Man City 2 - 3 Norwich
Managerless Manchester City's turbulent week ended with defeat by Norwich in an enthralling final-day encounter.
Poor home defending allowed Anthony Pilkington through to give Norwich the lead, only for Jack Rodwell to finish a neat Blues move for the equaliser.
Grant Holt's back-post shot restored the Canaries' lead before Rodwell raced clear to level again.
But Jonny Howson's goal after running from halfway gave Norwich only their second away league win of the season.
In beating four men and sliding past Hart from an angle, Howson also gave Norwich their first top-flight win at Manchester City.
It was only the Blues' second home defeat in 48 Premier League games on their first appearance at the Etihad Stadium since losing the FA Cup final and sacking manager Roberto Mancini.
With a subdued crowd showing banners and chanting support for Mancini throughout, the home side, with Brian Kidd in caretaker charge, were largely culpable as they went down to a Norwich side who had only secured their Premier League safety with last week's 4-0 win over West Brom.
The hosts have the tightest defence in the top flight but were caught out twice for Norwich's opening two goals, and then allowed Howson to progress virtually unchallenged for the winner.
Norwich's previous highest Premier League finish was third in 1992-93. They were relegated two years later.
But that is not to detract from the performance of Chris Hughton's men, who were inspired by the endeavour of Wes Hoolahan and Robert Snodgrass to climb to 11th in the table, their highest top-flight finish since 1993.
Only QPR and Stoke had scored fewer Premier League goals than Norwich before Sunday, but for their season's finale the Canaries provided a constant attacking threat.
Ryan Bennett had already had a header cleared off the line when the visitors took a deserved lead. With Yaya Toure ponderous in defence, Hoolahan's persistence eventually released Pilkington, who coolly slotted past Hart.
The hosts had been subdued until that point, but were sufficiently jolted that Norwich's lead lasted only three minutes.
Samir Nasri fed the ball into Edin Dzeko, whose one touch was enough to free Rodwell for his first goal since moving to the Etihad from Everton last summer.
But the equaliser only served to galvanise Norwich in turn, who went close through Snodgrass, Russell Martin and Bradley Johnson either side of the break.
The visitors deservedly regained the lead, but not without the help of more slack home defending.
Howson's sweet cross-field ball found an unmarked Snodgrass on the right of the Blues' box, and when he slid it across goal Holt went unchallenged to apply a simple finish.
Again, however, Norwich's lead did not last long. With Manchester City struggling to clear, Toure arrived to collect the ball, carry it forward and find the run of Rodwell down the Norwich right.
Rodwell's pace was too much for Steven Whittaker and he was able to find the net with a shot across John Ruddy.
Still Norwich, and Howson in particular, refused to roll over. From inside his own half, he progressed all the way into the Manchester City box and gave Norwich the lead for a third time with a clinical finish.
The final 20 minutes featured plenty of frantic Norwich defending, but the Canaries held out to send Manchester City to their post-season tour of the United States - and the potential appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as Mancini's successor - on the back of a defeat.
Manchester City caretaker manager Brian Kidd:
"It's been an emotional week with the events at the club. I understand the cheers for the boss - he would have been disappointed if there wasn't for what he did here.
"I've been blessed and been grateful for what football has given me. I was asked to take charge for two games and America, which has been tough with the boss going. The club make the decisions and you abide by it. I'm a big boy.
"We have fallen short of the standards we set last season, but it hasn't been for a lack of effort. You defend as a team and attack as a team, so you have to look collectively, but we haven't reached that consistency."
Norwich City manager Chris Hughton:
"The manner in which we achieved this win is most pleasing. You know [Man City] are going to have the bulk of possession but we did really well with the ball.
"We were always a threat and I don't think anyone who saw that would say we weren't worthy of what we got today.
"We want to develop and we have a very good side that has served us well this season. We won't forget that, but if we are able to strengthen then we will. Anyone we bring in has to be the right player, but it is our responsibility to the fans to try to keep improving."
