bar a couple of times when he looked like scoring and Dzeko going close. Nasri was looking lively though and I'd even go as far to say he played better than Silva today, he seems to be growing into the squad more and more. 32 Minutes gone and the breakthrough came. Good work from Silva on the right played in Richards and he passed it into the box for Aguero, His first touch left him with his back to goal and by the time he'd turned goal wards he was surrounded by 5 Norwich players, he delayed for a moment before somehow toe poking the ball through the crowd and into the net to make it 1-0. The rest of the first half played out the same, City Attacking and Norwich firmly parked behind the bus.

The second half started and Norwich would have to come out and they started brighter but created only one half chance that went harmlessly over the bar. 51 minutes gone and a foul on Dzeko gave us a free kick 35 yards out. Nasri took it and I'm guessing the plan was top float one into the box, which he did. The Norwich keeper must have assumed that one of his defenders was going to get a header on it and hesitated, that hesitation cost him as the ball bounced in the six yard box and into the net to make it 2-0 and leaving the keeper looking a little bit stupid.

68 minutes and it was 3-0, a short corner one two between Silva and Nasri and then the little Spaniard played the ball into Yaya's feet in the box, he took a touch before calmly, as easy as you like, curling the ball into the corner of the net. It looked so easy. Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero made way for Adam Johnson and Mario Balotelli and it almost looked as though City had settled for 3-0 as they seemed to relax and this let Norwich in to claim a consolation goal on 81 minutes, a good ball floated to the far post for Morrison to head home with a good finish. Another pesky goal conceded, and probably deserved for Morrison for who played up front all game on his own and did work hard.

88 minutes gone and the moment that everyone left talking about. Good work down the left this time between Silva and Clichy, The french full back played the ball across to Yaya who played it into the box for Johnson who had made a good run to the near post, he turned well and played in Balotelli who saw his close range shot saved by the keepers feet, the ball looped up into the air, and as the helpless keeper watched, the ball dropped to Balotelli, standing practically on the goal line, for him to finish. Not with his head or his chest, but with a cheeky, Cooley taken, shoulder, arrogantly shoving the ball into the net to make it 4-1. The coolest finish of the day if not the season. Yes it was cheeky, yes it was cool and yes maybe a tad arrogant. But that's what you get with Mario, entertainment. The great team work and passing that involved Silva, Clichy, Yaya and Johnson will probably be overlooked because of the Mario Factor, but all round, a superb goal.

91st  minute and the full stop was put on the game by Adam Johnson. Silva and Kompany teaming up on the left to bully the Norwich player into conceding possession and Kompany crossed the ball to Johnson on the right of the penalty area. He took a few touches before casually curling the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal to make it 5-1, again making it look far to easy. Afterwards the media would talk about City NOT celebrating their goals as Mario and AJ had been very low key celebrations, but when you score number four and five against a team that had been swept aside, is there any need for over the top celebrations to rub their noses in it ? I don't think there is, so fair enough. Aguero and Nasri had celebrated their goals enough, and Nasri deserved something from this game as this was probably his best display in a city shirt so far and he seemed to be growing more and more into the player we'd bought with every game.

So our first league game in December and STILL unbeaten in the league. Never for a second thought that would happen and still find it quite hard to believe if I'm honest. Our next League game would offer us another test though as we go away to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea. Before that though, matters turned once again to Champions League, with Bayern Munich, the team top of our group, coming to the Etihad. Lets all pray to what ever god you believe in that we can beat Bayern and Villarreal can beat Naopli. Doubt it, but i guess you just never know. For now though, another great weekend had by all, still five points clear and going strong. Thanks for reading.

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