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West Ham United
May 19, 2013
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 47054
J. Rodwell 30', 59'
A. Pilkington 26'
G. Holt 54'
J. Howson 65'
And that's all from me, Al Hain-Cole. Thanks for joining me for the final Premier Leage game of the season. Just three months to go until it all starts again. I, for one, can't wait...
On the other hand, things are looking rosy for Norwich, who end the season with two big wins and can look forward to the arrival of Ricky Van Wolfswinkel in the summer. The Dutch international could be the first of many signings, and the Canaries look to beuild after successfully establishing themselves in the top flight.
City fans were chanting Roberto Mancini's men during the game, and his dismissal is looking like a brave decision by the owners. Manuel Pellegrini will have a big job on his hands should he take over, as the multi-talented squad seem in need of a reshuffle in order to challenge next season.
All credit to Norwich though, who deservedly win away from home in the league for just their second time this term, collecting their first victory over City in 20 years in the process.
And that's it! City end a miserable season on a sore note after a performance lacking in any real desire sees them slip to just their second home defeat of the season.
90' + 4'
Micah Richards heads a long ball into the box down to Aguero, but the striker is denied an effort on goal by a strong block.
90' + 1'
Alexander Tettey should have made it safe for Norwich there. The Norwegian midfielder looked to have wasted his chance after a poor first touch, but Lescott's challenge is embarrasngly weak and allows him in on goal. However, he drags his shot past the far post with the outside of his right boot.
Dzeko brings the ball down beautifully inside the area, but gets the lay off all wrong and the ball is cleared. Time is running out for City.
Aguero and Silva link up once again on the break, with the Argentine having a shot tipped round the near post after a nice ball through by Silva. The resulting corner is well cleared by Norwich.
Elliott Bennett breaks down the left and pulls a dangerous cross back into the box, which Hart clears with the help of Lescott. Norwich had two men waiting there.
Yellow CardJoleon Lescott
Mark Halsey reluctantly gets his cards out for the first time in the game to book Lescott for a cynical block on Snodgrass. The referee has let plenty of challenges go by in his final game before retirement, but had not option but to book the City man there.
The hosts are not showing too much urgency here, with the ball being passed around the back four. Norwich have parked the proverbial bus and it seems to be working so far.
Dzeko fires over once again from Milner's cross. City have put plenty of balls into the box, but it has not borne fruit. The 4-4-2 formation selected by Kidd is at odds with their usual 4-2-3-1, and the players don't look entirely comfortable.
If Roberto Mancini is watching, and he probably is, then he may allow himself a sly smile. The Italian was held to blame for the team's disappointing season, but his players must take some responsibility, and some are showing an alarming lack of professionalism in their attitiude towards this game.
City have parked themselves in opposition territory now, with Norwich looking more than happy to sit back and play on the break.
Silva and Aguero link up for the first time, with the ball eventually being spread to Milner on the right. His cross is straight into the arms of Ruddy, but City fans will be enthused by Aguero and Silva's combination, They need to see more of it though.
Tevez's exit from the game has not done City any favours, and Rodwell's departure has only compounded their poor performance. The hosts look extremely uninspired without their two best players on the day, and Norwich have real fire in their belly by comparison.
Steven Whittaker's dangerous cross into the box is cleared away at the near post by City, as Norwich show no sign of letting up.
Milner goes close straight away, striking the ball over the bar from inside the area after some nice play by the hosts.
There will be no Rodwell equaliser this time, as the midfielder is replaced by David Silva.
GOAL!!! Fantastic effort from Howson, who waltzes past two weak challenges after picking the ball up oin his own half, before slotting the ball home into the far post. Great goal.
More cries of 'Mancini' ring out around the ground. The departure of the Italian has certainly not prompted any improvement for City so far...
City have looked largely uninterested since the break, but their quality shone through there, and they soon come close to taking the lead for the first time as Dzeko fires over from the edge of the box. He should have done better.
GOAL!!! Rodwell pulls his side level once again on the counter attack. Toure plays a lovely ball in behind for the midfielder, who shows a great turn of pace to beat the defender and fires the ball expertly into the far post.
The City defence were nowhere for that goal, although you have to give Nowrich credit. The ball to find Snodgrass in space was a fine one, and the Scotland international demonstrated a perfect first touch and speed of thought to get the cross away early.
