Premier League
Man CityManchester City2NorwichNorwich City1

Manchester City 2-1 Norwich City

By Chris OsborneBBC Sport
Yaya Toure penalty
Yaya Toure's penalty was his second Premier League goal of the season

Manchester City needed a late Yaya Toure penalty to beat Norwich City and stay top of the Premier League.

Nicolas Otamendi's header put the hosts in front, before Joe Hart inexplicably dropped the ball at the feet of Cameron Jerome for a Canaries equaliser.

That sparked a frantic finale, as Toure scored from the spot after Russell Martin's red card for handball.

There was still time for Aleksandar Kolarov to miss a penalty in injury time as Man City laboured to victory.

Man City made to work

Average position graphic
The average position of the two teams shows that Man City struggled to break down Norwich's deep setup

It was a combination of Norwich's organised, solid setup and Man City's sluggish approach play that caused frustration for Manuel Pellegrini's side for long periods.

The few chances the 2013-14 champions did create in the first half predominantly fell to Wilfried Bony, who failed to hit the target with two notable openings.

Pellegrini praises Man City 'character'

The Canaries, benefitting from using three central defenders, stifled the host's creativity and with it the enthusiasm of the crowd in Etihad Stadium.

Forward Kevin De Bruyne was central to most of Man City's build-up play, but they struggled without the imagination of playmaker David Silva and the work ethic of striker Sergio Aguero, who were both injured.

The home supporters grew increasingly agitated with Bony's lack of cutting edge, and it seems Pellegrini's title hopes could hinge on getting Silva and Aguero back to full fitness.

Hart's howler

Joe Hart drops the ball
Joe Hart's error gave Norwich a late lifeline

Bony's chances and a rasping effort from Canaries winger Matt Jarvis were the only moments of note in a sedate first half.

Otamendi's first goal for the club, a planted header from an outswinging De Bruyne corner, looked like it might lift Man City's performance.

'Silly' Norwich mistakes frustrate Neil

But Norwich were handed an unlikely equaliser with seven minutes remaining when England keeper Hart dropped Robbie Brady's cross at the feet of Jerome, who prodded into an empty net.

Hart's error did not prove costly though as Martin, with his keeper John Ruddy out of position, handled a shot by Raheem Sterling while diving to block the ball.

Martin was sent off while Toure calmly converted from the spot.

Kolarov's injury-time penalty miss, after Brady fouled Sterling, could have proved costly had Hart not saved Martin Olsson's late shot.

But Man City moved on to a seventh game unbeaten in all competitions and stayed above Arsenal at the top of the league on goal difference.

Man of the match - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne provided the corner for Nicolas Otamendi's opening goal

With Silva and Aguero missing, Man City have depended on De Bruyne to pull the strings and, while his team-mates were lacking vibrancy, the Belgian at least looked eager to create chances from in front of the opposition defence.

Manager reaction

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini:

"It was an extraordinary game. Norwich defended very well. The games before Champions League games are always difficult. But we have the character, the personality and the trust to win the game - we are not finished until the last minute."

Norwich City boss Alex Neil:

"I thought we limited Man City to very little, but if you're going to lose a goal away to the top teams, you want it to be from a bit of quality, so to lose one to a set-piece is disappointing.

"Then we made mistakes at the back for the second goal and it cost us the game. If people do their jobs properly and do the basics right, the rest of our game has been good."

The stats you need to know

  • Manchester City have lost just two of their 15 Premier League clashes with Norwich, winning eight and drawing five.
  • The Canaries have now lost four in a row in the league; they last lost four consecutive league games back in April 2014 (five in a row in total).
  • Russell Martin was awarded his first ever red card in league competition in this game.
  • Yaya Toure has been directly involved in six goals (three goals, three assists) in his seven Premier League appearances against Norwich City.
  • Kevin De Bruyne has had a hand in seven goals in his seven Premier League appearances this season (scoring three, assisting four).
  • Manchester City have scored four goals from a corner this season; a league-high.

What's up next?

Man City look to go a step closer to qualifying for the Champions League knock-out stage as they travel to Sevilla on Tuesday, before a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday. Norwich host fellow bottom-half side Swansea on Saturday.


Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Hart
  • 3Sagna
  • 4Kompany
  • 30Otamendi
  • 11Kolarov
  • 42Y TouréSubstituted forDemichelisat 90+4'minutes
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 15Navas
  • 72IheanachoSubstituted forSterlingat 54'minutes
  • 17De BruyneBooked at 34minsSubstituted forRegesat 73'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 14Bony


  • 6Reges
  • 7Sterling
  • 13Caballero
  • 20Mangala
  • 26Demichelis
  • 27Roberts
  • 76Garcia Alonso


Formation 5-4-1

  • 1Ruddy
  • 12Brady
  • 24Bennett
  • 5MartinBooked at 88mins
  • 6Bassong
  • 23Olsson
  • 8Howson
  • 27TetteyBooked at 90mins
  • 21MulumbuSubstituted forO'Neilat 70'minutes
  • 16JarvisSubstituted forRedmondat 45'minutes
  • 10JeromeBooked at 76minsSubstituted forGrabbanat 87'minutes


  • 2Whittaker
  • 7Grabban
  • 13Rudd
  • 14Hoolahan
  • 18Dorrans
  • 22Redmond
  • 28O'Neil
Robert Madley

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamNorwich
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City 2, Norwich City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester City 2, Norwich City 1.

  3. Post update

    Penalty missed! Bad penalty by Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot is close, but misses to the right. Aleksandar Kolarov should be disappointed.

  4. Post update

    Penalty Manchester City. Raheem Sterling draws a foul in the penalty area.

  5. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Robbie Brady (Norwich City) after a foul in the penalty area.

  6. Post update

    Wilfried Bony (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Bennett (Norwich City).

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Martin Olsson (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Martín Demichelis replaces Yaya Touré.

  10. Booking

    Fernando (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

  12. Post update

    Gary O'Neil (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Wilfried Bony (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Wilfried Bony (Manchester City).

  15. Post update

    Sebastien Bassong (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Booking

    Alexander Tettey (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Wilfried Bony (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Alexander Tettey (Norwich City).

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester City 2, Norwich City 1. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  20. Dismissal

    Russell Martin (Norwich City) is shown the red card.