Playing at Carrow Road, Manchester City met their first defeat in the English Premier League this Saturday. Pep Guardiola’s side was defeated 3-2 to Norwich, with Finn striker Temuu Pukki shining. In addition to the defeat, Man City saw Liverpool opening five points clear in the table, with 15 points, as they have 10. Man City did not know how a defeat tasted since April 5, when they lost 1-0 to Tottenham in the Champions League. Norwich has six points and is the 12th place in the table, moving away from the relegation zone.
Norwich played bravely, displayed tactical discipline and played a great game on Saturday. They were not intimidated by one of the strongest teams in world football and were rewarded for their offensive and fearless stance. It also featured individual mistakes from Manchester City players that ultimately made a difference in the end.
Teemu Pukki, one of English football’s surprises, was also central to Norwich’s triumph. The 29-year-old Finnish striker grabbed an assist and scored the goal that ensured victory and tied him with Chelsea’s Abraham in the tournament’s race for the Golden boot. They both count on seven goals so far, in five games.
But Pukki did not play alone. The Finn shines in a team whose strength is in the collective. With patience, without flinching, the Canaries came to dominate the Cityzens and managed to find the spaces. And that’s how Norwich opened 2-0 in 28 minutes, with goals from Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell.
City paid for their mistakes, but they didn’t have a bad showing either. Sergio Aguero, always he, reduced the gap on the last move in the first half. 2-1 Norwich.
In the second half, Pukki showed up and extended it for the hosts. The Finn was lucky that Otamendi made a silly mistake in a poor ball that Emi Buendia stole, and fed Pukki, who did not find any troubles to score. 3-1.
The cityzens felt the blow and seemed really lost in the pitch. They eventually diminished on 88 minutes through Rodri, but it was not enough to any further reaction. Big win from Norwich, who celebrated with their fans as if they had won a trophy. I personally believe that we will see scenes like this a lot of times this season. Guardiola seems to be losing the hand of this City team, and their failures will be even more exposed with the time.