GOAL!!! Norwich take the lead once again through Grant Holt, who taps the ball home at the far post after Snodgrass' ball across the box is missed by everyone.
Aguero almost gets his first touch of the ball in a dangerous area, as Martin cuts out Milner's cut back inside the six yard box with the striker waiting to pounce.
Snodgrass goes down just inside the box under Yaya Toure's challenge, but Mark Halsey waves away their penalty appeals for the third time in the game.
Surprising substitution from Brian Kidd, who hauls off Tevez to be replaced by fellow countryman Sergio Aguero. The Argentine striker was his side's best player in the first half, so Aguero has big boots to fill.
Almost a goal for Norwich! Snodgrass curls a great cross into the box from a deep free-kick, which Bradley Johnson meet sunmarked at the far post. His header is pushed around the post by Hart, who had to be on his toes there.
The hosts start the second period on the front foot, dominating possession in their opponents' half.
The players are back on the pitch, and Norwich get the ball rolling, with no changes made for either side.
If Manuel Pellegrini is watching then he will be none too impressed with the attitude displayed by some of his supposedly future charges. The Malaga boss seems set to take the reins at the Etihad in the summer, and will have a job on his biggest task will be to get the best out of an undoubtedly talented squad.
Chris Hughton will surely see this as a great opportunity to end the season on a real high, with Canaries looking more than capable of picking up their first win against City in 20 years.
Carlos Tevez is one man certainly not lacking in motivation, and he exchanegs some angry words with Johnny Howson as the players leave the pitch. The striker was unhappy with Howson's challenge just before the break.
And the referee has blown for half-time on an eventful match. Norwich will be very happy with their performance, while Brian Kidd will have to find a way to fire up certain members of his team, who have looked completely lackadaisical at times.
45' + 1'
Holt almost finds himself with a shot on goal from inside the six-yard box, as City once again make hard work of clearing their lines. The striker turns smartly but sees the ball eventually taken away from him by some desperate last ditch defending.
Norwich exert some pressure on the edge of the City penalty area. Hoolahan is at the centre of everything, and is pulling all the strings in behind Holt. City have had no answer to the Irishman.
Russell Martin has a shot go agonisingly wide of the far post after a poor clearance by City from a corner. The centre-back scored twice in the reverse fixture at Carrow Road, and must have thought he had struck once again, with the goalkeeper beaten.
Down the other end, Tevez is once again at the centre of things, meeting a cross into the box only to see his shot blocked. The Argentine has showed no shritage of appetite today, in contrast to some of his team-mates.
Norwich waste a promising set piece on the left, choosing to attempt an intricate free-kick routine rather than getting the ball into the loaded penalty area. Pilkington overhits his pass down the left channel, and it runs out of play.
More excellent play by Tevez, who dances into the Norwich box before laying the ball off to Nasri. The Frenchman can't find the space for a shot, and passes it back to Toure, who tries a clever dink into the box. However, Dzeko is just unable to reach it, and it goes behind for a goal kick.
Tevez has been one of the more productive players for the hosts, and he creates a shooting opportunity for himself. Ruddy tips the ball round the near post for a corner, which comes to nothing.
It's anyone's game here, with both defences looking slightly flat-footed in the face of promising attacks at either end. The more open the game becomes, the more City will be confident of their superior quality making the difference.
Much more like it from City, as a nice spell of pressure ends with Milner firing a cross in from the right, which is just too powerful for anyone to get on the end of.
Snodgrass lines up a free-kick in a promising position on the edge of the box, but his well-struck effort is right down Harte's throat, and the keeper pushes it over the bar.
GOAL!!! That goal seems to have sprung City into life, and Jack Rodwell wastes no time in pulling them level after nice interplay with Kolarov on the edge of the box.
That was a tidy finish by Rodwell, who took it very well and bags his first Premier League goal for City. Chris Hughton will be disappointed by his side's defending though, as the back four sat very deep and stood off the City attackers.
GOAL!!! Norwich take the lead through Pilkington, who finishes calmly after Hoolahan slips him in behind a static City defence.
The City defence did not cover themselves in any glory in that goal, as a number of them stand and stare, offering scant resistance to Hoolahan, who simply waqnted it more. Yaya Toure's weak challenge looked particularly like that of a man who does not really want to be on the pitch today. To make matters worse for the home fans, Norwich supporters celebrate by doing the Poznan.