Live text and stats
Sunday, 19 May 2013
|Home Team||Score||Away Team||Time|
- 01 Hart
- 02 Richards
- 05 Zabaleta
- 06 Lescott yellow card
- 13 Kolarov
- 07 Milner
- 08 Nasri
- 17 Rodwell (Silva 65)
- 42 Y Toure
- 10 Dzeko
- 32 Tevez (Aguero 50)
- 01 Ruddy
- 02 R Martin
- 03 Whittaker
- 18 Garrido
- 24 R Bennett
- 04 Johnson (Tettey 65)
- 07 Snodgrass
- 08 Howson
- 12 Pilkington (E Bennett 81)
- 14 Hoolahan
- 09 Holt (Becchio 90)
- Man City 44%
- Norwich 56%
Attempts on target
- Man City 5
- Norwich 8
Attempts off target
- Man City 9
- Norwich 5
- Man City 7
- Norwich 7
- Man City 8
- Norwich 9
- Final Result
- Full Time
- 90:00+3:50 The referee brings the game to a close.
- 90:00+2:25 Unfair challenge on Russell Martin by Sergio Aguero results in a free kick. John Ruddy restarts play with the free kick.
- 90:00+1:35 The official flags James Milner offside. John Ruddy takes the indirect free kick.
- 90:00+0:49 Shot from just outside the penalty area by Alexander Tettey misses to the left of the target.
- 89:13 Substitution Luciano Becchio comes on in place of Grant Holt.
- 88:26 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by James Milner.
- 88:15 Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Blocked by Steven Whittaker.
- 85:56 Sergio Aguero fouled by Alexander Tettey, the ref awards a free kick. Pablo Zabaleta takes the free kick. David Silva takes the inswinging corner, Yaya Toure takes a shot. Corner from the left by-line taken by David Silva, save by John Ruddy.
- 84:09 Robert Snodgrass challenges Aleksandar Kolarov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
- 83:26 Direct free kick taken by Steven Whittaker.
- 83:26 Booking Joleon Lescott receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
- 83:11 Unfair challenge on Javier Garrido by Joleon Lescott results in a free kick.
- 80:17 Substitution Elliott Bennett on for Anthony Pilkington.
- 79:12 Shot from just outside the area by Steven Whittaker misses to the right of the target.
- 78:02 Edin Dzeko produces a right-footed shot from close range that goes over the bar.
- 75:13 Foul by Grant Holt on Micah Richards, free kick awarded. Micah Richards takes the direct free kick.
- 73:28 Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Javier Garrido gets a block in.
- 66:52 Wes Hoolahan decides to take a short corner. Russell Martin takes a shot.
- 66:01 Shot on goal by James Milner from just inside the area goes over the target.
- Correction - 64:03 Substitution Alexander Tettey is brought on as a substitute for Bradley Johnson.
- Correction - 64:03 Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with David Silva coming on for Jack Rodwell.
- Correction - 64:03 GOAL - Jonathan Howson:Man City 2 - 3 Norwich Jonathan Howson finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 2-3 Norwich.
- 64:03 Assist by Grant Holt.
- 64:03 Substitution Alexander Tettey joins the action as a substitute, replacing Bradley Johnson.
- 64:03 Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with David Silva coming on for Jack Rodwell.
- 64:03 GOAL - Jonathan Howson:Man City 2 - 3 Norwich Jonathan Howson gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 2-3 Norwich.
- 61:29 Direct free kick taken by Robert Snodgrass.
- 58:35 Assist by Yaya Toure. Bradley Johnson fouled by Jack Rodwell, the ref awards a free kick. Bradley Johnson restarts play with the free kick. Shot from just outside the area by Edin Dzeko goes over the bar.
- 58:35 GOAL - Jack Rodwell:Man City 2 - 2 Norwich Jack Rodwell scores a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 2-2 Norwich.
