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February 8, 2014
• Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
Referee: J. Moss
• Attendance: 26832
That will do it from Carrow Road. I'm Alex Moretto, and I'd like to thank you all for joining me today. Good bye!
The draw means Manchester City fail to capitalize on Arsenal's loss earlier today. Chelsea's win over Newcastle moves them to top of the table, while City drop to third place. Norwich remain in 15th place, pending the result of this afternoon's Welsh derby.
FULL-TIME: NORWICH CITY 0-0 MANCHESTER CITY. Despite a late surge from the visitors, they hardly looked like taking three points from Norwich, who defended admirably for a full 90 minutes, ad would perhaps consider themselves unlucky not to have bagged a winner in the closing minutes! It was a disappointing performance from Pellegrini's men, who looked a lot more like the team that lost away to Cardiff and Sunderland, not like the team who just went on a 20-match unbeaten run.
90' + 4'
The corner results in a scramble in the box, that's frantically cleared out of play for a throw-in. The throw is taken, and the full-time whistle sounds!
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
Play finally resumes after two minutes, which will be added on to the end here. Van Wolfswinkel receives a long ball forward and battles in the corner with Kompany, eventually winning a corner. Good skill shown there by the Norwich striker.
90' + 1'
Van Wolfswinkel goes down after a coming together with Yaya Toure. He gets up in a fit of rage, as he proceeds to yell at Toure, and then referee Jonathan Moss. Looking at the replay, Toure did kick the heels of Van Wolfswinkel as he went to ground, and is perhaps lucks not to be booked there.
Three minutes of added time for someone to find a winner...
It's Norwich who nearly find a winner!! Great stuff from the hosts! Three chances in a row has City on their heels. Redmond streaks down the right, flicks over Demichelis and crosses in. His low cross beats Hart, but Van Wolfswinkel can't make contact with an open net in front of him! The ball is worked back to Redmond who crosses in again, this time Hart punches clear. Finally, Pilkington receives it on the left, beats Zabaleta, and beats Hart with his shot, but it's just over the bar!
It's another corner for City now, which speaks to the quality of Norwich's defending to this point. They're throwing their bodies in front of every cross, and keeping City on the perimeter of the box. Navas takes it and Ruddy is out to punch it clear.
Again it's Navas who takes the corner, and again it's straight at the first defender. With all the chances Navas has wasted on these corners, it's surprising he's still taking them ahead of David Silva.
The home fans can sense the pressure they're under here. Navas is on the end of another Silva ball, but his low shot from the side of the box is collected well by Ruddy. City waste no time, and win possession right back. Zabaleta rushes into the box from the right, but his low cross is blocked by a sliding Pilkington and out for another corner.
Milner streaks forward down the right, following the free kick, and is taken down from behind by Van Wolfswinkel. Moss plays the advantage as Miler gets up quickly and finds himself with acres of space along the flank. He crosses in at the far post for Dzeko, but his header is straight into the ground and harmlessly out for a goal kick.
Yellow Card Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Yellow Card Alexander Tettey
The Canaries are back in possession, but Martin carelessly gives it away to Kolarov, who charges forward, forcing Tettey to commit a foul, and the Norwegian is shown a yellow card
Norwich move forward again, but are lacking numbers on attack. Redmond does well to elude Clichy and send in a cross that nearly picks out Van Wolfswinkel, if not for the strong hands of Joe Hart who, fully stretched, is able to catch the cross.
City win themselves another corner, although they've done nothing with them to this point. Pellegrini urges the referee to let him make a substitution, and it's a defender coming on for a striker, a very negative switch from the Premier League's leading scorers.
Yellow Card James Milner
Milner and Toure attempt to command the play in midfield, but it's given away again once it's played forward, and Milner takes out his frustration on Redmond and is finally shown a yellow card. The camera switches to Manuel Pellegrini, who has his head in hands, wondering where the team's attacking quality has gone.
City back forward in numbers now, as the pace starts to pick up. Silva crosses in for Negredo from the left, but he attempts to pass it off with the header, and it falls for Milner at the top of the box. His shot is blocked and comes back out for Toure who has his shot deflected dangerously, but it rolls safely behind for a corner.
The long ball this time from Zabaleta, towards David Silva, is cleared by Yobo, but only behind for a corner. The ensuing corner is poor, and Norwich break on the counter. Pilkington gets it in space, and tries to beat Clichy, but some good defending from the full-back sniffs out the attack.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel
There's a bit of a lengthy stoppage now as Gary Hooper is down clutching his ankle after a coming together with James Milner. It certainly looked a foul, but nothing was given by referee Jonathan Moss. Ricky van Wolfswinkel will come on to replace the injured striker.
The corner is dealt with easily, but a giveaway allows City to regain possession and win another corner. Hooper gets possession from the corner, appears to be fouled, but the referee says play on, and Silva crosses in to an unmarked Dzeko who heads away from goal! Shocking stuff from the substitute.