The hosts respond by creating a decent chance at the other end, as Dzeko has another shot puched away by Ruddy.
The Canaries go close to opening the scoring from the resultant corner, as Lescott clears a header off the line with Harte left stranded. Worrying for City...
From the corner Norwich have another creditable penalty appeal turned down, as Yaya Toure seems to block a goal-bound shot with his arms. He may not have known much about it, but the Ivorian's arms were raised, and he would have been a relieved man to see another corner given.
Just as I say that, Zabaleta ia lucky to get away without giving away a penalty. The defender seems to trip Pilkington on the left-hand side of the box, but the referee only gives a corner.
More adventurous play by Zabaleta, whose surge forwards is well found by Milner. However, his drilled cross is easily cut out by Norwich. The Argentine right-back looks like one of the more fired up players in the home team.
Norwich are enjoying an extended spell of possession, mush to the delight of their fans. The buoyant away support greet every pass with an 'Ole!', which you don't often see less than 20 minutes into a match.
Dzeko gets a shot away from the left-hand side of the box after fine interplay between Milner and Samir Nasri, but it flies into the hands of Ruddy. That's the hosts' best piece of attacking play so far though.
Milner floats a hopeful ball into the far post for Tevez, but Ruddy comes out and claims with ease. The Argentine striker will not be grateful for that type of service.
Good chance for Holt, who meets a clever slide rule pass by Wes Hoolahan and holds off the challenge of Lescott. Unfortunately, his shot on the turn is dragged disappointingly wide, but that's another cause for encouragement for the guests.
The atmosphere is a bit flat here at the Etihad, as this dead rubber of a match comes in stark contrast to the infamous title-clinching final game of last season. You get the impression that City can't wait for the season to end.
Chris Hughton will be fairly pleased with his side's start here, as the Canaries are showing no fear against their more illustrious opponents. Robert Snodgrass skips past Joleon Lescott before firing a shot in from 25 yards that is comfortably collected by Joe Harte.
Industrious play by Tevez, who holds off a couple of challenges before sliding a ball into the marauding Pablo Zabaleta. Former City defender Javier Garrido gets back to put it out for a corner, which Edin Dzeko fires over from Milner's cross.
Another positive attack from Norwich breaks down ater Anthony Pilkington's shot is blocked. They retain possession in the City half though, eventually winning a corner, which comes to nothing.
At the other end, Grant Holt is correctly given offside as Norwich mount a promising attack.
Almost a chance for City straight away, as Tevez links up with Milner inside the box. The England midfielder can't quite control it though, and the ball rolls through to John Ruddy.
Referee Mark Halsey looks at his watch and blows his whistle for kick-off. The ref retires after today, and will be hoping to go out with as uneventful a game as possible.
Chants of 'Mancini' ring out around the Etihad, as the fans join together to pay tribute to the man who brought them their first silverware in 44 years.
For Norwich, meanwhile, all of their regulars - Jonny Howson, Robert Snodgrass, Wes Hoolahan and the like make one final appearance, with particular attention being paid to Javier Garrido. The Spaniard is a former City man and he has just signed a permanent deal with the Canaries.
City's caretaker boss Brian Kidd has made five changes from the side that beat Reading 2-0 earlier in the week. Jack Rodwell and Michah Richards are given a rare runout, alongside the majority of the team's big names - with the exception of David Silva and Sergio Aguero.
Norwich lineup: Ruddy; R.Martin, Whittaker, Johnson, Gardio, R. Bennett; Howson, Snodgrass, Pilkington, Hoolahan; HoltSubs: Bunn; Fox, E.Bennett, Becchio, Barnett, Butterfield, Tettey.
Manchester City lineup: Hart; Zabaleta, Richards, Lescott, Kolarov; Yaya Toure, Rodwell, Milner, Nasri; Tevez, DzekoSubs: Pantilimon, Clichy, Maicon, Garcia, Barry, Silva, Aguero.
It will be interesting to see how the City fans react on the first home game since the dismissal of Roberto Mancini, who remained popular with the majority of the fans in spite of their disappointing season. Norwich fans, on the other hand, will surely be in high spirits after securing their survival with a 4-0 win over West Brom last time out.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of Manchester City's final day encounter with Norwich at the Etihad Stadium. I'm Al Hain-Cole and I'll be guiding you through all the action for the last Premier League game of the season.
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