- 57:52 Foul by Grant Holt on Pablo Zabaleta, free kick awarded. Samir Nasri takes the free kick.
- 55:28 Corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov, Micah Richards takes a shot. Steven Whittaker manages to make a clearance.
- 53:47 Assist by Robert Snodgrass.
- 53:47 GOAL - Grant Holt:Man City 1 - 2 Norwich Grant Holt finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 1-2 Norwich.
- 52:46 Free kick awarded for a foul by Yaya Toure on Robert Snodgrass. Robert Snodgrass takes the direct free kick.
- 49:22 Substitution Sergio Aguero replaces Carlos Tevez.
- Correction - 47:24 Foul by Micah Richards on Grant Holt, free kick awarded. Robert Snodgrass crosses the ball, Ryan Bennett takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart. Corner taken right-footed by Robert Snodgrass, clearance made by Micah Richards.
- 47:24 Micah Richards challenges Grant Holt unfairly and gives away a free kick. A cross is delivered by Robert Snodgrass, Ryan Bennett takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart. Corner taken by Robert Snodgrass, Micah Richards makes a clearance.
- 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
- Half Time
- 45:00+1:30 The referee blows for half time.
- 45:00+0:40 Foul by Jonathan Howson on Carlos Tevez, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Pablo Zabaleta.
- 44:40 Javier Garrido fouled by James Milner, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Robert Snodgrass.
- 41:36 Effort from inside the area by Robert Snodgrass misses to the right of the goal.
- 40:43 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Robert Snodgrass, clearance made by Micah Richards.
- 39:59 Edin Dzeko produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
- 38:29 Wes Hoolahan fouled by Micah Richards, the ref awards a free kick. Robert Snodgrass restarts play with the free kick.
- 36:48 Free kick awarded for a foul by Anthony Pilkington on Yaya Toure. Free kick taken by Pablo Zabaleta.
- 35:57 Outswinging corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov from the left by-line, Header from deep inside the area by Edin Dzeko goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
- 35:33 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Robert Snodgrass gets a block in.
- 29:43 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Robert Snodgrass by Jack Rodwell. Robert Snodgrass has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, save by Joe Hart. Corner taken left-footed by Robert Snodgrass.
- 28:40 Assist by Edin Dzeko.
- 28:40 GOAL - Jack Rodwell:Man City 1 - 1 Norwich Jack Rodwell finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Man City 1-1 Norwich.
- 27:45 Samir Nasri fouled by Bradley Johnson, the ref awards a free kick. Jack Rodwell takes the direct free kick.
- 25:17 The assist for the goal came from Wes Hoolahan.
- 25:17 GOAL - Anthony Pilkington:Man City 0 - 1 Norwich Anthony Pilkington finds the net with a goal from just inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 0-1 Norwich.
- 21:57 Anthony Pilkington concedes a free kick for a foul on Edin Dzeko. Yaya Toure takes the direct free kick.
- 20:39 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Robert Snodgrass, Ryan Bennett takes a shot. Joleon Lescott makes a clearance.
- 20:04 Corner taken left-footed by Robert Snodgrass.
- 15:01 Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.
- 12:47 Shot from close range by Grant Holt misses to the right of the target.
- 10:55 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov, Bradley Johnson manages to make a clearance.
- 9:27 Grant Holt is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Samir Nasri.
- 8:51 Robert Snodgrass takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
- 5:48 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by James Milner, Header from deep inside the area by Edin Dzeko goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
- 4:32 Robert Snodgrass takes a shot. Blocked by Joleon Lescott. Corner taken left-footed by Robert Snodgrass from the left by-line, Edin Dzeko makes a clearance.
- 2:12 The referee blows for offside against Grant Holt. Direct free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.
- 0:19 Foul by Russell Martin on Edin Dzeko, free kick awarded. Yaya Toure restarts play with the free kick.
- 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.