Norwich gun down Man City …as Liverpool stretch lead

Norwich City produced a magnificent all-round display to inflict Manchester City’s first Premier League defeat since January at an ecstatic Carrow Road.

The Canaries were missing eight players but made light of those injuries and took full advantage of a performance from the reigning champions that was careless in the extreme and characterised by chaotic defending.

Norwich were 2-0 ahead within 30 minutes after Kenny McLean rose unmarked to meet Emiliano Buendia’s corner and then Todd Cantwell finished a flowing move involving Marco Stiepermann and Teemu Pukki.

Sergio Aguero’s header just before the break hinted at a Manchester City comeback but a misunderstanding between John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi saw Buendia rob the Argentina centre-back and set up Pukki to score.

Rodri scored his first goal for Manchester City with two minutes left before referee Kevin Friend’s final whistle was the cue for wild celebrations for the home side.

The rare defeat, meanwhile, leaves Pep Guardiola’s side five points behind Liverpool.

It was inevitable City would miss the class and composure of Aymeric Laporte – set to be out for six months with a knee injury – but this display suggests the gap he leaves is even bigger than Manchester City may have feared.

Guardiola has lost quality and influence with Laporte’s injury, as well asVincent Kompany’s departure, and his nightmare scenario unfolded at Carrow Road.

Stones and Otamendi had a harrowing time and City’s manager will know he must now rely on the pair at least until January.

Guardiola himself should not escape criticism for the defeat though after he left Kevin de Bruyne out of his starting team then delayed his arrival until after Norwich had re-established their two-goal lead.

They were mystifying decisions and a heavy price was paid.

Stones and Otamendi were nervous throughout and their lack of understanding reflected the fact they had only played together at centre-back six times in the past 20 months.

Liverpool also fell behind early on to Newcastle as Jetro Willems’ brilliant finish saw the Reds trailing at Anfield for the first time since March.

Sadio Mane fired into the top corner to start the revival, but it was the introduction of Roberto Firmino off the bench for the injured Divock Origi that truly turned the tide in Liverpool’s favour.

The Brazilian’s through ball was spilled by Martin Dubravka to allow Mane a simple task for his second just before half-time, and another brilliant Firmino flick teed up Salah to seal the points 18 minutes from time.

“I started enjoying after 25 minutes, around about when we arrived finally in the game,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

“Second half we scored only one goal, but we played really good football and I liked it a lot.”

Frank Lampard has endured a difficult start on his return to Stamford Bridge as manager, but he enjoyed his finest day so far in charge of Chelsea with his faith in youth again fully vindicated in a 5-2 win at Wolves.

Fikayo Tomori, 21, fired the visitors in front at Molineux with his first goal for the club before Tammy Abraham took over to take his tally to seven in his last three games with a hat-trick.

Abraham’s busy afternoon was not over as he then turned into his own net and Patrick Cutrone cut Wolves’ deficit to two before Mason Mount rounded off the scoring for Chelsea late on.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said David Beckham asked to play for his side so impressed was the former England captain with Spurs first-half demolition of Palace in a 4-0 win.

All four goals came before half-time with Son Heung-min scoring twice either side of Patrick van Aanholt’s own goal before Erik Lamela rounded off the scoring.

United had to suffer far more for just a second win in 10 league matches.

Rashford shrugged off his recent miss from the spot in defeat to Palace to convert a penalty on eight minutes after he had been brought down by Caglar Soyuncu.

United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Leicester are all now level on eight points from five games.


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