Norwich City 3-2 Manchester City: 5 Talking Points
Goals from Kenny McLean, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki helped Norwich to a dramatic 3-2 win over Premier League champions Manchester City, who missed great chances while an inexcusable Nicolas Otamendi mistake saw them lose their first league game since January.
Newly-promoted Norwich have recorded their second league win of the 2019/20 campaign and did so with a hard-fought, deserved win against Pep Guardiola's City side in Saturday's evening kick-off. It's the first loss City have suffered since a 2-1 away defeat by Newcastle on January 29 and despite squandering chances, being denied by the woodwork and more besides during a frenzied display, the visitors ultimately only had themselves to blame.
Scotland international McLean broke the deadlock with aplomb from Emiliano Buendia's corner, heading home at the near post to take full advantage of sloppy marking and score his first Premier League goal. They doubled the lead on a devastating counter-attack ten minutes later, as midfielder Todd Cantwell applied the finishing touch after being selflessly teed up by top goalscorer Teemu Pukki.
Raheem Sterling hit the post with a leaping header, while Sergio Aguero - who missed an earlier chance - headed home just before half-time to halve the deficit, after a teasing Bernardo Silva delivery. Five minutes after the restart though, the Canaries' two-goal cushion was restored in embarrassing circumstances.
Otamendi dithered in possession inside his own box after receiving a pass by centre-back partner John Stones, Buendia stole the ball from his blindside and teed up the grateful Pukki, who netted his sixth league goal of the season. Kevin de Bruyne's introduction saw City intensify their efforts for another comeback, which looked increasingly unlikely as Norwich's tireless defensive work proved key as time wore on.
Rodri opened his City goalscoring account from distance to make it 3-2 with two minutes and stoppages to play, though Aguero, Sterling and substitute Gabriel Jesus were all denied by Tim Krul in the dying embers. Without further ado then, here's a look at five talking points from an unpredictable clash at Carrow Road:
#5 Amadou and Tettey impress with memorable displays
All the plaudits will go to Pukki, Cantwell and perhaps most of all Buendia for Norwich's surprising win. That's justified given their efforts, but there are also unsung heroes who will not get the credit their performances warrant after this victory.
Ibrahim Amadou, on a loan deal from Sevilla, made his first league start where injuries forced him to play an unfamiliar role at centre-back. He and captain Alexander Tettey - who himself hadn't started since mid-February against Preston - were quietly effective against a Manchester City side who looked to probe their way through midfield with multiple pass combinations and patient build-up play.
They nullified the playmaking abilities of both David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan before the pair were replaced near the hour-mark while interchanging positions to cover for one another when City threatened in numbers. Amadou made a key challenge on Aguero who went in search of further goals after the break, while Tettey was alert and blocked the ever-present de Bruyne, who threatened immediately upon arrival midway through the second-half.
Out of possession, they were not faultless throughout and occasionally guilty of ball-watching. Ultimately, that comes with the territory against a team of City's quality and one who dominate possession as regularly as they do. Ever-present defensive figures, their composure and concentration under pressure was important from the get-go - setting the tone for an excellent collective effort.
Amadou: 10 clearances, five duels won, three interceptions, 84.6% pass completion rate
Tettey: Three duels won, two interceptions and blocks, one clearance, 88.9% pass success