The game is beginning to get a bit sloppy in midfield, as City look to find space, while Norwich are content with taking it away. The ball is eventually worked forward by City, and a hopeful pass is deflected out for a corner.
Pellegrini has seen enough. It's Edin Dzeko who comes on for City, to play behind Negredo, a role he isn't particularly fond of.
Another great move from Norwich! Martin streaks forward with pace, and lays it off for Hooper. The striker puts it right pack in the path of the right-back, whose half-volley is just wide. Promising stuff from the Canaries.
Fer and Martin work a nice one-two along the right, as they begin to grow in confidence. Fer's cross in cleared well, however, but the Canaries can take this game over if City aren't careful.
It has been 12 months since City went two league games without a win, and they haven’t lost back to back league games since October 2010.
The corner is again poor, as it's cleared easily at the near post. Norwich push forward on the counter, and Pilkington is fouled by Zabaleta, giving the Canaries a free kick in a promising position. Johnson's ball in is away from everybody, and collected easily by Hart.
City have tried endlessly to build through Silva down the left, but have begun to switch the play, with Navas seeing much of the ball along the right in the opening stages. He tries to get by Olsson, unsuccessfully, but wins the visitors a corner.
Norwich look to have regained their shape at the back, as the second-half is starting just at the first did, with the visitors struggling to find space on the attack.
Hooper tries to take advantage of a Demichelis blunder, but Jonathan Moss blows the play dead for a foul on the striker, who hardly got the faintest of touches on the Argentine centre-back.
We're back underway at Carrow Road as Norwich City get us kicked off, a stark improvement from the reverse fixture this season, where the Canaries found themselves 4-0 down at half-time.
STAT ATTACK: Manchester City have scored 27 goals against the Canaries in their last six league meetings, an average of 4.5 goals per game. However, they have been held to just two shots on target through the opening 45 minutes here today.
DON'T FORGET: A Manchester City win would see them jump to the top of the Premier League table, after the Gunners' crushing 5-1 defeat at Anfield earlier today.
HALF-TIME: NORWICH CITY 0-0 MANCHESTER CITY. The Premier League's leading scorers have been held through the first 45 minutes, and so far are failing to take advantage of Arsenal's loss this morning. Norwich defended admirably for most of the first half, but have begun come undone a bit at the back towards the end there. Norwich haven't conceded too many goals at home this season, but have had problems scoring. City are offering up plenty of space on the counter, but the Canaries are just lacking that quality on attack thus far.
45' + 2'
It's a fairly uneventful added two minutes, as both teams appear content to play out the half scoreless. Martin chases down a ball in the attacking third, but Demichelis shields him off well to win a goal kick, and Jonathan Moss decides to put an end to the first half, with 30 seconds to spare.
Two minutes of added time indicated by the referee's assistant, as we approach the end of the first half here at Carrow Road.
STAT ATTACK: In their four meetings with the current top four clubs this season, Norwich have failed to pick up a single point, and have been outscored 19-3.
Norwich are beginning to lose their shape now, as City are having an easier time picking them apart. Yobo and Bassong are playing their first game together, and it's finally starting to show.
City keeping the majority of possession now. This time Negredo gets it at the top right of the penalty area, with options around him, but he decides to have a go at goal, as his shot smacks harmlessly into the side netting and out for a goal kick.
Wonderfully worked again from City, as Jovetic nearly finds the opener. Silva picks out Jovetic, who lays it off for Negredo at the top of the box. The Spaniard attempts to give it right back to Jovetic, but there's just a bit too much pace on it as Ruddy is able to scramble and collect.
Better this from City! From a corner, the ball is from Silva is great as he picks out Demichelis, whose flick-on is right at Negredo, but his header smacks off the bar! Pellegrini's men are beginning to gather momentum.
Well, it's taken 33 minutes, but City finally have their first shot. Zabaleta with a nice run of his own, and from the right side of the box he has a go from a bad angle. It's wide of the far post, never really troubling Ruddy.
City grow increasingly frustrated as they try and break down a resilient Norwich defence. Negredo is picked out between the two centre-backs, but he's ruled offside, just as he lays it off for Jovetic who chips Ruddy and finds the back of the net.
The crowd are beginning to get behind the home team now, as they look more dangerous offensively. Redmond, on the right this time, beats Clichy with some clever footwork, but again his final ball is lacking, as the intended cross is over everyone and behind for a goal kick.
STAT ATTACK: Norwich have posted back-to-back clean sheets at Carrow Road for the first time since November 2012.
Canaries fans are up in arms after referee Jonathan Moss blows for a stoppage in play, in the midst of a promising Norwich move. Toure is down clutching his head, however, forcing the referee's hand. Brief stoppage now as the medical staff attends to Yaya Toure.
