A tale of two cities: Manchester City hit Norwich City for six
The much maligned Carlos Tevez scored a hat trick as Manchester City beat Norwich City 6-1 at Carrow Road on Saturday.
For once Mr Lambert named an unchanged side for the match after City’s great result at Tottenham, retaining the all British 11 which had served him so well on that occasion. Both sides were brimful of confidence at kick off and it was Norwich who made the brighter start. Twice they nearly opened the scoring. But Pilkington shot wide after a great run, and Holt’s header beat goalkeeper Hart but Lescott cleared from the goal line.
Tevez was booked for diving in the City box, but scored with a superb swerving shot after 18 minutes, and the same player’s clever back-heel allowed Aguero to add a second goal after 27 minutes. This year’s half-time break in the tale of two cities was quite boring. No one encroached onto the pitch to implore the fans to “let’s be ‘avin you”.
Hoolahan and Surman started the second half in place of Pilkington and Johnson. Six minutes later Drury crossed from the left, and Hart could only parry the ball straight at Surman, who scored with ease. Renewed hope for Norwich was soon extinguished by three goals in seven minutes. Tevez nodded in the rebound when Ruddy could not hold Yaya Toure’s shot, then Aguero beat Elliott Bennett to curl home his second. Tevez seized on Ryan Bennett’s poor back pass to complete his hat trick, before substitute Adam Johnson added a sixth in stoppage time.
So it was back to earth with a bump, and Norwich lost 6-1, despite having played well for about 70 minutes and matched their illustrious visitors. It was however no disgrace to be beaten by a team boasting so much obvious and expensive talent. If only Tevez really had gone home… instead he merely walked out of a post match TV interview when asked if he had dived in the first half. Last time Norwich were thrashed at home by a score like this, we acquired the other team’s manager. Mancini for Norwich anyone? On this occasion I think not!
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Talking of post match interviews, I have deliberately refrained from commenting on the Gunn Club incident after the Wolves game until I could establish the facts. Although I am a member I was not present at the time of the incident since I had to catch the 18.00 train back to London. After speaking to several eye witnesses to the incident, the consensus seems to be that after the game, a guest of one of the match sponsors unleashed a torrent of verbal abuse at one of our players. To his great credit the player concerned did not react, and the guest was ushered away.
The Head of Stadium Operations and Supporter Services has sent a stentorian letter to all Gunn Club members regretting that until further notice members of the playing squad will no longer be attending after match presentations in the Gunn Club. My own personal view is that the incident was regrettable from everyone’s point of view. There can be no excuse for abusing our own players in public and as a result of this decision the innocent members of the Gunn Club will suffer.
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Anyone who has ever attended a pre or post match presentation at the Gunn Club will know that players invariably receive a very warm welcome, and the interaction between players and fans increases the bond between the two and the sense of togetherness at the club. Gunn Club members and match sponsors put a great deal of effort and money into NCFC via the Gunn Club, and it is surely not too much to ask for a few minutes friendly chat with a player once a fortnight in return.
The good news is that my spies tell me that the ban could well be lifted in time for the beginning of next season, so let us hope sanity prevails. Just because Norwich City are now a Premier League club we do not have to lose our humanity, nor our well deserved reputation as a friendly club.
Looking on the bright side, bottom club Wolves dropped another point and even if they win all their remaining games, can only amass a final total of 35 points. Blackburn lost, which means they can only reach 40 points. In the unlikely event of Bolton, Wigan, and QPR winning all their remaining games, they can reach 47, 46, and 45 points respectively. So it really is squeaky bum time. Norwich currently have 43 points, therefore we need three more points from four games, or for QPR to drop three more points. Premier League survival (which was our only ambition at the beginning of the season), beckons. And the Canaries have delivered much more than that. So well done to all concerned. Let’s hope the drinks will be flowing next weekend if the results go our way.