Premier League Carrow Road Att:26323 Saturday, March 12, 2016 12:45:00 PM
- Jon Moss
- Olsson; Howson
- Redmond Dorrans 44’
- Hoolahan Mbokani 67’
- Bamford Jerome 67’
- Unused subs
- Rudd, Bassong, Mulumbu, Pinto
- Sagna Zabaleta 85’
- Navas Iheanacho 77’
- Bony Sterling 58’
- Unused subs
- Caballero, Demichelis, Kolarov, M.Garcia
City’s title hopes took another blow as Norwich held on to claim a 0-0 draw at Carrow Road.
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The Blues dominated the majority of the game but couldn’t turn possession into goals during a frustrating 90 minutes.
It proved to be yet another disappointing away day with goals painfully hard to come by for Manuel Pellegrini’s men on the road.
With just one change from the side that beat Aston Villa last weekend – Fernando in for the injured Yaya Toure – City took to the Carrow Road pitch looking for a third win over Norwich this season.
On a ground where the Blues have only ever lost five times, the feeling before kick-off was that it was imperative that three points were won against a side that had taken just one point from a possible 27 in their last nine games.
And City couldn’t have started more brightly, dominating the opening exchanges without reward.
Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero had opportunities in the first five minutes with the home side looking edgy as the visitors assumed almost complete control.
Aguero then forced a good save from Norwich keeper John Ruddy as he fired in a 25-yard free-kick on 15 minutes and he again denied City’s top scorer when he palmed away a fierce low shot just before the half-hour mark.
David Silva was the target of some questionable challenges from the Canaries defenders but as the half wore on and the Blues still hadn’t managed to find a breakthrough, so Norwich’s confidence grew and Patrick Bamford was unlucky not to score just before the break as his 25-yard half-volley struck the crossbar with Joe Hart beaten.
As the teams traipsed off goalless at the break, it wasn’t hard to see why the Blues were averaging just a goal a game on the road this season.
There was no change in the pattern of play as the second-half resumed and with an hour played, Raheem Sterling replaced Wilfried Bony as Pellegrini reshuffled his troops to a more familiar looking 4-2-3-1 formation.
Aguero was a constant threat and was a few inches away from winning a penalty on 65 minutes when he was felled just outside the box, but Silva’s free-kick struck the wall and the danger was cleared.
Though City were the better side for large parts of the game, they just couldn’t find a way through the massed ranks of green and yellow shirts who sat deep every time the Blues probed forward.
Hart had had literally nothing to do with the Canaries clearly happy to just defend and take a draw and as the frustration grew, so the half-chances were snatched at and if the Blues were guilty of anything, it was perhaps over-playing in attack.
Sterling, Aguero and Silva had half-chances to shoot in the box but instead of taking a pop at goal, the opportunities were snuffed out and, as the Blues ran out of ideas, time finally ran out.
This was undoubtedly two points dropped with City unable to unlock a resolute and determined Norwich defence, though it wasn’t for the want of trying.