The free kick is played short, and Norwich, doing their best City impression, work the ball forward. Martin tries to pick out Hooper, but Demichelis intervenes. The forward pressures him well, however, and his rushed clearance results in a corner.
The corner is cleared and Norwich break the other way through Leroy Fer. The counter is on for the Canaries, when Milner drags down the Dutch midfielder right in front of the referee, conceding a free kick, but somehow escaping with only a warning.
City attempt to get back the bulk of possession, as the ball is worked forward after a long string of passes. Clichy's final cross is sent long, but Martin Olsson plays it out for a corner, under pressure from Navas.
GOAL FOR NORWICH, BUT IT'S RULED OFFSIDE! Leroy Fer attacks the corner kick and meets it with a low, driven header, that's saved well by Hart. The rebound comes out to Hooper who cleans up the mess, and after a brief moment of joy, they see the offside flag and celebrations come to a halt.
REDMOND! He only has one goal this season, and that may be why. He's picked out wonderfully by Gary Hooper and gets behind the City defence, but his final shot is seriously lacking in quality, as he goes for the top corner but it's miles high and wide.
Norwich are keeping their shape very well in defence, making life difficult for City in the early stages. They get back well in numbers, preventing the Citizens from working their free flowing passing attack to this point.
STAT ATTACK: City's 1-0 loss at home to Chelsea on Monday ended a 20 match unbeaten run across all competitions, 18 of which ended in wins for Manuel Pellegrini's men.
Hart collects the corner, and moves the ball quickly to start another attack. City move it quickly to Silva on the left, who crosses it beautifully for Negredo, however Bassong is just able to intervene and City win a corner of their own.
The Canaries are enjoying a nice spell of possession of their own, but the high pressure from City is forcing them to work the ball backwards. Redmond streaks down the left and does excellently to beat Kompany. His final cross is poor, but it's only cleared as far as Olsson whose shot cannons off a defender and behind for another Norwich corner.
Negredo and Navas this time work a nice one two, as Navas is sent into the box, but his first touch is heavy and comes off Yobo, back onto his foot and out for a goal kick.
Pellegrini's men look to settle into the match here, as they're keeping possession quite well in the attacking half and it results in the first chance. Toure finds Jovetic over the top, his low cross is right at Yobo who scuffs his clearance into the path of Silva! Bassong intervenes well, however, and nothing comes of it for City.
Norwich break back the other way and Zabaleta is forced to concede a corner in order to prevent a scoring chance. Redmond has bodies to aim for in the middle, but his ball in can't get by the first defender and City clear with ease.
Manchester City get us underway, moving from right to left, and they keep possession for the first minute before Toure's long ball for Jovetic has too much pace and trickles out of play.
The players walk out of the tunnel, Norwich wearing their Canary yellow shirts, with Manchester City in their classic sky blue. The players shake hands and we're about to set off here at Carrow Road.
STAT ATTACK: The seven top flight meetings between the two sides since the turn of the century have produced a staggering 39 goals, 28 of which have been scored by City.
CHANGES: City will have to make do without the services of Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho, Samir Nasri and Javi Garcia due to injuries, while James Milner has returned to full health and has been named to the starting XI.
SUBS: Dzeko, Kolarov, Lescott, Lopes, Pantamillon, Richards, Rodwell.
MANCHESTER CITY XI (4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Toure, Milner; Navas, Jovetic, Silva; Negredo.
CHANGES: Defender Ryan Bennett is out after picking up a thigh injury in training, meaning Joseph Yobo makes his Canaries debut, while Michael Turner and Jonny Howson remain out for Chris Hughton. Wes Hoolahan returns to the bench after his January transfer saga.
SUBS: Becchio, Bunn, Garrido, Hoolahan, Murphy, Van Wolfswinkel, Whittaker.
NORWICH CITY XI (4-4-1-1): Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson; Redmond, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington; Fer; Hooper.
The teams have been announced, so let's have ourselves a look at today's starting line-ups:
Manchester City have been in fine form of late, and will be out to prove that Monday's 1-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea was not an indication of things to come for the Sky Blues. Pellegrini's men also appear to have fixed their road struggles, which plagued them earlier in the season. After starting the campaign with four losses from their first six on the road, City have won five of their last six away, only dropping points in a 1-1 draw at Southampton in the first week of December.
It's been a rough campaign for Norwich City to say the least. There's still time for Chris Hughton's men to turn it around, but they will have to start scoring goals. The majority of their struggles this season have come on attack, where they have managed just 19 goals through 24 games. This puts them on pace for a meager 30 league goals, which would be tied for the lowest tally (QPR scored 30 last season) since Middlesbrough scored 28 in 2008-09.
Good afternoon Premiership fans around the world, and welcome to today's clash between title hopefuls Manchester City and relegation candidates Norwich City at Carrow Road. I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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