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Premier League

  • 3 December 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 47201

Manchester City 5-1 Norwich: Aguero & Nasri set up stunning rout as Premier League leaders extend 100% home record

Manchester City 5-1 Norwich: Aguero & Nasri set up stunning rout as Premier League leaders extend 100% home record

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Table-toppers make it seven wins from seven at the Etihad Stadium despite a dogged defensive display from the Canaries, with Toure, Johnson and Balotelli also netting

Manchester City maintained their 100% start at home this season after demolishing Norwich City 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Sergio Aguero built on his late-winner in mid-week against Arsenal in the League Cup with the opening goal, before Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure struck second-half efforts.

Norwich striker Steve Morison handed the away side a late lifeline on 81 minutes, but the Canaries small chances of getting something out of the game were quickly eradicated by goals from Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson at the death.

Roberto Mancini decided to line up with Aguero and Edin Dzeko up front, as Balotelli started from the bench after serving his suspension in mid-week for his dismissal during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool last Sunday.

Norwich boss Paul Lambert opted to continue with Morison up front with support from Andrew Surman, with club captain Grant Holt and attacking midfielder Wes Hoolahan once again on the bench.

City immediately impressed themselves on the game, Dzeko firing wide from 25 yards after being afforded too much space.

Steve Morison was playing in an isolated lone role up front for Norwich but still managed to cause Kolo Toure problems on a rare Premier League start for the Ivorian.

First Toure dithered with a bouncing ball and Morison latched onto it, before hitting an effort from 40 yards which sent Joe Hart scrambling to his right, before a mix-up between both City centre-backs saw Morison through on Hart's goal but a heavy touch from the striker allowed the England stopper to shut off the opportunity.

Mancini's men quickly re-established their dominance over the Canaries, however, as Aguero jinked his way into the box, forcing a save from John Ruddy before Dzeko and Silva had efforts blocked in quick succession.

The game swiftly become one-way stuff with City trying to pick their way through Norwich as they kept 10-men behind the ball at all times.

Silva and Nasri combined down the right-hand side and the Frenchman's cutback found Aguero who could only fire over, as the hosts' creative trio continued to threaten despite the away side's attempts to stifle the game.

        Five-star City | Yaya Toure helped Mancini's side maintain their Premier League lead

Dzeko had an effort blocked and the afternoon was threatening to become a frustrating one for City until they finally found a way through the wall of yellow shirts.

Nasri played the effervescent Micah Richards in down the right channel, who found Aguero in the box. The Argentine, faced with five Norwich players, turned into space and toe-poked the ball through the crowd and into the Norwich goal.

City were not happy to sit back on their lead however, Yaya Toure powered through midfield and played Nasri in down the right, who again found Aguero at the back post, but the Argentine fired his effort over and could have easily had a first-half hat-trick.

Norwich managed to hold out until half-time and had a great chance to equalise in the second minute of the second half, Kompany mistiming his header and allowing Elliot Bennett through on goal.

The former Brighton winger rounded Hart but the angle became too narrow and Bennett could only fire wide.

City then extended their lead minutes later when awarded a free-kick on the left-hand side, which was played in by Nasri - the ball ending up in the back of the net after evading both Norwich's defence and the home side's attack.

City were now fully into their attacking groove, Silva jinked into the box and hit a rasping effort towards Ruddy's near post which was saved but fell to Aguero, whose follow up was denied brilliantly by the keeper.

There was little rest for the former Everton stopper who was again sent scrambling by Gareth Barry's drive after a well worked short corner.

A change was needed for Norwich and Lambert decided to take the game to the hosts, bringing on Holt and Hoolahan for Anthony Pilkington and Bennett, in turn forcing a change of formation.

The switch failed to have the desired effect however as another City short corner was worked by Aguero and Nasri into Yaya Toure, who curled a sumptuous shot into the corner from 15 yards.

Roberto Mancini wasn't content with just three, however, sending on Johnson for Nasri and one of the loudest cheers of the afternoon greeted Balotelli as he replaced Aguero.

Norwich were still working hard however and were finally rewarded for their efforts, Surman's drifted cross was met by Morison, the Welshman powering a bullet header past Hart.

City then regained their three-goal cushion through Balotelli, played in by Johnson, the Italian's initial shot was blocked into the air and as it fell the enigmatic forward hit the ball into the net with his shoulder.

The Citizens extended their lead further in injury time, when Kompany picked the ball up and found Johnson, who slotted home from the right-hand corner of the box to round off the victory.

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