Premier League - Man City hold off Norwich in Carrow Road epic

Premier League, Carrow Road - Norwich City 3 (Pilkington 15, Martin 63, 75) Manchester City 4 (Dzeko 2, 5, Aguero 50, Bunn 67 o.g.)

Premier League - Man City hold off Norwich in Carrow Road epic

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Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero, Norwich v Manchester City

Edin Dzeko scored twice and Samir Nasri was sent off as Manchester City clung on for a thrilling 4-3 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Dzeko found the back of the net twice within the opening five minutes as the visitors raced off the blocks before Anthony Pilkington halved the deficit for Norwich.

Nasri was then shown a straight red a minute before half-time, while Sergio Aguero made it 3-1 to the champions after the break.

Russell Martin pulled a goal back for Norwich but a Mark Bunn own-goal saw Manchester City restore their two-goal advantage once again, only for Martin to score his second to set up a nervy finish.

Dzeko went into the game with just one goal from five Premier League starts this season but the Bosnian needed only 80 seconds to get off the mark.

Aguero’s chipped cross found David Silva, who in turn knocked the ball into the path of Dzeko, and the 26-year-old slotted home past Bunn with a cool side-footed finish.

The visitors then doubled their advantage three minutes later when Vincent Kompany’s through-ball found Aguero, who, having been forced wide, pulled the ball back for Dzeko to finish.

Manchester City looked rampant, with Silva and Gareth Barry pulling the strings from midfield, and Norwich on the ropes, but the home side pulled one back after a rare foray forward.

Kompany was penalised for a foul on Robert Snodgrass and Pilkington stepped up to fire the free-kick past Joe Hart with the help of a Gael Clichy deflection.

That gave the hosts hope and Snodgrass went close to equalising soon after but his first-time shot from the corner of the box curled just wide of the post.

Javier Garrido then nearly scored a spectacular own-goal with a volley from the edge of the Norwich box but Bunn tipped the ball over the crossbar to spare his team-mates blushes, while Toure flashed a low shot just inches wide of the post.

Man City were reduced to ten-men with half-time looming when Nasri reacted angrily to Sebastien Bassong's challenge, with the Frenchman appearing to flick his forehead towards the Norwich man after the two went head-to-head.

Man City continued to look the stronger side after the break, however, and Aguero made it 3-1 after latching onto Yaya Toure's lofted through-ball and lifting the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.

Norwich began to make their numerical advantage count, gradually building pressure on the Man City goal and Martin scored his first with an excellent glancing header after Bassong nodded Snodgrass’s corner back across goal.

But Man City needed little time to go two ahead once again, with Dzeko ghosting behind the Norwich defence and unleashing a fierce shot which crashed against the post, hit Canaries keeper Bunn on the back of the head and rolled into the net.

Martin then setup a grandstand finish, firing home from close range after Man City failed to clear a corner but Mancini’s men held to secure all three points.

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Edin Dzeko - Made the most of a rare start with two early goals and led the line superbly throughout


NORWICH CITY: Bunn 6, R. Martin 9, Bassong 7, Turner 6, Garrido 6, Pilkington 7, Johnson 6, Tettey 5, Snodgrass 7, Hoolahan 6, Morison 5. SUBS: Howson 6, Jackson 6, Kane 7

MANCHESTER CITY: Hart 6, Zabaleta 6, Kompany 7, Nastasic 6, Clichy 6, Yaya Toure 7, Barry 8, Nasri 4, Silva 7, Aguero 8, Dzeko 9. SUBS: Lescott 6, Milner 6, Garcia 6


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