A day where everything seemed to click into place for City on the road...
Back to his best...?
It’s often said that Aguero takes a few games to get back to his devastating best following an injury lay-off but, on this evidence, he’s somewhere close.
It’s no exaggeration to say that his incredible goal in the 16th minute goes straight into Kun’s greatest hits collection as he danced and surged his way through four challenges before poking the ball past the onrushing John Ruddy.
It wasn’t just his goal that convinced - the ball was glued to Aguero’s feet at times and he ensured a torrid afternoon for the three Norwich centre backs charged with shackling him as he escaped their attentions time and again with his clever movement and explosive acceleration.
He also created the second goal for his strike partner, forging what looks like it could be a potent combination…
Iheanacho’s goal may not have been quite as eye-catching as the first on the face of it but, on reflection, it was almost as impressive.
The ball from Kun wasn’t the best and it took a nick off a Norwich defender on its way into the young Nigerian, leaving him with the smallest of gaps to shoot through and almost no time to pick a spot.
However, this 19-year old has shown before that he needs no second invitation and he placed the ball in the only place he could have to score and to give City what proved to be an unassailable lead.
That’s five for the season now in just three starts and he’s averaging a goal for every 72 minutes he’s been on the pitch. He deservedly won the fan vote for our Man of the Match poll on the CityMatchday app too, on a day where so many in sky blue shone.
Introducing Bersant Celina…
The perfect day for City was capped in the 85th minute when Manuel Pellegrini had the opportunity to hand a first-team debut to one of our most promising young talents.
The Kosovo-born forward would have celebrated his first senior appearance with a goal had it not been for a world class save from Ruddy but the way he took the shot on instinctively showed just what a confident young man Bersant is.
His post-match interview with CityTV also demonstrated just how undaunted Celina is and that’s an important characteristic he seems to share with Kelechi.
Here’s hoping Celina can go on to have a similarly decisive impact on the biggest stage in the coming weeks, months and years.
It was hoped that the back-from-the-dead win over Watford would serve as a turning point for City’s fortunes on the road following a disappointing run of form away from the Etihad.
That proved to be something of a false dawn as the Blues succumbed to a defeat to Everton in midweek but this win over Norwich was a lot more promising than the afore-mentioned performance at Vicarage Road a week ago.
The difference was that City controlled this game from start to finish, meaning our place in the fourth round always looked assured from the moment Aguero put us in front after 16 minutes.
Willy Caballero had a couple of saves to make but he won’t have kept many clean sheets in a more straightforward manner as he did at Carrow Road on Saturday.
Day of rest…
Another pleasing aspect of the victory was that it was achieved without three of the team’s most decisive players of recent years.