On a clear afternoon in Manchester, Man City entered the pitch to play their first home game of the season in front of their fans with a point to prove after their loss against Spurs in the opening week. With City up against Daniel Farke’s men, the boys in yellow kicked off the start to what was gonna be an exhilarating afternoon of pure Man City dominance and tactical brilliance. The Blues ran riot against Norwich as they showcased their technical brilliance and punished the away side’s defensive errors
Guardiola started a team that was very different from the one he played against Spurs last weekend. With 5 changes in the team, the whole facade of the team changed. With the title-winning backline from last season along with Rodri coming in at his natural position, Norwich found it extremely difficult to break down this City defence. Pep opted for a more industrious lineup with Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus coming in for Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez. And as always this constant rotation gave all the FPL managers with City assets a headache.
With the last few seasons full of turmoil for Gabriel Jesus, Pep experimented and decided to start him at the right-wing considering his touch on the ball and his deep playing style. And it paid dividends that no one had expected. The Brazilian was at the centre of the City attack throughout the match. Were it not for a goal ruled as an own goal by the Norwich goalkeeper and a goal disallowed, Jesus would have had four assists to his name. With his sensational linkup with Walker on the right flank, Jesus set up Grealish for his home debut goal and Sterling in the second half.
Norwich City has had a very rough start to the Premier League this season. With two losses in two matches the club finds itself at the bottom of the table. Although there are still 36 games left to play, Daniel Farke needs to sort his team out who looks like a shadow of the team that started the 2019/20 PL season. After conceding 8 goals in two matches and scoring none, this team has shown no poise in going for a goal. Even in the match against City, the Canaries had only 1 shot and that too was off target. With Pukki not getting any service, their midfield not being able to get a grip on the game and their defence in shambles, the season looks bleak for Norwich at the moment.
The home fans got to experience a delightful sight in the second half of the match as Guardiola subbed in Cole Palmer for his Premier League debut. A hot academy prospect whose signature is being chased by clubs all over England, Palmer was a sight for sore eyes for the fans who feel City’s academy prospects don’t get a chance in the first team. In his 21 minute debuts, Palmer slotted in seamlessly in the City midfield and fulfilled the number 8 role effortlessly. The future does look bright for the boy from Wythenshawe.
Jesus, Silva and Laporte have been linked all summer to various clubs. They have clearly shown their discontent with the lack of game time. But as all 3 of them played in the match against Norwich, everyone got a glimpse of what these players bring to the table. Laporte filled in for the injured John Stones. He defended brilliantly and to top of his amazing performance, he bagged a goal from a Gundogan corner. Bernardo Silva was his usual industrious self and played an important part in the build-up of the goals. Jesus was the star of the match with his amazing performance on the wing. With the transfer window ending in less than 10 days and most clubs not having the financial condition to afford these players, it looks like they will be staying for another season.
Guardiola’s men put up a fine display and ran riot against the boys in yellow. Now the question is whether they can keep up this form against the big guns and challenge for the title again? Will Norwich be able to bounce back and end their losing streak? What will happen when you have a 1 billion dollar squad at your disposal and everyone wants to play but can’t? It is all up in the air for now but we are all ready for another enthralling Premier League season.